Policies and Procedures

Policy

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

Effective
July 18, 2013
Category(ies)
Employment Policies
Governance and Grievance Procedures
Approval(s)
President and Vice Presidents: June 11, 2013 Signature (pdf)
Steward(s)
Vice President for Student Affairs
Related Document(s)
Non-Discrimination Policy and Procedure
Listed as "3.350: Non-Discrimination Policy and Procedure" in Faculty Handbook

I. PURPOSE

The Evergreen State College (TESC or College) is committed to maintaining and strengthening an educational, employment, and living environment founded on civility, mutual respect, and adherence to the law. Sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, which includes sexual violence, are antithetical to these standards and ideals that the College works to foster among students, faculty, staff and visitors. To that end, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and related retaliation are prohibited and will not be tolerated by the College.

While the College’s ultimate goal is to prevent sexual harassment and sexual misconduct through education and the development of a sense of community, it will respond in a prompt and equitable fashion to any allegation of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or related retaliation utilizing the means described in this policy to stop behavior that violates this policy, prevent its recurrence, and resolve complaints.

Anyone who believes that s/he has experienced, witnessed, or has knowledge about an instance of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or related retaliation is encouraged to come forward without delay to request assistance and report the conduct as provided for in this policy. See Section V.

Employees designated as Responsible Employees are required to immediately report, as set forth herein, any information regarding possible violation of this policy. [1] (See Section VII)

II. LEGAL BASIS

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights RCW 49.60 Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and by the Washington State Law Against Discrimination, RCW 49.60. EEOC Guidelines require employers to affirmatively address the issue of sexual harassment and to adopt procedures for the prompt resolution of employee complaints.

Similarly, federal regulations implementing Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, 20 U.S.C. 1681et seq., require educational institutions that receive federal funds to provide a prompt and equitable procedure for resolving complaints of sex discrimination that impair an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from College programs or activities. Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct, as defined in this Policy and the Student Conduct Code are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

III. APPLICATION OF POLICY

This policy applies to all TESC employees (faculty, staff, and student employees), students, volunteers, and other persons who are contractually obligated to comply with the College’s policies, including contractors, vendors, and those engaged to further the interests of the College. This policy applies to all areas of the College’s programs and activities, both on and off premises. Sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is also prohibited under this policy for off-the-job conduct by an employee when the behavior has a reasonable connection to the person’s job performance or the work environment; by students as governed by the Student Conduct Code; and by all other persons noted above when the behavior affects the workplace or the safety of the College community.

Students who violate this policy shall be subject to sanctions, up to and including expulsion, consistent with the procedures for imposing sanctions contained in The Evergreen State College Conduct Code (SCC) WAC 174-123.

Student employees of the college who violate this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action under The Evergreen State College Conduct Code (SCC), WAC 174-123, or under the authority of any applicable policy, or law.

College employees who violate this policy will be subject to discipline consistent with the procedures for imposing such discipline as provided under any applicable law, policy, collective bargaining agreement or contract.

The applicable definitions for sexual harassment and sexual misconduct will be dependent upon the authority for imposing the disciplinary action (i.e., if discipline is imposed under the SCC, the definitions in the SCC shall apply; if discipline is imposed under the authority of a specific law or policy, or under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement or contract, the definitions set forth in this policy shall apply).

To the extent there is any conflict between this policy and the College’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Procedure, the terms of this policy shall control unless expressly stated otherwise.

IV. Definitions

A. Sexual Harassment

“Sexual harassment” is a form of discrimination based on the recipient’s sex that is characterized by:

1. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a person who has authority over the recipient when:

a. Submission to such conduct is made either an implicit or explicit condition of the individual’s employment, living conditions, or ability to participate in or to receive the benefits, services or opportunities of the College; or

b. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is used as the basis for a decision that affects tangible aspects of the individual’s employment, living conditions, or ability to participate in or to receive the benefits, services or opportunities of the College, or

2. Unwelcome language or conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive and could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, living, or learning environment, or that has the purpose or effect of denying or limiting the individual’s ability to participate in or to receive the benefits, services or opportunities of the College.

B. Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct can include any form of an actual or attempted sexual offense as set forth in RCW 9A.44 perpetrated upon a person without that person’s consent including, but not limited to rape, voyeurism and indecent liberties; or any other unwelcome physical contact (e.g., touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, rubbing, or inappropriately brushing up against someone’s body). Photographs, video, or other visual or auditory records of sexual activity made without explicit consent constitutes sexual misconduct, even if the activity documented was consensual. Similarly, sharing such recordings without explicit consent is a form of sexual misconduct.

Consent means that at the time of the activity there are actual words or conduct indicating a voluntary and mutually understandable agreement between the parties to engage in the action(s) or behavior(s). Consent may not be given or granted when one's capacity for effective decision making has been diminished by the use of alcohol or drugs, or a person is unconscious, or is experiencing some other cognitive impairment. Consent is not considered voluntary when obtained through threats, intimidation, or coercion.

Sexual misconduct may constitute both a violation of College policy and criminal activity. Therefore, the College encourages students and employees to promptly report alleged Sexual Misconduct to the College’s Police Services and in the case of individuals identified as responsible employees requires such reporting. Because the standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation of this Policy, the results of any criminal investigation will not be determinative of whether a violation has occurred under either this Policy, any applicable college policy, or the SCC.

C. Retaliation

As set forth in Section X., retaliation is expressly prohibited under this policy. Retaliatory conduct in violation of this policy can include, but is not limited to, intimidation, threats, coercion, or conduct directed against the person making the complaint and/or others supporting or participating in the complaint or investigation process associated with this policy.

V. REPORTING A CONCERN AND/OR FILING A COMPLAINT

Individuals who believe they or someone they know have been subject to sexual harassment or sexual misconduct are urged to speak with Police Services, the Senior Conduct Administrator, the Civil Right’s Officer, or the Title IX Coordinator regarding options for pursuing a complaint and/or available medical, counseling and support resources. In instances involving sexual misconduct reporting promptly to Police Services can expedite an assessment and speedy implementation of measures to address any ongoing threat to the victim or community.

Employees designated as Responsible Employees are required to immediately report, as set forth in Section VII, any information regarding a possible violation of this policy.

A person who has been subjected to sexual harassment or misconduct may elect not to file a complaint, withdraw a complaint, or not participate in an investigation under this policy. However, once the College has notice of a possible violation of this policy, the College will make a good faith effort to take prompt and appropriate steps to determine what occurred, to end the harassment and prevent its recurrence.

Confidential Aid, Advice and Assistance is available through the staff of the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention (OSAP), The Counseling Center, the Health Services Center and/or other off-campus resources. Except in limited circumstances prescribed by law, staff of these College offices can provide confidential counseling, support and referral to any student who has experience sexual assault, harassment or misconduct. Unless a minor or dependent adult is involved, or there is an immediate threat of harm to a student or any other person, staff of these offices are not required to report a client’s experience of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, or sexual misconduct to the police or College officials without the person’s consent. In addition, these staff can refer students to additional off-campus resources for medical treatment and/or confidential assistance.

Staff and faculty may receive similar confidential support and assistance through Safeplace, St. Peter’s Hospital Emergency Room, or the Washington State Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Contact information for these resources is provided in Section XII.

A. When the Alleged Offender is a Student

Anyone wishing to file a complaint or report possible sexual harassment, sexual misconduct (including sexual violence), or related retaliation by a student should immediately contact any, or all, of the following:

Campus Police Services
Seminar Bldg. Rm. 2150
(360) 867-6832
Available 24 hours/7days week

College Senior Conduct Administrator
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Library Bldg., Rm. 3009
(360) 867-5113

College Civil Rights Officer
Human Resource Service Office
Library Bldg., Rm. 3102
(360) 867-5371

Title IX Coordinator
Special Assistant for Diversity Affairs
Office of the President
Library Building, Room 3207
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia WA, 98505
(360) 867-6368

B. When the Alleged Offender is Not a Student

Anyone wishing to file a complaint or report possible sexual harassment, sexual misconduct (including sexual violence), or related retaliation by a person other than a student should contact any, or all, of the following:

Campus Police Services
Seminar Bldg., Rm. 2150
(360) 867-6832
Available 24 hours/7days week

College Civil Rights Officer
Human Resource Service Office
Library Bldg., Rm. 3102
(360) 867-5371

Title IX Coordinator
Special Assistant for Diversity Affairs
Office of the President
Library Building, Room 3207
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia WA, 98505
(360) 867-6368

VI. COLLEGE RESPONSE TO REPORTS AND COMPLAINTS

A. Police Services

Police Services will review the report or complaint and determine whether the alleged behaviors constitute criminal activity. If criminal charges are warranted, Police Services will consult with the appropriate prosecutorial jurisdiction regarding the filing of criminal charges. Police Services will also refer the matter to the Senior Conduct Administrator, or the Civil Rights Officer.

B. The Senior Conduct Administrator or Civil Rights Officer

The Senior Conduct Administrator, the Civil Rights Officer, or their designees, will inform appropriate Title IX Coordinator when a complaint is received, consult with the Title IX Coordinator as needed, and conduct a prompt and impartial investigation of the alleged sexual harassment or misconduct upon receipt of information or a complaint.

VII. COLLEGE PERSONNEL WITH A MANDATORY DUTY TO REPORT SEXUAL ABUSE OR SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

Any member of the College community who has experienced sexual harassment, misconduct or related retaliation, or who has information regarding such an occurrence, is encouraged to immediately report the behavior.

Additionally, the College has designated by position certain employees as “responsible employees” with a mandatory duty to promptly report any information regarding an alleged incident of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or related retaliation. Those designated as responsible employees include, but are not limited, to: supervisors, managers, faculty, academic administrators, and advisors.

A person who is designated a “responsible employee” has a mandatory duty to immediately report any information regarding an alleged incident of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or related retaliation as provided for in Section V of this policy. Information of this kind when possessed by any responsible employee constitutes notice to the College and will lead to an institutional response. Failure to immediately report shall be deemed a violation of this policy.

Guidance in fulfilling the responsible employee’s duties will be made available on the College’s website and through scheduled trainings.

VIII. CONFIDENTIALITY

In responding to reports of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, the College will make reasonable efforts to preserve and respect an individual’s request for confidentiality. The College will evaluate such a request in the context of its legal authority to retain such information in confidence while insuring a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all employees and students. The College will not release information that is prohibited from disclosure under federal or state law.

IX. FALSE CLAIMS

A person who knowingly makes false allegations of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, or who knowingly provides false information in a sexual harassment investigation or proceeding, shall be subject to disciplinary action.

X. RETALIATION

Retaliation towards any individual who reports sexual misconduct or sexual harassment, files a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, cooperates in the investigation of a sexual harassment or sexual misconduct complaint, or hears formal or informal complaints of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is strictly prohibited under this policy. Any student or employee of the College found to have engaged in such behavior shall be subject to disciplinary action.

XI. DISCIPLINARY ACTION

Employees found to have violated this policy shall be subject to the imposition of sanctions up to and including termination of employment, consistent with the procedures for imposing such sanctions as required under applicable laws, and/or any contract or applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Students found to have violated this policy shall be subject to the imposition of sanctions, up to and including expulsion, consistent with the procedures required for imposing such sanction contained in the College’s Student Conduct Code, WAC 174-123.

XII. RESOURCES

Each member of the College community is asked to participate fully in the collective effort to maintain The Evergreen State College’s commitment to prevent and address sexual harassment and sexual misconduct and prevent its reoccurrence whenever possible. Toward that effort, the College provides a number of resources to members of the College community who either believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or retaliation, or who have knowledge that leads them to believe that a member or visitor to our community has been subjected to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or retaliation.

The offices and individuals who help coordinate the College’s response to these concerns are set forth below in Sections A. through E. A list of other available internal and external resources is provided in Section F.

A. To receive confidential assistance in accessing medical and other support services, and/or for support in filing a report, complaint or criminal charges regarding sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, including sexual violence, or related retaliation with the police and/or appropriate College official(s):

Office of Sexual Assault Prevention
Seminar I, Building 4121
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW Olympia, WA 98505
(360) 867-5221

B. To report possible violations of this policy by any person, receive assistance in filing a complaint with the college or criminal charges, and/or for referral to medical and other support services (reports received by this office constitute notice to the College and will lead to an institutional response):

Police Services
Seminar Building, Room 2150
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia, WA 98505
(360) 867-6832 (24 hours a day / 7 days a week)
Emergency: 911 (Any time)

C. To report possible student violations of this policy, for referral to medical and other support services, or for assistance and information regarding this policy and the College’s Student Conduct code (reports received by this office constitute notice to the College and will lead to an institutional response):

Senior Conduct Administrator
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Library Building, Room 3009
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia WA 98505
(360) 867-5113

Civil Rights Officer
Human Resource Services Office
Library Building, Room 3102
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia WA 98505
(360) 867-5371

Title IX Coordinator
Special Assistant for Diversity Affairs
Office of the President
Library Building, Room 3207
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia WA, 98505
(360) 867-6368

D. To report possible violations of this policy by persons other than students, to file a complaint, referral to medical and other support services, or for related information and assistance regarding compliance with this policy and applicable state and federal laws (reports received by this office constitute notice to the College and will lead to an institutional response):

Civil Rights Officer
Human Resource Services Office
Library Building, Room 3102
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia WA 98505
(360) 867-5371

Title IX Coordinator
Special Assistant for Diversity Affairs
Office of the President
Library Building, Room 3207
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia WA, 98505
(360) 867-6368

E. For information and training requests or training services, to provide suggestions, or raise concerns regarding the College systems and services pertaining to sexual harassment or sexual misconduct and/or institutional compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, this policy or associated policies and procedures, and College Community members’ right and responsibilities under this policy:

Title IX Coordinator
Special Assistant for Diversity Affairs
Office of the President
Library Building, Room 3207
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia WA, 98505
(360) 867-6368

F. Other resources for confidential counseling, medical assistance, and support services:

TESC Counseling Center
Seminar I, Room 4130
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia WA 98505
(360) 867-6800

St. Peter’s Hospital Emergency Room
413 Lilly Rd NE
Olympia WA 98505
(360) 493-5154

TESC Student Health Center
Seminar I, Room 2110
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia WA 98505

XIII. FILING OF A COMPLAINT WITH AN EXTERNAL ENFORCEMENT AGENCY

Nothing in this policy prevents, or in any way impairs or limits the right of an employee, volunteer, or student from filing a complaint with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Washington State Human Rights Commission, or any law enforcement agency in regards to any claim of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Federal Office Building
915 Second Ave. Room 3310
Seattle WA 98174
(206) 607-1600

http://www.ed.gov/ocr/

Washington State Human Rights Commission
Olympia Headquarters Office
711 S. Capitol Way #402
Olympia WA 98504
1-800-233-3247

http://www.hum.wa.gov/

U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission
Federal Office Building
909 First Ave. Suite 400
Seattle WA 98104
1-800-669-4000

http://www.eeoc.gov/

[1] This policy is not intended, in any way, to alter the reporting obligations in RCW 26.44.030 and RCW 28B.10.846 regarding the obligations of higher education employees to report allegations of child abuse or neglect as contained in the College’s Child Abuse and Neglect Policy.