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Title IX Policy

Prohibited Conduct Definitions

Filing a Formal Complaint

Grievance Process

Retaliation Prohibited at Jefferson College

***Please note, the content on this site is a summary.  Please see the Jefferson College Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Process for a detailed description of the grievance process. ***


Prohibited Conduct

The Jefferson College Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Process prohibits all forms of Sexual Harassment including Sexual Assault, Stalking, Dating Violence, and Domestic Violence against any Jefferson College community members of any sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.

These acts can occur between individuals who are known to one another, or have an intimate or sexual relationship, or may involve individuals who are not known to one another. These acts can be committed by person(s) of any sex, gender, or other identity, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex or gender identities.

Jefferson College prohibits the following types of conduct under the Jefferson College Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Process:

1. Sexual Harassment: Sexual Harassment is any conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

a. An employee of the College conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the College on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;

b. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity; or

c. Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, or Stalking as defined in the Clery Act amended by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

i. Sexual Assault: Sexual Assault is any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent. Sexual Assault includes, but is not limited to, the following acts when they occur without consent of the victim:

Any penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus of one person with the genitals of another person,
Any act involving the genitals of one person and the hand, mouth, tongue, or anus of another person,
Any sexual act involving penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus of one person by a finger, instrument, or object,
Touching of another person’s genitals or breasts under or over the clothing,
Touching of one person with the genitals of another person under or over the clothing.

Sexual assault is also an offense that meets the definition of fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system.

1. Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is unable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental capacity.

2. Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

3. Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

ii. Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim (Complainant). The existence of such a relationship shall be based on consideration of the following factors that include the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating Violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating Violence does not include acts covered under the definition of Domestic Violence.

iii. Domestic Violence: A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim (Complainant); by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; 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 in which the crime of violence occurred.

iv. Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

The State of Missouri’s Revised Statutes provide information on state laws pertaining to the offenses listed in the above section. More information on the State of Missouri Statutes as it pertains to sexual offenses (including sexual assault, rape, and statutory rape) can be found in RSMO.566. More information on the State of Missouri Statutes as it pertains to Incest can be found in RSMO.568; information on Domestic Violence can be found in RSMO.565; and Stalking can be found in RSMO.565. All Revised Statutes for the State of Missouri can be accessed online at: http://revisor.mo.gov/main/Home.aspx


Consent, Force, Coercion, and Incapacitation

As noted in the above definitions of Prohibited Conduct, occurrences of Sexual Harassment involve acts that occur without consent. This section will further define and clarify consent, force, coercion, and incapacitation as it relates to Prohibited Conduct under this policy.

Effective Consent

Consent is an active, conscious, voluntary, and freely-given decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent must exist from the start to the finish of each form of sexual contact. Consent consists of mutually understandable words and/or actions that indicate a willingness to engage freely in sexual activity. Consent can never be effectively gained by force, threats, coercion, or by taking advantage of the incapacitated state of another individual. A lack of physical resistance or a lack of verbal refusal does not indicate that the person is providing consent. Consent may not be assumed or inferred based upon silence, passivity, lack of resistance, or lack of active response.

Any party may withdraw their consent for the sexual activity at any time during the sexual activity. Withdrawal of consent may be demonstrated in a variety of ways through words or actions that indicate a desire to end the sexual activity. Once consent is withdrawn, sexual activity must cease immediately. Recognizing the dynamic nature of sexual activity, individuals choosing to engage in sexual activity must evaluate consent in an ongoing manner and communicate clearly throughout the states of sexual activity. Consent to one form of sexual contact does not constitute consent to all forms of sexual contact. Consent to sexual activity with one person does not constitute consent to activity with any other person. Each participant in a sexual encounter must consent to each form of sexual contact with each participant. Additionally, individuals with a previous or current intimate relationship to each other do not automatically give initial or continual consent to sexual activity. The mere fact that there has been prior intimacy or sexual activity does not, by itself, imply consent to future acts.

There are times when a person may give consent but the consent may not be considered effective. An individual who is under force, threat of force, coerced, or incapacitated is considered unable to provide effective consent. These situations are outlined in the next sections.

Force and Coercion

Force is the use or threat of physical violence, intimidation, or coercion in order to overcome another individual’s freedom to choose whether or not to participate in sexual activity. For the use of force to be demonstrated, there is no requirement that an individual resist the sexual advance or request, however, resistance will be viewed as a clear demonstration of non-consent.

Coercion is the use of unreasonable pressure that compels another individual to initiate or continue sexual activity against their will. Coercion can include a range of behaviors, including physical/emotional force, intimidation, manipulation, implied threats, misuse of authority, or blackmail which places a person in fear of immediate harm or physical injury that causes them to engage in undesired sexual activity. Continuing to pressure an individual who has made it clear that they do not want to engage in sexual activity or go beyond a certain point of sexual interaction may be considered coercive. When evaluating coercive behavior, factors such as the frequency, duration, location (in regard to potential isolation of the recipient of the unwanted sexual contact), and intensity of coercive behaviors will be considered.

Incapacitation

Incapacitation is a state where an individual is unable to make an informed decision to engage in sexual activity because they lack conscious knowledge of the nature of the act (an ability to understand the who, what, when, where, why, or how of the sexual interaction). An individual who is incapacitated is unable to provide effective consent. An individual who knows or who should have reasonably known under the circumstances that the individual(s) they are attempting to or have engaged in sexual activity with violates this policy if the behavior falls within the elements found in the Prohibited Conduct section of this policy. Behavior that may occur outside of the elements of Prohibited Conduct may be addressed by other College policies and procedures.

Incapacitation is defined as the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because the individual is mentally and/or physically unable to make informed, reasonable judgements. An individual is incapacitated, and therefore unable to provide effective consent, if they are asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that sexual activity is occurring.

Incapacitation may result from the use of alcohol and/or drugs. Incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. Consumption of alcohol or other drugs alone is insufficient to establish incapacitation. The impact of alcohol and drugs varies from person to person, however, warning signs that a person may be approaching incapacitation include slurred speech, vomiting, diminished coordination, erratic behavior, combativeness, loss of consciousness, or emotional volatility. Evaluating incapacitation requires an assessment of how the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs affects an individual’s decision-making ability, awareness of consequences, ability to make informed judgments, and/or capacity to appreciate the nature of the act(s).

Evaluating incapacitation also requires an assessment of whether a person should have been aware of the other individual’s (or individuals’) incapacitation based on objectively and reasonable apparent indications of impairment when viewed from the perspective of a reasonable sober person. If there is any doubt as to the level or extent of the other individual’s intoxication or impairment, the safest course of action is to forgo or cease any sexual contact or activity. Use of alcohol or drugs is never an excuse for a person to commit Sexual Harassment (inclusive of all forms of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking under this policy) and does not diminish a person’s responsibility to obtain informed, freely-given, and effective consent.


Filing a Formal Complaint

A formal complaint may be filed in one of two ways:

  1. The Complainant can choose to initiate the formal complaint and grievance process by, in writing or via electronic message, indicating to the Title IX Coordinator their desire to have the College investigate their report. The complaint must be signed (either physically or digitally, or in some other way that makes it clear that the Complainant is the person filing the complaint) and sent to the Title IX Coordinator. The Complainant must be the person who experienced the Sexual Harassment and who is participating in or attempting to participate in the College’s education activity or programs. A person who is not affiliated with the College is unable to initiate a formal complaint under these procedures.
  2. Where a Complainant may decline to file a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will assess the known circumstances of the situation and determine whether or not a formal complaint will be filed by the Title IX Coordinator themselves. In this situation, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the Complainant to discuss supportive measures, the filing of a formal complaint, and the grievance process. The Title IX Coordinator will take the Complainant’s wishes into account as well as the need for campus safety when evaluating whether or not to file a complaint. In the event that the Title IX Coordinator initiates the formal complaint and grievance process, the Title IX Coordinator does not become the Complainant but is still responsible for the coordination of an equitable and thorough grievance process.

Jefferson College seeks to remove barriers to individuals reporting Sexual Harassment. An individual who reports or who is involved in a report of Sexual Harassment will not be subject to disciplinary action for their own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that such violations did not and do not place the physical health or safety of another person at risk. Jefferson College may initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational or therapeutic methods regarding alcohol or other drugs for those individuals.

Jefferson College will investigate allegations in a formal complaint, unless the College is prohibited from doing so by Title IX regulations or other laws.


Grievance Process

Please note, the content on this site is a summary.  Please see the Jefferson College Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Process for a detailed description of the grievance process. 

The investigation conducted under the Jefferson College Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Process is designed to provide a fair, thorough, and impartial gathering of facts. At all times the burden of proof and gathering evidence or information sufficient to reach a determination of responsibility (based on the preponderance of the evidence standard) is upon the College and not on the parties themselves.  Hearings shall be conducted live and may be conducted with parties in remote locations or virtually, provided that the parties are able to see and hear each other simultaneously.  


Retaliation Prohibited at Jefferson College

No person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege under Title IX or the Jefferson College Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Process. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, words or actions that intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against someone whole or in part because an individual has:

  • Made a report or filed a complaint alleging misconduct under this policy;
  • Provided information, statements, or other information for an investigation;
  • Assisted in or participated in any part of the grievance or hearing process;
  • Refused to participate in any part of an investigation, grievance, or hearing process; or who has
  • Exercised other rights under this policy.

Note: The exercise of First Amendment/free speech rights is not considered Retaliation under the Jefferson College Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Process. Additionally, a determination of responsibility (whether that be for a finding of responsible or not responsible) does not indicate on its own that the other party (or parties) made materially false or bad faith statements.

Jefferson College expects all members of our community to participate in the process of creating a safe, welcoming, and respectful environment on campus and in campus programs and activities. In particular, the College expects that Jefferson College community members will be active bystanders and will take reasonable and safe actions to prevent or stop an act of Sexual Harassment should they witness one. Taking action could include, but is not limited to, direct intervention when it is safe for one to do so, enlisting the assistance of friends or other persons to assist, and/or contacting or seeking support from person(s) in authority. Community members who choose to take these actions will be supported by the College and protected from retaliation as well as from policy violations that may have been present during the situation, such as underage alcohol use or drug use.

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