2013-2014 Student Handbook 
    
    Oct 20, 2019  
2013-2014 Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Use the dropdown above to select the current 2019-20 catalog.

Discrimination and Harassment Policies and Grievance Procedures


 

Introduction
Civil Rights Related Policies
Grievance Procedures

Policy on Consensual Relationships With Students


Introduction

Jurisdiction

The policies and procedures set forth in this Guide apply to all Pomona College (hereafter referred to as  “College”)  faculty, staff, and students. This Guide also applies to third parties (such as campus visitors or vendors) who may have contact with members of the College community either on the College’s campus or at other College events and programs. If the alleged perpetrator (hereafter referred to as “Respondent”) is an employee or student from one of the other Claremont Colleges or the Claremont University Consortium, the College will investigate the matter and take steps to stop the conduct and remedy its affects to the extent reasonably possible. However, the grievance or other relevant procedures related to any disciplinary action against the Respondent will be those of the Respondent’s home institution. Throughout the grievance, investigatory, hearing, appeal, and/or disciplinary process, the College will maintain its authority to take action to ensure campus safety.

The grievance procedures set forth in this Guide are administrative in nature and are separate and distinct from the criminal and civil legal systems. Pursuing resolution through these procedures does not preclude someone from pursuing legal action now or in the future. If the conduct in question is alleged to be a violation of both College policy and public law, the College will proceed with its normal process, regardless of action or inaction by outside authorities. Decisions made or sanctions imposed through these or other College procedures are not subject to change because criminal or civil charges arising from the same conduct are dismissed, reduced, or rejected in favor of or against the Respondent.

In the event of a conflict with any other Claremont Colleges intercampus policy, the grievance procedures set forth in this Guide will prevail.

Authority

The disciplinary authority of Pomona College originates in the Board of Trustees and has been delegated to the President. The President has designated the Title IX Coordinator to oversee the administration of the policies outlined in this Guide including Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct and the grievance procedures for resolving complaints of violations of Civil Rights policies. Changes to the policies and procedures contained in this Guide may be made with the approval of the Board of Trustees and/or the President.

 

Title IX Coordinator:

Daren Mooko, Associate Dean of Students for Student Development & Leadership

Phone: 909-621-8017

E-mail: daren.mooko@pomona.edu

 

Grievance Officers– Students:

 Jan Collins-Eaglin, Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Learning

909-621-8017

E-mail: jan.collins-eaglin@pomona.edu

 

Ricardo Townes, Associate Dean of Students/Dean of Campus Life

909-607-2239 

E-mail: ric.townes@pomona.edu

 

Grievance Officers – Faculty:

 Joseph Jeon, Faculty, English Department

909-621-8124

E-mail: joseph.jeon@pomona.edu

 

Nicole Weekes, Associate Dean of the College

909-621-8137

E-mail: nicole.weekes@pomona.edu

 

Grievance Officer – Staff and Third Parties:

Brenda Rushforth, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources/CHRO

909-607-1236

E-mail:  brenda.rushforth@pomona.edu

 

General Policy Statement

Pomona College seeks to maintain an environment of mutual respect among all members of its community. All forms of harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity and expression, pregnancy, religion, creed, color, race, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, medical condition, physical or mental disability, age, marital status, veteran status, family care leave status, or any other basis described in Pomona College’s Nondiscrimination Policy or otherwise prohibited by state or federal law destroy the foundation for such respect and violate the sense of community vital to the College’s educational enterprise. Sexual misconduct offenses are a form of sexual harassment and are strictly prohibited by the College. Retaliation against a person who reports, complains about, or participates in the investigation of a complaint of discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual misconduct is likewise prohibited.

 

This policy strictly prohibits discrimination against, or the harassment of, any individual at the College or at College activities occurring away from campus, including but not limited to all individuals regularly or temporarily employed, studying, or with an official capacity at Pomona College (such as Trustees, guest lecturers, volunteers, and contractors). Persons violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge from employment or expulsion from the College.

 

It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff and students at the College to ensure compliance with this policy. Accordingly, faculty, staff or students who believe they are being harassed or discriminated against, have observed harassment of, or discrimination against, another person at the College in violation of this policy, or believe such conduct has occurred, should immediately report the incident following the complaint reporting procedures below.

 

Because harassment and discrimination can also constitute violations of federal and state law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and/or Section 12940 of the State of California Government Code), individuals who feel that they have been subjected to harassment or discrimination may, in addition to notifying the College by using the complaint reporting procedures below, file a complaint with the appropriate state or federal agencies. Such complaints may be filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the comparable federal agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Complaints may also be filed with the federal government’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR).

 

As an educational institution, Pomona College is committed to the principle of free expression and the exploration of ideas in an atmosphere of civility and mutual respect. Thus, in keeping with the principles of academic freedom, there can be no forbidden ideas.

 Pomona College also recognizes that the educational process can often be disturbing and unsettling, particularly when one’s current ideas or values are being challenged.  This means that the learning, working, and living environments might not always be comfortable for all members of the college community. The College does not proscribe speech simply because it is offensive, even gravely so. In determining whether an act constitutes discrimination or harassment, the context must be carefully reviewed and full consideration must be given to protection of individual rights, freedom of speech, and academic freedom.

 

In addition, consistent with California Education Code Section 94367, the definition of harassment contained in this policy and its application to student speech shall be subject to the limitations of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 2 of the California Constitution.

 

Civil Rights Related Policies

Statement of Non-Discrimination, Equal Opportunity, and Related Laws

Pomona College does not discriminate on any illegal basis in the administration of its admission, educational, or employment policies and practices, nor in the recruitment, training, promotion, financial support, or compensation of its faculty, students, or staff. The College complies with all applicable state and federal laws, including, but not limited to:

A.            Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972;

B.             Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;

C.             California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”);

D.            California Unruh Civil Rights Act;

E.             Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974;

F.             Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;

G.            Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”);

H.            Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended by the Older Worker’s Benefit Protection Act (“ADEA”);

I.              Any other applicable federal, state, or local law addressing nondiscrimination and/or equal employment opportunity.

 

Inquiries concerning the application of these laws to this institution should be referred to the Title IX Coordinator or the Director of Human Resources. 

For specific inquiries concerning potential accommodations of disabilities, pursuant to the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and/or the FEHA, please contact Jan Collins-Eaglin, the College’s Disability Coordinator, the Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Learning  (Alexander Hall, room 102, 909-607-2147 ).

 

Equal Employment Opportunity

Pomona College prides itself in being an open, competitive, and equal opportunity employer. The College is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees and complies with all applicable state and federal laws on the matter. The College does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, family care leave status, veteran’s status, or any other category described in Pomona College’s Nondiscrimination Policy or protected by law. The College also prohibits the harassment of any employee on any of these bases. The College also makes reasonable accommodations for disabled employees. This policy applies to all areas of employment including recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfer, and social and recreational programs. It is the responsibility of every manager and employee to follow this policy conscientiously. Employees with questions regarding this policy should discuss them with the Director of Human Resources or their supervisor.

 

Harassment Policy

A.    It is the policy of Pomona College to maintain an environment for students, faculty, and staff that is free of sexual, racial and other unlawful harassment. All members of the community should be aware that the College is concerned about such harassment, and is prepared to take prompt remedial action to prevent and correct such behavior. Individuals who engage in sexual harassment (which includes harassment based on gender, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), as well as other unlawful harassment based on such factors as religion, color, race, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, physical or mental disability, age, marital status, family care leave status, or veteran status, will be subject to discipline, up to and including expulsion or termination. Retaliation against a person who reports, complains about, or participates in the investigation of such harassment is likewise prohibited.

 

B.     Unlawful Harassment Defined

1.     Unlawful Harassment in General

Unlawful harassment is conduct that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile working or academic environment, or that interferes with work or academic performance based on a person’s protected status, including race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex (which includes harassment based on gender, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, family care leave status, or other status protected by antidiscrimination and anti-harassment statutes, such as Titles VII or IX of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Such harassment can be physical, verbal, or visual. Harassment can be committed by employers, coworkers, fellow students, and third parties. Generally, statements and/or conduct legitimately and reasonably related to the College’s mission of education do not constitute harassment.  

To count as harassment under this policy, such conduct must:

  • be based upon one or more of the categories mentioned above;
  • be offensive to the individual complaining of harassment and offensive to a reasonable person; and
  • be so persistent, repetitive, pervasive, or severe that it has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, abusive or hostile educational, employment or living environment at the College. 

Harassment may also occur when submission to conduct described above is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment at the College, or participation in a College activity.

2.     Sexual Harassment

One form of unlawful harassment is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment may be either “quid pro quo” harassment, that is sexual advances or requests for sexual favors where submission is made an explicit or implicit term or condition of an individual’s employment or education or where submission or rejection is used as the basis for making employment or educational decisions affecting an individual; or “environmental ” harassment, where the individual is subjected to a hostile or intimidating environment, in which verbal or physical conduct, because of its severity and/or persistence, is likely to interfere with an individual’s work or education, or to affect adversely an individual’s living conditions. Occasional compliments that are generally accepted as not offensive or other generally accepted social behavior, on the other hand, do not constitute sexual harassment.

Examples of sexual harassment may include such conduct as:

a.     Physical assault or other unwelcome touching;

b.     Direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of employment, work status, promotion, grades, or letters of recommendations;

c.     Direct propositions of a sexual nature;

d.     Subtle pressure for sexual activity, an element of which may be repeated requests for private meetings without an academic and employment purpose;

e.     A pattern of conduct that would discomfort or humiliate, or both, a reasonable person at whom the conduct was directed that includes one or more of the following: (1) unnecessary  touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person’s body; (2) remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing or body, whether or not intended to be complimentary; (3) remarks about sexual activity or speculations about previous sexual experience; or (4) other comments of a sexual nature, including sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes or anecdotes;

f.      Certain visual displays of sexually-oriented images outside the educational context;

g.     Letters, notes or electronic mail containing comments, words or images as described in (e) above.

Sexual harassment includes harassment of women by men, of men by women, and same gender gender-based harassment. Sexual misconduct offenses are specific forms of sexual harassment and are strictly prohibited by the College. Due to the unique nature of sexual misconduct the College has a separate Sexual Misconduct Policy which is outlined below.

 

Sexual Misconduct Policy

 

A.    The expectations of our community regarding sexual consent can be summarized as follows: In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. Consent is sexual permission.  

Sexual misconduct is a specific form of sexual harassment and is prohibited by the College. Sexual misconduct is defined as: 

1.     NonConsensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)

Non‐Consensual Sexual Contact is:

  • any intentional sexual touching,

  • however slight,

  • with any object,

  • by a person upon a person,

  • that is without consent and/or by force.*

Sexual contact includes: Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice

*The use of force is not “worse” than the subjective experience of violation of someone who has sex without consent. However, the use of physical force constitutes a stand‐alone non‐sexual offense and in cases involving force the Respondent will face additional charges for the assaultive behavior.

 

2.     NonConsensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)

Non‐Consensual Sexual Intercourse is:

  • any sexual intercourse however slight,

  • with any object,

  • by a person upon a person,

  • that is without consent and/or by force.

Intercourse includes: vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

 

3.    Other Conduct when Gender-Based: The following alleged conduct will be addressed through the Grievance Procedures outlined in this Guide when the conduct is gender-based.

 

a.     Dating violence (as defined by the Violence Against Women Act) is violence committed by a person

 

i. who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and

ii. where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of (1) the length of the relationship, (2) the type of the relationship, and (3) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship

 

b.     Domestic violence (as defined by the Violence Against Women Act)  is the use of physical, sexual or emotional abuse or threats to control another person who is a current or former spouse or other intimate partnerIt includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse 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, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or 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.

c.     Stalking as defined by the College Stalking Policy found in Article III, number 18 of the College’s Student Codeand Appendix A of this Guide.

d.     Hazing as defined by in the College Hazing Policy found in Article III, number 5 of the College’s Student Code and Appendix B of this Guide.

4.     Sexual Exploitation: Sexual Exploitation is a form of sexual misconduct which occurs when a person takes non‐consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

a.     Invasion of sexual privacy;

b.     Prostituting another person;

c.     Non‐consensual video or audio‐taping of sexual activity;

d.     Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);

e.     Engaging in voyeurism;

f.      knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection, a sexually transmitted disease, or HIV to another person;

g.     Exposing one’s genitals in non‐consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;

h.     Sexually‐based stalking

5.     Sexual Assault: “Sexual assault” (as defined by the Violence Against Women Act) means an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Generally, a sexual assault has been committed when an individual engages in sexual activity without the explicit consent of the other individual involved. Sexual activity is any touching of a sexual or other intimate part of a person for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party.  This includes coerced touching of the actor by the victim as well as the touching of the victim by the actor, whether directly or through clothing.

 

B.     Consent: Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable and clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity. In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age and have the capacity to give consent. The legal age of consent in the state of California is 18 years.

1.     Consent to any one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to any other form(s) of sexual activity.

2.     A previous relationship or prior consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts.

3.     Consent can be withdrawn. Thus, even if a person agreed to sexual interaction or continued sexual interaction, that person has the right to change their mind, irrespective of how much sexual interaction may have already taken place.

4.     Force and Coercion: Consent obtained through force is not consent. Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force includes the use of threats, intimidation (implied threats) and/or coercion to produce consent. Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you. Okay, don’t hit me; I’ll do what you want.”). Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure used to get consent. When someone makes it clear that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.

NOTE: There is no requirement that a party resists a sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non‐consent. The presence of force, however, is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance.

5.     Capacity/Incapacitation: Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction). Sexual activity with someone who one should have known to be ‐‐ or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be ‐‐ mentally or physically incapacitated (i.e. by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness, asleep, or blacked out), constitutes a violation of this policy.

a.     Incapacitation due to alcohol or other drugs: Because alcohol or other drug use can place an individual’s capacity to consent in question, sober sex is less likely to raise such questions. Being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs does not in and of itself indicate incapacitation. When alcohol or other drugs, including date rape drugs (such as Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, etc.), are involved, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (the who, what, when, where, why, or how) because they lack the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Administering a date rape drug to another individual is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at http://www.911rape.org/.

b.     Incapacitation due to other reasons: This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental or physical disabilities, sleep, unconsciousness, orinvoluntary physical restraint.

 

Retaliation Policy

Any attempt by a student, faculty, or staff member to penalize, intimidate, or retaliate in any way against a person who makes a report of or who is otherwise involved in reporting, an investigation of, or a hearing for alleged violations of the College’s discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct policies, is prohibited. Persons who believe that they have been retaliated against for making a complaint/report or for cooperating in an investigation or hearing should immediately contact the Title IX Coordinator. Any person who retaliates against a person who has cooperated in an investigation and/or hearing is in violation of College policy and will be subject to disciplinary action.

 

False Reporting Policy

It is a violation of College policy to file a knowingly false or malicious complaint of alleged discrimination, harassment and/or sexual misconduct. A complaint against such conduct may be pursued using the steps followed for discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct related complaints as outlined in this Guide. A complaint filed in good faith under this provision shall not constitute retaliation.

 

Grievance Procedures

 

Introduction

These grievance procedures have been adopted by the College to provide a prompt and equitable method for reporting, investigating, and resolving complaints of alleged violations of the College’s discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct policies when they involve Pomona College faculty, staff, students, and/or third parties.

Anyone who believes they have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual misconduct is encouraged to report such conduct pursuant to the procedures set forth below. The College is obligated to act on any report of alleged discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct and will do so pursuant to these grievance procedures. Any College official (e.g., faculty member, administrative staff members, coaches, resident assistant, etc.) who receives information of an alleged discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual misconduct is expected to file a report with one of the College representatives set forth below.

Reporting an Alleged Violation

A.    Reporting to the College

1.     Individuals who believe that they have been the subject of or have witnessed alleged discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual misconduct are encouraged to contact the appropriate College representative listed below. A report may be made to anyone of the individuals listed regardless if you are a student, faculty member, staff member, or third party. Under no circumstances is an individual required to report discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual misconduct to a supervisor or academic instructor who is the alleged perpetrator.

 

For reports or complaints against a student, contact:

Jan Collins-Eaglin

Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Learning, & Grievance Officer

909-621-8017

E-mail: jan.collins-eaglin@pomona.edu

 

Ricardo Townes, Dean of Campus Life and Grievance Officer

909-607-2239

E-mail: ric.townes@pomona.edu

 

On-Call Dean: students can  always reach an on-call dean 24 hours a day by calling Campus Safety (909-607-2000) and having the on-call dean paged. 

 

For reports or complaints against a faculty member, contact: 

Joseph Jeon, Faculty, English Department & Grievance Officer

909-621-8124

E-mail: joseph.jeon@pomona.edu

 

Nicole Weekes, Associate Dean of the College & Grievance Officer

909-621-8137

E-mail: nicole.weekes@pomona.edu

 

For reports or complaints against a staff member or third party, contact:

Brenda Rushforth, Assistant Vice President & Director of Human Resources & Grievance Officer

909-621-8175

E-mail: brenda.rushforth@pomona.edu

 

The College encourages any member of the College community who experiences any form of violence to immediately contact the Claremont Police Department (“CPD”)  by contacting Campus Safety (909-607-2000) if they are on campus or by dialing 911 if they are off campus.

Upon receipt of a report, the College will activate these grievance procedures. Prompt reporting is encouraged, because facts often become more difficult to establish as times passes. However, the College will investigate and take appropriate action in response to all reports regardless of when the alleged conduct occurred. The ability of the College to respond to the conduct is limited if the Respondent is no longer a member of the College community. If a College staff member, faculty member or student leaves the College with a pending complaint against them they will not be permitted to return to the College until the case is resolved through these grievance procedures.

 

2.     Confidentiality of Reports to the College

The College will make all reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of the parties involved in an investigation and/or hearing for a complaint as well as the confidentiality of the details of an investigation, any hearing, and except where permitted by law, the sanctions imposed. The College will inform all individuals involved in the grievance process of the critical importance and expectation that they maintain the confidentiality of the process and any information shared with them as a result of their participation. Complainants and Respondents are not prohibited from sharing details of complaints with family, counsel, or a support person/advisor as defined in paragraph IV.D., below.

If at any point the Complainant requests confidentiality with respect to the Respondent and/or decides not to pursue action by the College, the College will make all reasonable attempts to comply with this request. A Complainant is the student, faculty, or staff member who files a report on their own behalf or the person on whose behalf a report is filed by a third party.  In these situations, the College’s ability to investigate and respond to the conduct may be limited. The College is required to weigh the Complainant’s request for confidentiality with the College’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment. If the College cannot maintain a Complainant’s confidentiality, the Complainant will be notified by the Title IX Coordinator.

 

3.     Confidential Resources at the College and in the Community

An individual who wishes for the details of the incident to remain completely confidential may speak with certain College officials who, by law, may maintain confidentiality and may not disclose the details of an incident. These officials include:

 

Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services staff

Tranquada Student Services Center, 1st floor

757 College Way

909-621-8202, 909-607-2000 (after-hours emergency)

 

Student Health Services staff

Tranquada Student Services Center, 1st floor

757 College Way

909-621-8222, 909-607-2000 (after-hours emergency)

 

Members of the clergy including the McAlister Center chaplains.

McAlister Center for Religious Activities

919 North Columbia Avenue

909-621-8685

 

Pomona College Ombuds: Conchita Serri

Campus Email: conchita.serri@pomona.edu

Private/Secure Email: PomonaCollegeOmbuds@hotmail.com

Phone: 909.621.2328

        

In addition, the student Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault, 909-607-1778, are available to assist students who have experienced sexual misconduct, including sexual assault. The Advocates can be contacted at any stage of the processes discussed herein.

Individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct, including sexual assault may also seek confidential support from a local or national rape crisis hotline, including:

 

Project Sister Sexual Assault 24/7 Crisis Hotline (Claremont, CA):

800-656-4673

909-626-HELP (909-626-4357)

 

National Sexual Assault 24/7 Crisis Hotline (RAINN):

800-656-HOPE

 

B.     Reporting Options Outside of the College: State and Federal Enforcement Agencies and the Claremont Police Department

1.     These grievance procedures are administrative in nature and are separate and distinct from the criminal and civil legal systems. Pursuing resolution through these procedures does not preclude someone from pursuing legal action now or in the future.

2. Reporting Potential Criminal Violations to Claremont Police Department (“CPD”): In cases involving potential criminal misconduct, individuals are encouraged to file a report with the CPD. The College’s grievance procedures and the legal system work independently from one another and the College will proceed with its process, regardless of action or inaction by outside authorities. Decisions made or sanctions imposed through these grievance procedures are not subject to change because criminal or civil charges arising from the same conduct are dismissed, reduced, or rejected in favor of or against the Respondent.

3. Reporting to State and Federal Enforcement Agencies: In addition to the College’s internal remedies, employees and students should also be aware that the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) investigate and prosecute complaints of prohibited harassment and discrimination in employment. These agencies may be contacted at the addresses listed below:

 

EEOC Los Angeles District Office

255 East Temple Street, 4th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 894-1000

 

DFEH Los Angeles Office

611 W. Sixth Street, Suite 1500

Los Angeles, CA 90017

(213) 439-6799

 

Students also have the right to file a formal complaint with the United States Department Education:

 

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-1100

Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481

Facsimile: (202) 453-6012

TDD#: (877) 521-2172

Email: OCR@ed.gov

Web:  http://www.ed.gov/ocr

 

Truthfulness

All participants in an investigation and/or hearing are expected to cooperate fully and provide the truth in all meetings and/or hearings related to these grievance procedures. Individuals may be hesitant to report conduct which they have experienced or witnessed or participate in an investigation and/or hearing because they fear that they themselves may be charged with a policy violation, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident. To encourage truthfulness and reporting, the College pursues a policy of offering Complainants and witnesses limited immunity from being charged for policy violations related to an alleged incident (such as policies prohibiting the use of alcohol or drugs) which is reported in good faith. While violations cannot be completely overlooked, the College will provide educational rather than punitive responses, in such cases.

 

Investigation Procedures

A.   Complaints Involving Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, including Sexual Assault: 

1.             The Title IX Coordinator will be advised of reports or complaints of alleged sexual misconduct received pursuant to Section II of these procedures. The Title IX Coordinator will select two investigators from a pool of trained investigators.   The investigators (collectively the “Investigators”) will meet with the Complainant to review the complaint, related policies, and these grievance procedures.  The Investigators will also identify support resources and interventions or interim measures available to the Complainant.

 

2.             If the Complainant requests confidentiality or requests that the complaint not be pursued, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality. However, such a request for confidentiality may limit the College’s ability to respond to the complaint. The College may also weigh the Complainant’s request for confidentiality against such factors as the seriousness of the alleged conduct, whether there have been other complaints of a similar nature against the same individual, the Respondent’s rights to receive information about allegations if the information is maintained by the school as an “education record” under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), and other factors otherwise required by applicable law.

 

3.             Every complaint alleging sexual misconduct will be investigated promptly and thoroughly.  In conducting an investigation, the Investigators will be sensitive to the possibility of retaliation by the Respondent as the result of the initiation of an investigation. The Investigators will conduct interviews as needed with all appropriate individuals, including the Complainant and Respondent, and will gather any pertinent evidentiary materials.

 

4.             After concluding their investigation, the Investigators will draft an Investigation Report summarizing witnesses interviewed, evidentiary materials gathered, and conclusions concerning any violations of College policy. The Investigators will normally complete their investigation within 45 calendar days, except in instances where there are a great deal of witnesses, the investigation commences in close proximity to a holiday, break, or the end of an academic term, or other circumstances compel a longer timeframe for the investigation.

 

5.             The Investigators will then provide their report to the Title IX Coordinator who will review the Investigators’ report. The Title IX Coordinator may refer back to the Investigators any questions that the Coordinator has concerning the report’s contents or conclusions. After the Investigators successfully answer or resolve the Title IX Coordinator’s questions or concerns, or if the Title IX Coordinator agrees with the Investigators’ conclusions, the Title IX Coordinator will: (1) prepare a Statement of Alleged Policy Violations which will summarize why the College believes it is more likely than not that the alleged conduct did occur and the Respondent is responsible for violating College policy; or (2) will prepare a Results Notification Memorandum which will summarize why the College believes it is more likely than not that the alleged conduct did not occur and the Respondent is not responsible for violating College policy.  

 

6.             The Title IX Coordinator will then meet with the Complainant and Respondent, separately, to discuss the content of the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations or the Results Notification Memorandum and to provide them with copies of the document along with copies of the Investigators’ report. To protect the integrity of the investigation and hearing process, these documents should be kept confidential by the parties involved and not shared with witnesses or persons not involved in the matter.  However, complainants and respondents are not prohibited from sharing these documents with family, counsel, or a support person/advisor as defined in paragraph IV.D., below. Neither the Complainant nor the Respondent are required to meet with the Title IX Coordinator, and may decline to do so.  

 

7.             Both parties will be provided the opportunity to respond, in writing, to the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations or the Results Notification Memorandum. The parties will have five school days (or five business days for Faculty and Staff) after meeting with the Title IX Coordinator to prepare this written response, which should be provided to the Title IX Coordinator. This five day period may be extended if the meeting occurs in close proximity to a holiday, break, or the end of an academic term, or if exigent circumstances interfere with a party’s ability to complete their response.

 

8.             After the applicable five school day/business day period has passed, if the Respondent does not take responsibility for the conduct alleged in the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations, the Title IX Coordinator will forward the document, the Complainant and/or the Respondent’s response(s), if any, and the Investigators’ report and supporting evidence directly to the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board, discussed in Section V.A., below. If the Respondent takes responsibility, then the Title IX Coordinator will forward the document and a recommended sanction to the appropriate Vice President for a determination of sanctions. Furthermore, any written response to the Results Notification Memorandum will be forwarded to the appropriate Vice President for review. The Title IX Coordinator shall also receive a copy of any such response.

 

B.     Complaints Involving Discrimination/Harassment and No Allegations of Sexual Misconduct: 

 

1.             Upon receipt of a complaint, the Grievance Officer will consult with the Complainant.  The Grievance Officer will obtain consent from the Complainant before beginning an investigation. The Title IX Coordinator shall also be advised of any complaints alleging sex-based discrimination or harassment.

 

2.             If the Complainant requests confidentiality or requests that the complaint not be pursued, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality. However, such a request for confidentiality may limit the College’s ability to respond to the complaint. The College may also weigh the Complainant’s request for confidentiality against such factors as the seriousness of the alleged conduct, whether there have been other complaints of a similar nature against the same individual, the Respondent’s rights to receive information about allegations if the information is maintained by the school as an “education record” under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), and other factors otherwise required by applicable law.

 

3.             The Grievance Officer may, after speaking with Complainant, determine that the conduct complained about clearly does not constitute harassment or discrimination and so inform the Complainant. The Grievance Officer may also determine that although the conduct does not constitute harassment or discrimination, if left unchecked it could develop into harassment or discrimination.  In this case the Grievance Officer will speak with the individual(s) engaging in this conduct and/or take other steps to prevent such harassment or discrimination from occurring.

 

4.             Every complaint will be investigated, including any alleged instances of retaliation, intentional false claims, or breaches of confidentiality.  The Grievance Officer may investigate the conduct or, at their discretion, appoint an investigator to conduct the investigation. In conducting an investigation, the Grievance Officer or other investigator will be sensitive to the possibility of retaliation by the Respondent as the result of the initiation of an investigation. 

 

5.             As part of the investigation process, the Grievance Officer or other investigator may ask, but not require, the Complainant to submit a signed, written statement concerning the allegations. This statement should contain all relevant details, such as the names of the people involved, the names of any witnesses, and the times and locations of the alleged harassing behavior.   

 

6.             The Grievance Officer or investigator will conduct interviews as needed with all appropriate individuals, including the Complainant and Respondent, and will gather any pertinent evidentiary materials. The Grievance Officer or other investigator will normally complete their investigation within 45 calendar days, except in instances where there are a great deal of witnesses, the investigation commences in close proximity to a holiday, break, or the end of an academic term, or other circumstances compel a longer timeframe for the investigation.

 

7.             Upon completion of an investigation, the Grievance Officer or Investigator will prepare an Investigator’s report and if the Grievance Officer or Investigator finds that it is more likely than not that the alleged conduct did occur and the Respondent is responsible for violating College policy, the Grievance Officer or Investigator will prepare a Statement of Alleged Policy Violations. This statement should contain the relevant available details, such as the names of the people involved, the names of any witnesses, the times and locations of the alleged misconduct, and a summary of alleged  Discrimination and Harassment policy violations and circumstances that necessitate a hearing before the Harassment and Discrimination Grievance Committee (HDGC).  If a Statement of Alleged Policy Violations is prepared, the Grievance Officer or Investigator will furnish a copy to the Complainant and the Respondent and with the Investigators’ report. The Complaint and/or Respondent will normally have five school days (or five business days for Faculty or Staff) from the date the charges are sent to respond, either orally or in writing.  The written complaint and/or response are not a required component of an investigation, and there will be no adverse consequence for anyone who declines to submit a complaint or response in writing.

 

8.             If the Grievance Officer or Investigator finds that it is more likely than not that the alleged conduct did not occur and the Respondent is not responsible for violating College policy, the Grievance Officer or Investigator  will prepare a Results Notification Memorandum and the Investigator’s report  instead of a Statement of Alleged Policy Violations. The Grievance Officer or Investigator will then meet with the Complainant and Respondent, separately, to discuss the content of the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations or the Results Notification Memorandum and to provide them with copies of the document along with copies of the Investigator’s report.  The Complaint and/or Respondent will normally have five school days (or five business days for Faculty or Staff) from the date the Results Notification Memorandum is sent to respond, either orally or in writing.  This five day period may be extended if the meeting occurs in close proximity to a holiday, break, or the end of an academic term, or if exigent circumstances interfere with a party’s ability to complete their response. The written response is not a required component of an investigation, and there will be no adverse consequence for anyone who declines to submit a complaint or response in writing. Any written response to the Results Notification Memorandum will be forwarded to the appropriate Vice President for review. The Title IX Coordinator shall also receive a copy of any such response concerning a sexual discrimination and/or harassment case.

 

9.             To protect the integrity of the investigation and hearing process, the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations, Results Notification Memorandum, the Investigator’s report and/or the responses of the parties should be kept confidential by the parties involved and not shared with witnesses or persons not involved in the matter.  However, Complainants and Respondents are not prohibited from sharing these documents with family, counsel, a support person/advisor as defined in paragraph IV.D., below. Neither the Complainant nor the Respondent are required to meet with the Grievance Officer or Investigator at the conclusion of the investigation, and may decline to do so.

 

10.          In cases where, after investigations, the Grievance Officer determines that there are no material disputes (e.g., where the allegations do not constitute a violation of the policy or where the Respondent admits the allegations), or if the Respondent takes responsibility for the alleged conduct, the Grievance Officer will prepare a final report and, if a violation of this policy is found, submit the report in the form of a recommendation to the appropriate Vice President for further action without the need for a hearing.

 

11.          In all cases where informal resolution attempts are not made or have failed (pursuant to Section X.B. below concerning mediation), and where there are disputes to resolve, the Grievance Officer will send the case to a formal hearing.  The procedure for formal hearings will normally be completed within three months of receipt of the Complainant’s written statement or a written statement by the Grievance Officer, although the process may sometimes take longer.

 

C.     Interim Measures: The College may take whatever measures deemed necessary in response to an allegation in order to protect an individual’s rights and personal safety and the safety of the College community. Such measures include, but are not limited to, an interim suspension (immediate, temporary suspension pending the outcome of grievance process), a no contact order (an order that an individual refrain from direct or indirect contact with another person or persons), restrictions on access to campus or areas of campus, and/or appropriate changes in academic schedule. Interim measures may include reporting the matter to the local police. Failure by the Respondent to adhere to the parameters of any interim measure is a violation of College policy and may lead to additional disciplinary action.

 

Such interim measures may be imposed:

 

        1.          In instances where it is determined that the Respondent poses a potential threat to another;

        2.          To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the college community and/or preservation of College property; 

        3.          To ensure the Respondent’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or

        4.          If the Respondent poses a threat of disruption or interference with the normal operations of the College.

 

D.    Support Person/Advisor: The Complainant and Respondent may each have a support person present with them at all meetings and any hearing associated with a complaint and in which the respective individual is participating. The support person must be a current member of the Claremont Colleges community and shall not have involvement in the underlying case. The support person may attend, but shall not participate in, meetings or the hearing. Because this is an administrative process, legal counsel will not be permitted, except when required by applicable law. In such cases an attorney will only be permitted in a non-participatory advisory role for the Complainant and/or Respondent at that individual’s expense.

 

Hearing Procedures

A. Hearings Before The Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board

1.             The Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board shall be a separate body from the Judicial Council, and shall hear all cases concerning claims of sexual misconduct, as described in this document. That panel shall consist of three members of the investigator pool that has been pre-selected by the Title IX Coordinator and who were not involved in the investigation of Complainant’s claims. A student Complainant and/or Respondent may request that a student be placed on the panel, however, the other party must also agree to have a student on the panel. Any student members of the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board panel shall be either one of the Judiciary Chairs or the Associate Judiciary Chairs.   A Grievance Officer not involved in the initial investigation shall chair hearings before the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board, but shall not vote. The Title IX Coordinator will serve as a non-voting advisor to the Chair.

 

2.             The Title IX Coordinator will refer the written complaint, if any, the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations, the investigation report, and the response, if any, to a panel of the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board and will notify the President and appropriate Vice President that a formal hearing has been initiated. Selection of the panel will normally commence within one week of receiving the response (or expiration of the five school/business day response period) or sooner if the response is already on file. The Complainant and Respondent will be informed of the composition of the panel and have the opportunity to request and/or challenge the student member (as discussed above). The Complainant and Respondent may also indicate at this point if they think any members of the panel have a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest occurs where an individual’s personal objectives or interests are at odds with their judicial responsibilities. For example, if a member has also served as an advisor for a party to a complaint or has a close personal relationship with one of the parties, there may be a conflict of interest. The Chair will make the final determination as to whether or not such a conflict of interest exists, and may consult with the Title IX Coordinator in making its determination. Individuals removed from the panel as a result of a challenge based on an allegation of a conflict of interest will be replaced by another member of the investigator pool by the Title IX Coordinator. Normally, within one week of their selection, the members of the Board panel will meet to discuss the complaint, the response (if any), the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations, and the investigation report.

 

3.             In cases before the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board, the evidentiary standard of preponderance of evidence will be used for the sexual misconduct related violations.

 

4.             In cases involving complaints against students where related complaints are submitted to the Title IX Coordinator and the Office of Student Affairs pursuant to the Student Code, the investigation and/or hearing of both the sexual misconduct complaint and the Student Code violation(s) will be decided by the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board, as discussed herein. 

 

5.             Complaints against faculty or staff concerning allegations of sexual misconduct will be resolved exclusively by the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board. The results of the investigation and/or hearing of the sexual misconduct complaints shall be binding on any further proceedings before any Faculty or Staff committees, boards, or other bodies.

 

6.             The panel will conduct a prompt, thorough, and unbiased hearing.  It will invite the Complainant and Respondent to appear before it, and will hear and question witnesses, if there are any.  The Complainant and Respondent may be present at the hearing if they choose or they may choose to participate in the hearing by phone.  However, neither party shall be allowed to directly question or cross-examine the other during the hearing. Questions may be submitted to the Chair by both parties, who will then decide whether those questions are relevant to the matter and in compliance with Title IX requirements. Further, the Complainant shall be offered the opportunity to participate in the hearing without being in the presence of the Respondent, or accommodations can be made so the complainant may participate in the hearing without facing the respondent. The panel will conduct a hearing and will review whatever information it deems necessary to assist it in reaching a determination as to the merits of the charge, including information obtained by the Investigators during the investigation.  Both parties may provide, for the Chair’s consideration, the names of any witnesses they suggest be called. 

 

7.             If the panel determines that “new” evidence that did not come to light during the investigation has been presented during the hearing, the panel may adjourn the hearing for a period that the panel deems appropriate to enable the Complainant and/or Respondent to respond to such evidence.  Evidence is considered “new” only if the panel believes the evidence is relevant and important and could not with a reasonable effort have been discovered earlier by the party. 

 

8.             The panel will base its determination whether behavior constitutes sexual misconduct under this policy on the evidence presented.

 

9.             The hearings will be closed, except to the principals, and the attendance of lawyers will not be permitted.  Each principal may have an advisor/support person from within the Claremont Colleges community, approved by the panel, at the hearing.  The advisor may consult with the party but may not address the hearing panel.  Once the hearings have ended and the process of deliberation has begun, meetings of the panel will be closed to all but panel members and the Title IX Coordinator.   All proceedings will be confidential and will not be discussed outside the process.  Any witnesses and advisors must keep the hearing proceedings strictly confidential.  To protect the integrity of the investigation and hearing process, the parties should also keep the hearing proceedings confidential.  However, Complainants and Respondents are not prohibited from sharing details of the hearing proceedings with family, counsel, advisor/support person, or other advisors of their choosing. The Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board may only find responsibility for claims or pieces of claims that appear on the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations prepared by the Title IX Coordinator.

 

10.          Decisions of the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board will be by majority vote and limited to the issue of whether, in the panel’s judgment, a violation of this policy has occurred.  As soon as a decision on the case is reached, it will be summarized in writing in the form of a recommendation to the appropriate Vice President.  The form and content of the panel’s written decision, which shall contain factual findings and a written summary of the basis for the conclusion, shall be agreed upon and signed by all panel members.  A confidential copy of the panel’s report will be given to the Complainant and the Respondent and will be placed in permanent confidential records in the Office of Student Affairs and available to the Title IX Coordinator, Grievance Officers, and Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board members. The details of the panel’s findings may be limited in the copy of the panel’s report given to Complainant due to Respondent’s FERPA or other applicable privacy rights.

 

11.          The Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board, upon a finding of responsibility, shall recommend a sanction to the appropriate Vice President. The Respondent’s prior conduct record shall be taken into account when recommending a sanction. The appropriate Vice President will have access to the complete record of the case and will determine any sanctions to be imposed or corrective action to be taken.  The appropriate Vice President may consider both the gravity of the offense and prior conduct record in determining sanctions to be imposed on the violator.  The appropriate Vice President will communicate the decision in writing to the Chair, panel, and the parties within two weeks.  The Complainant’s copy of the report of the details of the sanction(s) imposed on Respondent, if any, may be limited in the copy of the panel’s report given to Complainant due to Respondent’s FERPA or other applicable privacy rights. The appropriate Vice President will also enter the decision in the permanent record of an individual found to have violated this policy. The sanction(s) imposed will be implemented immediately and will be in effect pending the outcome of any appeal.

 

12.        A hearing on a complaint of sexual misconduct will normally be held within 60 days of receipt of the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations and investigation report from the two Investigators, and presentation of the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations and the investigation report to Respondent, although the process may sometimes take longer.

 

B.    Hearings Before The Harassment and Discrimination Grievance Committee (HDGC)

 

1.             This procedure for formal resolution will normally be completed within three months of receipt of the Complainant’s written statement by the Grievance Officer or the composition of a written statement by the Grievance Officer in the absence of a written statement by the Complainant, although the process may sometimes take longer.

 

2.             In cases before the HDGC, the evidentiary standard of preponderance of evidence will be used for the Title IX and discrimination or harassment related violations. 

 

3.             In cases where related complaints against students are submitted to the Grievance Officer and the Office of Student Affairs pursuant to the Student Code, the investigation and/or hearing of the harassment or discrimination complaint and the Student Code violation will be decided by the HGDC panel, as discussed herein.  

 

4.             Complaints against faculty or staff concerning allegations of harassment and/or discrimination will be resolved exclusively by the HDGC. In cases where related complaints are submitted to both the Grievance Officer and another appropriate group or committee, pursuant to the Faculty Handbook or other controlling policies or procedures, the investigation and/or hearing of the harassment or discrimination complaint will be completed first in accordance with this policy, and the results shall be binding on any further proceedings.

 

5.             The Grievance Officer will refer the written complaint, the response, if any, the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations, and the investigation report to a panel of the HDGC and will notify the President and the appropriate Vice President that a formal hearing has been initiated. The submission of these documents to the Committee panel constitutes the opening of the formal procedure.  The HDGC Chair will select four members to form a hearing panel in the manner described in the section concerning “Appointment of the Harassment and Discrimination Grievance Committee,” below. Selection will normally be made within one week of receiving the response (or expiration of the five school/business day response period) or sooner if the response is already on file. The panel will be chaired by the Grievance Officer. The Title IX Coordinator will be present to advise the Chair in those cases involving Title IX related violations. The Complainant and Respondent will be informed of the composition of the panel and have the right to one peremptory challenge each. The Complainant and Respondent may also indicate at this point if they think any members of the panel have a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest occurs where an individual’s personal objectives or interests are at odds with their judicial responsibilities. For example, if a member has also served as an advisor for a party to a complaint  or has a close personal relationship or friendship with one of the parties, there may be a conflict of interest. The panel will make the final determination as to whether or not such a conflict of interest exists, and may consult with the Grievance Officer in making its determination. Individuals removed from the panel as a result of these challenges will be replaced according to the procedures outlined in the section concerning “Appointment of the Harassment and Discrimination Grievance Committee,” below.

 

6.             Normally, within one week of their selection, the members of the Committee panel will meet to discuss the complaint and the response. The panel will conduct a prompt, thorough, and unbiased hearing.  It will invite the Complainant and Respondent to appear before it, and will hear and question witnesses, if there are any.  The Complainant and Respondent may be present at the hearing if they choose.  The Complainant and Respondent will not, however, have the opportunity to question each other.  Questions may be submitted to the Chair by both parties, who will then decide whether those questions are relevant to the matter .  The panel will conduct a hearing and will review whatever information it deems necessary to assist it in reaching a determination as to the merits of the charge, including information obtained by the Grievance Officer or Investigator during the investigation.  Both parties may provide, for the panel’s consideration, the names of any witnesses they suggest be called. 

 

7.             If the panel determines that “new” evidence has been presented during the hearing, the panel may adjourn the hearing for a period that the panel deems appropriate to enable the Complainant and/or Respondent to respond to such evidence.  Evidence is considered “new” only if the panel believes the evidence is relevant and important and could not with a reasonable effort have been discovered earlier by the party.  The panel will base its determination whether behavior constitutes discrimination or harassment under the policy on the evidence presented.

 

8.             The hearings will be closed, except to the parties, and the attendance of lawyers will not be permitted.  Each principal may have an advisor/support person from within the College community, approved by the panel, at the hearing.  The advisor/support person may consult with the party but may not address the hearing panel.  Once the hearings have ended and the process of deliberation has begun, meetings of the panel will be closed to all but panel members and the Grievance Officer.   All proceedings will be confidential and will not be discussed outside the process.  Any witnesses and advisors must keep the hearing proceedings strictly confidential.  To protect the integrity of the investigation and hearing process, the parties should also keep the hearing proceedings confidential.  However, Complainants and Respondents are not prohibited from sharing details of the hearing proceedings with family, counsel, advisor/support person, or other advisors of their choosing. The HDGC may only find responsibility for charges or pieces of charges that appear on the statement prepared by the Grievance Officer.  For example, harassment that is not found to be based on discrimination against any group protected by law or policy may result in a finding of responsibility only for general harassment.

 

9.             Decisions of the HDGC will be by majority vote and limited to the issue of whether, in the panel’s judgment, a violation of this policy has occurred. The Grievance Officer shall not vote except in cases of a tie or when the panel is otherwise unable to reach a conclusion.  As soon as a decision on the case is reached, it will be summarized in writing in the form of a recommendation to the appropriate Vice President.  The form and content of the panel’s written decision, which shall contain factual findings and a written summary of the basis for the conclusion, shall be agreed upon and signed by all panel members.  A confidential copy of the panel’s report will be given to the Respondent, and if the Complainant is a student or third party, the Complainant, as well, and will be placed in permanent confidential records of the Grievance Officers. The details of the panel’s findings may be limited in the copy of the panel’s report given to Complainant due to Respondent’s FERPA or other applicable privacy rights.

 

10.           The HDGC, upon a finding of responsibility, shall recommend a sanction to the appropriate Vice President.  The Respondent’s prior conduct record shall be taken into account when recommending a sanction. The Vice President will have access to the complete record of the case and will determine any sanctions to be imposed or corrective action to be taken.  The Vice President may consider both the gravity of the offense and prior conduct record in determining sanctions to be imposed on the violator.  The Vice President will communicate the decision to the Grievance Officer, panel, and the parties within two weeks.  The Complainant’s copy of the report of the details of the sanction(s) imposed on Respondent, if any, may be limited in the copy of the panel’s report given to Complainant due to Respondent’s FERPA or other applicable rights to privacy concerning educational or work records. The appropriate Vice President will also enter the decision in the permanent record of the individual found to have violated this policy.    

 

11.          In cases where a Faculty member contends that a decision of reappointment, promotion, tenure, or dismissal was the result of discriminatory treatment in violation of this policy, and in the event the Committee panel and/or Grievance Officer concludes that there has been a violation, the written report will be submitted to the President in addition to the Vice President. The President shall decide whether to direct a new consideration of the faculty member for reappointment, promotion, tenure, or dismissal, as the case may be, purged of the discriminatory treatment complained of. The President will have access to the complete record of the case and will consider the Grievance Officer’s and/or Committee panel’s report. The President shall inform the Complainant, the members of the Committee panel, and the Grievance Officer of the action or actions taken.

 

12.          Sanctions for a violation of these policies may range from a warning,  expulsion, or termination, as relevant.  Intermediate sanctions may include suspension or required attendance at training courses and seminars, among other things.  In appropriate cases, the appropriate Vice President may temporarily suspend an individual (with or without pay, if the individual is a member of the College’s faculty or staff) accused of violating this policy pending an investigation and/or hearing.  Other interim steps, such as separating the Complainant and Respondent or modifying class or work schedules, may also be employed while the investigation and/or hearing is in progress. The College will also take steps to prevent recurrence of any discrimination or harassing conduct and will also take steps to correct any discriminatory effects on the Complainant(s) or other students, faculty, staff, or contractors, if appropriate. The sanction(s) imposed will be implemented immediately and will be in effect pending the outcome of any appeal.

 

13.          The Harassment and Discrimination Grievance Committee

 

The Harassment and Discrimination Grievance Committee will consist of four faculty members, four staff members, and four student members appointed by the President, with the possibility of reappointment. The College Grievance Officers will receive nominations for members of the Harassment and Discrimination Grievance Committee from the Faculty Executive Committee, the Staff Council, and the Associated Students of Pomona College.

 

At the beginning of each academic year, members of the HDGC will receive education on the grievance procedures as well as problems and issues that arise in discrimination and harassment cases.  The Hearing Chair will select four HGDC members to conduct a hearing under the formal resolution procedures.  The Chair will be sensitive to gender balance in selecting the panel.  Two panelists will be from the Complainant’s constituency group, and two panelists will be from the Respondent’s constituency group. If, for some reason, an individual cannot serve on a panel, e.g. because of peremptory challenge or because the panel determines that one of its members has a conflict of interest, and cannot be replaced from among other members of the HDGC, an alternate will be selected by the Chair from Faculty Grievance Committee, the pool of trained investigators at the College, or the Judiciary Council as appropriate.  After the panel has been selected, the Grievance Officer may indicate any instances where a conflict of interest exists, and an alternate will be appointed as set forth above.

 

14.          Appointment and Duties of a College Grievance Officer

 

Up to two senior administrators from the Office of the Dean of Students and a senior administrator from the Office of Campus Life serve as Grievance Officers for Students Affairs.  In addition, a senior administrator from the Office of the Dean of the College and the Director of Human Resources also serve as College Grievance Officers.  The office responsible for the category of the Respondent (i.e. student, faculty, or staff) normally will be in charge of the investigation. It will be the responsibility of each Grievance Officer to:

 

a)             Administer and conduct discrimination and harassment investigations (not involving allegations of sexual misconduct) pursuant to this policy;

b)            Maintain and monitor confidential records relating to complaints brought under this policy;

c)             Initiate formal or informal resolution procedures as appropriate.

 

The Grievance Officers shall also have the authority to:

 

a)             Coordinate with the other Grievance Officers an on-going, campus-wide educational program designed to help all members of the Pomona College community understand, prevent,

                and combat harassment and discrimination;

b)            Oversee the dissemination of this policy;

c)             Suggest training courses and seminars as part of the informal resolution process;

d)            Initiate follow-up with respect to cases that have been resolved; and

e)            Provide annual reports to the President and to the whole Pomona College community on efforts against harassment and discrimination at the College.

 

Appeal Procedures

A.    From Decisions of the Appropriate Vice President Concerning Cases of Sexual Misconduct

Either the Complainant or Respondent may appeal an adverse ruling of the appropriate Vice President to the President of the College. An appeal is not intended to be a new investigation or a full re-hearing of the complaint. In most cases, an appeal is confined to a review of the written documentation and/or record of the investigation and/or hearing and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal. An appeal is not an opportunity for the President to substitute their judgment for that of the Investigators, the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board, or the appropriate Vice President merely because the President disagrees with the finding and/or sanction(s).  Appeal decisions are to be deferential to the Investigators, the Board, and the Vice Presidents, making changes to the finding only where there is clear error and to the sanction only if there is a compelling justification to do so.

Written notice of intention to appeal and written reasons for the appeal shall be provided within ten school days (ten business days for Faculty or Staff) of the hearing panel’s decision.

The decisions made by an appropriate Vice President and/or the Sexual Assault Hearing Board are generally final. Appeal of the decisions may be made on only two grounds. Either or both may be cited in the appeal.

 

1.             Improper Judicial Procedure. The party may appeal if the procedures outlined in the Discrimination and Harassment policies are violated. The President shall consider:

 

a)             Whether provisions of the policies were violated in such a clear manner as to deny the respondent consideration of their position during the hearing.

b)            Whether the panel, through negligence or lack of impartiality, overlooked or flagrantly ignored information which would have led to a different finding concerning the alleged violation of the Discrimination and Harassment policies.

 

If the President accepts an appeal made on the grounds of improper judicial procedure, the President shall order the creation of a new hearing panel. The President may provide specific directives or explanations for the guidance of the hearing panel.

 

2.             New Evidence.  During the standard hearing process, sufficient time is allowed to gather all available evidence. However, in extraordinary circumstances a party may appeal if new evidence becomes available. The President must consider:

 

a)             Whether the evidence was genuinely unavailable and could not have been made available through the appellant’s diligent efforts at the time of the original hearing; and

b)            Whether the evidence would have led to a different conclusion had it been available.

 

If the President answers in the affirmative to both of these questions, the President will grant the appeal and send the case to a new hearing panel for re-hearing and/or to the appropriate Vice President for reconsideration, and may provide specific directions or explanations for the guidance of the hearing panel and/or the appropriate Vice President.

 

In certain extraordinary circumstances and in consultation with the appropriate Vice President , the Title IX Coordinator may request the President to review a case on the grounds of fairness and precedent. If such an appeal is granted, the case shall be heard by a new hearing panel.

 

Written notice of any appeal decision shall be provided to both parties, the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board panel, the Title IX Coordinator, and the appropriate Vice President, normally within 30 days after the appeal request has been submitted by a party, unless unforeseen events or unusual circumstances compel a longer review period. Any sanctions imposed shall remain in effect while the appeal is being considered. The President’s decisions concerning all appeals are final.

 

All sanctions imposed will be in effect while an appeal is under review.  A request may be made to the President for special consideration in exigent circumstances, but the presumptive stance of Pomona College is that the sanctions will stand. Graduation, study abroad, internships/externships, etc. do NOT in and of themselves constitute exigent circumstances, and students may not be able to participate in those activities during an appeal. In cases where the appeal results in reinstatement to the College or of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the individual to their prior status, recognizing that some opportunities lost may be irretrievable.

 

B.     From Decisions of the Appropriate Vice President Concerning Cases of Harassment or Discrimination

       

Once any case has been resolved, any Respondent sanctioned for a violation of this policy by the formal procedures may appeal the decision to the President of the College.  The Complainant and the Respondent also have the right of appeal to the President in cases where a sanction is not imposed, such as when the Grievance Officer investigating the complaint finds no evidence of discrimination or harassment and issues a Results Notification Memorandum stating same to the parties and the appropriate Vice President.  Any appeal must be filed within five school days (or five business days for Faculty or Staff) of notification of the decision.  The President will have access to the complete record of the case.  The President may reverse or uphold the decision in its entirety or may refer the case back to the Grievance Officer or panel or, if appropriate, to the appropriate Vice President with a request for reconsideration based upon specific objections.  Written notice of any appeal decision shall be provided to both parties, the Grievance Officer or investigator, the Title IX Coordinator, and the appropriate Vice President, normally within 30 days after the appeal request has been submitted by a party, unless unforeseen events or unusual circumstances compel a longer review period.  The Grievance Officer will inform any HDGC members who are still at the College of the appeal decision.  Any sanctions imposed shall remain in effect while the appeal is being considered. The President’s decisions concerning all appeals are final.

 

Record Retention

Records of investigations and hearings are maintained by the College for five (5) years as indicated below.

1.     Students: If the Respondent is a student, the records will be maintained for five (5) years past the student’s graduation or if the student leaves the College before graduation, for five (5) years past their original expected graduation date.

 

2.     Faculty or Staff: If the Respondent is a faculty or staff member, the records will be maintained for five (5) years past the conclusion of the investigation and any hearing, or the end of employment with the College, whichever is later.

 

Special Provisions

A.    Attempted Violations:  In most circumstances, the College will treat attempted conduct as if that conduct had been completed.

 

B.     College as Complainant:  As necessary, the College reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as Complainant, and to initiate grievance proceedings without a formal complaint by the subject of the misconduct.

 

C.    Alcohol and substance use: The use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense for any behavior that violates College policy.

 

D.    Past Sexual History:  The past sexual history of a party will generally not be admissible by the other party in an investigation or hearing unless such information is determined to be highly relevant by the Title IX Coordinator.  If the party believes the past sexual history of the other party is relevant to the investigation and/or hearing they must submit a written request to the Title IX Coordinator explaining the nature of the information and why the information is relevant to the investigation and/or hearing.  The Title IX Coordinator will review the request and render a decision within two (2) business days.

 

E.    Respondent’s Prior Conduct History:  Generally, any previous College policy violation(s) by the Respondent are generally not admissible as information about the present allegation. However, the Title IX Coordinator or Grievance Officer may supply information about previous behavior and/or complaints to the Investigator(s), the HDGC, or the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board if:

 

1.     The Respondent was previously found to be responsible for a similar violation; or

2.     The information indicates a pattern of behavior by the Respondent and substantial conformity with the present allegation.

 

A Respondent’s prior conduct will be taken into consideration by the appropriate Vice President and a panel (when applicable) when determining what sanction(s) to recommend or impose.

 

Rights of Parties Involved in a Proceeding Under These Policies

 

A.    Complainants are afforded the following rights:

1.     To be treated with respect, dignity, and sensitivity throughout the process.

2.     To seek support services from the College, including those provided by Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services.

3.     For student Complainants, to confidentiality and protection under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). For all Complainants, the College will make all reasonable efforts to ensure the preservation of privacy, restricting access to information to those with a legitimate need to know.

4.     To be informed of the College’s policies and grievance procedures related to discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct.

5.     To a prompt and thorough investigation of the allegation(s).

6.     To challenge the appointment of the Investigator or a Board member or request an alternate Vice President if a conflict of interest is present.

7.     To participate or decline to participate in the grievance process related to a discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual misconduct complaint with the understanding that the process may continue without their involvement and that the Investigator and/or Board will determine an outcome with the information available to it.

8.     To appeal the decision made by the Investigator, Title IX Coordinator or Board and sanction(s) determined by the appropriate Vice President.

9.     To be notified, in writing, of the case resolution – including the outcome of any appeal.

10. To report the incident to law enforcement or civil authorities if one wishes to do so.

11. To understand that information collected in this process may/could be subpoenaed for a criminal or civil proceeding.

12. To have a support person/advisor (as defined in paragraph IV.D.).

 

B.     Respondents are afforded the following rights:

1.     To be treated with respect, dignity, and sensitivity throughout the process.

2.     To seek support services through the College, including through Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services.

3.     For student Respondents, to confidentiality and protection under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). For all Respondents, the College will make all reasonable efforts to ensure the preservation of privacy, restricting access to information to those with a legitimate need to know.

4.     To be informed of the College’s policies and grievance procedures related to discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct.

5.     To a prompt and thorough investigation of the allegation(s).

6.     To challenge the appointment of the Investigator, a member of the Board or request an alternate Vice President if a conflict of interest is present.

7.     To participate or decline to participate in the review procedure, with the understanding that the process will continue regardless and the Investigator and/or Board will determine an outcome with the information available to it.

8.     To appeal either the decision or sanctions of the appropriate Vice President.

9.     To be notified, in writing, of the case resolution – including the outcome of the appeal.

10. To understand that information collected in this process may be subpoenaed in criminal or civil proceedings.

11. To have a support person/advisor (as defined in paragraph IV.D.).

 

Alternative Resolution Options

In some circumstances, in addition to the informal resolution procedures discussed above in Section IV.B., the College may choose an alternative form of resolution to the one provided in this Guide.  In these instances, the College will attempt to gain approval from both parties whenever possible. This alternative process will adhere to Title IX standards.

 

A.    Independent Investigation

The College, at the discretion of the President, may conduct an investigation independent of, or in addition to, the procedures provided herein at any time. The investigation may involve complaints or allegations concerning discrimination, harassment and/or sexual misconduct, against the College, or any of their employees or students.

 

B.     Mediation

Mediation is not an option for resolution in cases involving allegations of sexual assault.

 

This informal procedure is intended to resolve actual or perceived instances of harassment and discrimination through agreement and mutual understanding between the parties involved without the need for more formal action by the College.   Informal resolution will normally be completed within four weeks although mediation, if required, may take longer.

 

After the Grievance Officer or other investigator completes an investigation, both parties may agree to attempt an informal resolution of a charge of harassment or discrimination.  If the Grievance Officer determines that such an informal process is appropriate under the facts and circumstances of the case, one or more of the following, or similar, methods may be utilized:

 

(a) A meeting of the Grievance Officer, the Complainant, and the Respondent; and/or

 

(b) A meeting between the Grievance Officer and the Respondent; and/or

 

(c) A recommendation of training courses or seminars for either principal; and/or

 

(d) Referral of the case to a mediator who has both legal and/or personnel relations experience.  The mediator will discuss the issues with both principals and seek appropriate actions by the principals involved to reach an acceptable resolution.

 

At the conclusion of an informal procedure which results in the parties and the Grievance Officer agreeing the charge has been successfully resolved, each party will be asked to sign an acknowledgment that the informal procedure was performed with their agreement and resulted in a resolution of the charge that was satisfactory to her or him.

 

The details of any conditions agreed to by either party (e.g. counseling, the avoidance of a particular behavior) may be included in this agreement.  Signing the acknowledgment form is the final step in the informal resolution process, and is entirely voluntary.  There will be no adverse consequences for anyone who declines to participate in the informal resolution procedure or who participates in an informal resolution procedure and then subsequently declines to sign the acknowledgment of resolution. The signed acknowledgment will be kept in the confidential files of the Office of Student Affairs and available to its Grievance Officers.

If either party declines to sign the acknowledgment, the informal procedure will be deemed unsuccessful.

 

The College’s External Reporting Obligations

A.    The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ( the “Clery Act”)

1.     Statistical Reporting: Certain College officials have a duty to report certain misconduct for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act). All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off‐campus, in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the annual Campus Security Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime, to ensure greater community safety. Mandated federal reporters include: student/conduct affairs, campus law enforcement, local police, coaches, athletic directors, residence life staff, student activities staff, human resources staff, advisors to student organizations and any other official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities. The information to be shared includes the date, the location of the incident (using Clery location categories) and the Clery crime category. This reporting protects the identity of the victim and may be done anonymously.

 

2.     Timely Warning: Complainants should also be aware that College administrators must issue immediate timely warnings for incidents reported to them that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. For purposes of the Timely Warning requirement, the College will not disclose a Complaint’s name. However, the College will provide enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger. The reporters for timely warning purposes are exactly the same as detailed in the paragraph above.

 

B.     FERPA

 

1.     The outcome of a campus hearing is part of the educational record of the Respondent, if they are a student, and the employee record if they are a faculty or staff member. The educational records of students are protected from release under a federal law, FERPA. The College complies with FERPA regulations regarding the privacy of student records and observes the following exceptions to FERPA as mandated by the Clery Act:

 

2.     The Complainant(s) in a non-consensual sexual contact/intercourse incident have the right to be informed of the finding, and sanction(s) of the investigation or hearing, in writing, without condition or limitation.

 

3.     The Complainant(s) in sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, stalking, relationship violence and any other gender-based offense have the right to be informed of the finding, in writing, and to be informed of any sanction(s) that directly relate to them, and to essential facts supporting the outcome when the outcome is “responsible” (and the underlying offense is a crime of violence as defined below and in 34 C.F.R. 99.39) and/or it is equitable to share the essential findings with all parties.(the last sentence of this seems awkward).

 

4.     The Clery Act permits the College to release publicly the name, nature of the violation and the sanction(s) for any student who is found in violation of a College policy that is a “crime of violence,” including: arson, burglary, robbery, criminal homicide, sex offenses, assault, intimidation (which may encompass stalking and/or bullying), hazing, destruction/damage/vandalism of property and kidnapping/abduction. The College will release this information to the Complainant in any of these offenses regardless of the outcome.

 

Policy on Consensual Relationships With Students

(as endorsed by the Faculty and approved by the Board of Trustees, May 2012)

The well-being of the learning and teaching community at Pomona College depends upon the existence of a relationship of trust, respect, and fairness among faculty, staff, and students. Romantic and/or sexual relationships, even if consensual, between faculty members of Pomona College and students of the Claremont Colleges (whether or not faculty currently teach, advise, supervise, coach, or evaluate those students) potentially violate the integrity of the student-teacher relationship, can impair the academic environment through actual or perceived conflicts of interest and bias, and can lead to increased risk of alleged violations of the College’s Harassment and Discrimination Policy. Likewise, staff members at Pomona College are often called upon to advise, supervise, and evaluate students of the Claremont Colleges with respect to students’ personal and academic lives, a relationship in which objectivity and trust are essential.

Accordingly, faculty and staff of Pomona College are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in any romantic and/or sexual relationships with students of the Claremont Colleges unless:

 

(1) the faculty or staff member has disclosed the relationship or potential relationship to (in the case of faculty) the Vice President/Academic Dean of the College and Vice President/Dean of Students or to (in the case of staff) the Vice President/Treasurer and Vice President/Dean of Students at the earliest opportunity (including prior to pursuing or engaging in that relationship if such disclosure is possible); AND

 

(2) the faculty or staff member has demonstrated to those Vice Presidents’ satisfaction that (a) the faculty or staff member is not presently teaching, advising, supervising, coaching, or evaluating the student in any way, (b) the faculty or staff member has never had any such professional responsibility for the student in the past, and (c) there is no reasonable likelihood the faculty or staff member will have any such professional responsibility for the student in the future; AND

 

(3) the faculty or staff member has further demonstrated to those Vice Presidents’ satisfaction that the potential relationship presents no reasonable likelihood, presently or in the future, of adversely affecting the educational environment for this or for any other student, or of creating an appearance of bias, conflict of interest, favoritism, unfair academic advantage or disadvantage, or undue access to or restriction from opportunities at the College.

 

Faculty or staff of Pomona College who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action by the College, up to and including termination of employment. (In the case of faculty, there will be cause for such dismissal if the misconduct is determined to be sufficiently egregious pursuant to the Pomona College Dismissal Policy.) This policy is addressed to consensual relationships and activity only. Any romantic and/or sexual relationship, potential relationship, or activity alleged to be non-consensual is subject to the Harassment and Discrimination Policy and the disciplinary procedures up to and including dismissal under that policy.