Definitions

Alleged Victim: A person who perceives that she/he has been the victim or survivor of Sexual Misconduct as defined in this Policy.  An alleged victim may also be a Complainant.

Accused: A person who has been accused of Sexual Misconduct.  An accused may also be a Respondent.

Appellate Officer: The person designed to decide appeals submitted by a Complainant or Respondent following an adjudication of alleged sexual misconduct under this Policy.  In the case of students, that person is typically the Dean of Students; in the case of employees, that person is typically the Director of Human Resources.  Depending on the circumstances of each case, the College reserves its right to select a different Appellate Officer to decide an appeal.  Cases involving faculty are handled in accordance with the Faculty Handbook.

Clery Act: The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)), also known as “Clery” or “the Clery Act” in this policy, requires U.S. colleges and universities that receive federal financial assistance to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses and is enforced by the United States Department of Education. At Whittier College, Campus Safety maintains compliance with the Clery Act by collecting data and reporting it in the Annual Security Report and on the Whittier College website.

Complainant: One who submits an informal or formal complaint of Sexual Misconduct set forth in this Policy to the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Investigators identified in this Policy.  A complainant may or may not be an alleged victim.

Consent: Positive or affirmative cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will. The person must act freely and voluntarily and have knowledge of the nature of the act or transaction involved (California Penal Code §261.6 and California Education Code § 67386).  This means that there must be an affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent. It is not an excuse that the person accused of sexual misconduct was reckless or intoxicated and, therefore, did not realize the incapacity of the other.

A person is unable to provide consent to engage in sexual activity when, at the time the consent needs to be given, the person is:  (1) a minor (age 17 and under); (2) has a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability that renders him or her incapable of giving knowing consent; (3) is unconscious or so disoriented that the person is incapable of exercising the judgment required whether to consent; or (4) is incapacitated from alcohol or other drugs, and this condition was known or reasonably should have been known by the Accused.  “Incapacitated” means intoxicated to the point that the person is incapable of exercising the judgment required whether to consent.

Force: The use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access.

Coercion: Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity, and  includes threats and intimidation (implied threats), to overcome resistance or produce consent. Coercive behaviors differ from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. 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.

Respondent: Anyone accused of misconduct defined in this document and against whom an informal or formal complaint has been submitted to the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Investigators identified in this Policy.

Sexual Misconduct:  Sexual misconduct as used in this Policy is an umbrella term intended to include sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, non-consensual sexual contact, domestic and dating violence, bullying and stalking when done because of a person’s sex/gender or sexual/gender identity.  Acts of sexual misconduct may be committed by any person upon another person regardless of the sex, gender, sexual orientation and/or gender identity of those involved.

Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Board: A minimum of two College Officials designated by the Title IX Coordinator  who receives annual training relating to Title IX, sexual misconduct and sexual misconduct investigations charged with the responsibility of adjudicating sexual misconduct cases.  The Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Board is presented with a report containing the results of a sexual misconduct investigation and a recommendation regarding whether the respondent should be found responsible for the charged violation.  The Board, in a closed meeting, after consideration of the report and consultation with the investigators, and using the preponderance of evidence standard, makes a determination of responsibility and  sanctions, if any. The decision of the Board is final unless a proper appeal as provided in this Policy is pursued.

Title IX: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance..." 20 U.S.C. § 1681. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs operated by institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Programs and activities that may be included are: admissions, recruitment, financial aid, academic programs, athletics, housing and employment. Sexual harassment and sexual misconduct of students is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX and includes acts of sexual violence. Students of all gender identities are protected from sexual harassment and/or violence in all educational programs and activities operated by Whittier College.

Title IX Investigator: A member of the College staff or faculty who receives annual training on conducting and documenting adequate, reliable, and impartial investigations, including one that protects the safety of alleged victims and reporting parties and promotes accountability. Title IX investigators interview alleged victims, complainants, respondents, and witnesses for Title IX complaints and compile a report that includes a recommended finding of “responsible” or “not responsible”, based on the preponderance of evidence standard, for violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy. This report is then provided to the Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Board.

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