University Policy 53
Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Other Unlawful Harassment

Formerly Executive Memorandum 95-110
Initially Approved: May 10, 1995
Revised: February 11, 2002
Revised: August 10, 2009
Revised:  March 11, 2011
Revised: November 10, 2014
Policy Topic: Governance and Administration
Administering Office: Chancellor's Office, Legal Counsel's Office

 

QUICK REFERENCE

EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE COMPLAINTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT, OTHER UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT OR DISCRIMINATION SHOULD CALL THE DIRECTOR OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND DIVERSITY PROGRAMS AT 828-227-7116.

STUDENTS WHO HAVE COMPLAINTS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, SEXUAL HARASSMENT, OTHER UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT OR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST EMPLOYEES OR AGENTS SHOULD CALL THE DIRECTOR OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND DIVERSITY PROGRAMS AT 828-227-7116.

STUDENTS WHO HAVE COMPLAINTS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, SEXUAL HARASSMENT, OTHER UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT OR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST OTHER STUDENTS SHOULD CALL THE DEPARTMENT OF STUDENT COMMUNITY ETHICS AT 828-227-7234.

ANYONE WHO HAS COMPLAINTS OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY SHOULD CALL THE UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 828-227-8911 FOR EMERGENCIES OR 828-227-7301 FOR NON-EMERGENCIES.

 

                                         TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sections I and II:      Policy statements on unlawful and sexual harassment                                            

Section III:                  Scope and application of policy and procedures                               

Section IV:                 Definitions                                                                              

Section V:                  Title IX Coordinator                                                               

Section VI:                 Sexual Violence Prevention Committee                                            

Section VII:                Complaints from employees, agents, and general public    

Section VIII:               Complaints from students                                                     

Section IX:                 Retaliation prohibited                                                            

Section X:                  Employee’s obligation to report                                                        

Section XI:                 Frivolous or false complaints                                                 

Section XII:                Confidentiality                                                                       

Section XIII:               Reports to the Chancellor                                                      

Section XIV:               Related policies and resources

 

I.  POLICY STATEMENT ON UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT

Western Carolina University (the “University”) is committed to equal opportunity in educational programs and employment for all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, gender, age, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation[1],   military veteran status, disability or political affiliation.

The University supports programs, curricula and extra-curricular activities that encourage inclusion and appreciation for all members of its community, and will not tolerate any unlawful harassment, as defined below, based on the above classes or characteristics to the extent that an employee’s work performance is affected as described below, or a student is effectively denied equal access to the University’s resources and opportunities.

II.  POLICY STATEMENT ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL MISCONDUCT        

 Sexual harassment, including sexual misconduct and sexual assault, constitutes unlawful discrimination based on gender and threatens the University’s culture of civility and mutual respect.  It is the policy of the University that its employees and students should be free from sexual harassment by any University employee, student, visitor to the campus, or any agent or contractor having a business, professional, or educational relationship with the University, and sexual harassment as defined in this Policy will not be tolerated.  

 The University reaffirms its commitment to academic freedom in accordance with the policies of The University of North Carolina (“UNC”), but recognizes that academic freedom does not allow sexual harassment.  The discussion of sexual ideas, taboos, behavior or language which is an intrinsic part of course content shall in no event constitute sexual harassment.  It is recognized that an essential function of education is a probing of opinions and an exploration of ideas that may cause some students discomfort.  It is further recognized that academic freedom ensures the faculty’s right to teach and the student’s right to learn.

III.       SCOPE AND APPLICATION OF POLICY

This policy applies to: (1) all applicants for employment; (2) all applicants for admission to the University; (3) University officers, faculty, staff, and students; and (4) persons who serve the University as agents during a specified period of agency (e.g., volunteers).

With regard to SHRA (formerly SPA) employees, this policy is intended to supplant former University Policy #70 and applies to former employees as well as full-time or part-time SHRA employees with permanent, probationary, trainee, time-limited/permanent or temporary appointments.

IV.       DEFINITIONS

 “sexual harassment” is a type of discrimination based on gender.   In the employment context, sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which may arise in one of the three following circumstances:

  1. submission to the sexual request or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment (quid pro quo harassment);
  1. submission to or rejection of the sexual request or conduct is used as the basis for an employment  decision affecting the individual (quid pro quo harassment);
  1. the sexual request or conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or education or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment (hostile environment harassment).

 (adopted from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) Guidelines)

 With regard to students, sexual harassment is defined by the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) as unwelcome sexually harassing conduct that is sufficiently serious  that it affects a student's ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment (hostile environment harassment).  Additionally, quid pro quo harassment occurs when a University employee causes a student to believe that he or she must submit to unwelcome sexual conduct in order to participate in a University program or activity. Sexual harassment of students is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

Actions deemed to violate this policy include, without limitation, the following examples:

  1. For employees or students to propose to other employees or students that they engage in or tolerate activities of a sexual nature in order to avoid some punishment or receive some reward; or
  2. To create a hostile environment as defined below; or
  3. To continue verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when an employee or student has indicated, by word or action that such conduct is unwanted.

“harassment” is unwelcome conduct based upon race, color, national origin, creed, religion, gender, age, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation,   military veteran status, disability or political affiliation.

“unlawful harassment”  harassment becomes unlawful where - (1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or (2) is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.   Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not rise to the level of illegality. To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.

“hostile environment” is one that a reasonable person (objective standard) would find hostile or abusive and one that a complainant under this policy perceives to be hostile or abusive (subjective standard).  Hostile  environment is determined by looking at all of the circumstances, including the frequency of the allegedly harassing conduct, its severity, whether it is physically threatening or humiliating, the extent to which the conduct was intended to harm, harass or exploit the complainant, and whether the conduct actually and substantially interferes with an employee’s work performance or a student’s ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services, or opportunities in the University’s education programs and activities.

“quid pro quo” sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct when - (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or student’s academic success, or (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting such individual.

 “retaliation” is adverse treatment which occurs because of opposition to unlawful harassment or sexual harassment.

 “sexual misconduct” as defined in the Western Carolina University Code of Student Conduct (“Student Code”) is sexual violence that includes sexual assault, nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment.

 “sexual assault” is defined in the Student Code as engaging in vaginal, oral, or anal penetration or intercourse without a person’s consent.

 “non-consensual sexual contact” is defined in the Student Code as engaging in any other physical contact (direct or indirect) not described in the definition of sexual assault which is performed without a person's consent. Examples include, but are not limited to, the intentional touching of an unwilling person's genitalia, groin, breast, buttocks, or clothing covering them, or forcing an unwilling person to touch another's intimate parts as listed above.  

 “sexual exploitation”   is defined in the Student Code as taking non-consensual, unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another for one's own advantage or benefit; or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited; and that behavior does not otherwise constitute sexual assault or sexual harassment. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: prostituting another student, nonconsensual video or audio taping of sexual activity, going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting friends surreptitiously watch you having consensual sex, or unauthorized distribution of photos or other materials of a sexual nature), engaging in voyeurism, and inducing incapacitation with the intent to rape or sexually assault another person or with the intent to create opportunity for a third party to rape or sexually assault another person.

V.  TITLE IX COORDINATOR

 In accordance with federal law, the University shall designate a Title IX Coordinator who shall have the following responsibilities:

  1. Ultimate oversight of the University’s Title IX compliance efforts;
  2. Being available to meet with students  regarding sexual harassment or sexual assault allegations ;
  3. Ensuring that complaints are handled through appropriate procedures;
  4. Assisting University Police as appropriate in cases of reported sexual violence;
  5. Investigating or overseeing the investigation of complaints of sexual harassment or sexual assault;
  6. Developing and maintaining a system for tracking and reviewing complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault;
  7. Monitoring and evaluating Title IX compliance in the areas of athletic participation, treatment in athletic programs, and athletic financial assistance;
  8. Assisting the Chief Diversity Officer in the administration of periodic campus climate surveys;
  9. Developing or  procuring educational materials addressing sexual harassment, sexual assault, unlawful harassment, and other forms of discriminatory personal conduct; and
  10. Developing and delivering training on these subjects, including sexual assault prevention.

 The University shall designate deputy Title IX Coordinators, including at a minimum the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Director of the Department of Student Community Ethics (“DSCE”), and one person in the Division of Academic Affairs appointed by the Provost.  The deputy Title IX Coordinators shall assist the Title IX Coordinator in the discharge of his/her responsibilities.

VI.  SEXUAL VIOLENCE PREVENTION COMMITTEE

 The University hereby establishes a standing Sexual Violence Prevention Committee (the “SVPC”).  The SVPC shall be comprised of the following members:

  1. Chief Compliance Officer/Title IX Coordinator, who shall serve as chair;
  2. Deputy Title IX Coordinators not otherwise listed;
  3. Clery Act Coordinator;
  4. Chief Diversity Officer;
  5. Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Dean of Students;
  6. Director of Employee Relations;
  7. Chief of University Police;
  8. University Police Victim Services Sergeant;
  9. Director of the DSCE;
  10. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs;
  11. Representative from the Department of Athletics appointed by the Athletic Director;
  12. Representative from the Department of Intercultural Affairs appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs;
  13.  General Counsel;
  14. A student member appointed by the President of the SGA;
  15. Director of Counseling and Psychological Services; and
  16. A faculty member appointed by the Provost.

The SVPC shall establish such sub-committees as may be necessary to accomplish its objectives and responsibilities.  Membership of such sub-committees may include, at a minimum, faculty representatives appointed by the Provost and student representatives appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his/her designee.

The SVPC shall have the following responsibilities:

  1. Serve as an advisory body to the Chancellor on matters pertaining to sexual violence,  sexual harassment, and related campus safety;
  2. Assist in the development of and recommend policies and implementing procedures regarding sexual violence and related campus community safety, compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations, including Title IX, Clery Act, and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, and compliance with University of North Carolina policies and directives;
  3. Assist in the development and delivery of training and professional development for employees;
  4. Assist in the development  and delivery of information and programming for students, particularly in the areas of awareness and primary prevention, safe and effective intervention strategies, factors that contribute to sexual violence such as alcohol and drugs, and diversity and inclusion;
  5. Assist the Division of Student Affairs in maintaining the University website on sexual assault awareness;
  6. Assist with the University’s community outreach efforts; and
  7. Coordinate with faculty, the Title IX Coordinator, and the University’s Institutional Review Board to develop and conduct climate and other related surveys/research.

VII.  COMPLAINTS FROM EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, AND GENERAL PUBLIC

A.  Informal Resolution of Sexual Harassment and Unlawful Harassment Complaints

 For complaints concerning potential sexual harassment or other unlawful harassment, any employee may elect to discuss the problem directly with the person whose behavior is questioned before seeking formal assistance, which is recommended in most circumstances.  Confronting the offending party in a conversation or in writing to request that he/she stop engaging in the offensive behavior may resolve the situation.  Candid discussion between the parties involved about how a behavior made someone feel can be an empowering experience that overcomes the negative feelings associated with the offending conduct. 

 However, some situations may be so serious that informal resolution may not be appropriate and direct progression to the formal initiation of a complaint may be necessary.  If a complaint is directed against a supervisor or administrator who would otherwise play a role in responding to and attempting to resolve the complaint, the employee should not discuss his/her complaint with that supervisor but may discuss the complaint with the next supervisor in a direct line of authority.

B.  Formal Resolution of Sexual Harassment and Unlawful Harassment Complaints

1.  Complaints from EHRA (formerly EPA) Faculty and Non-Faculty against Other Employees or Agents                       

(a)  Initiating Section VII.B.1 Complaints 

 Complaints should be reported, preferably in writing, to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs (the “Director”) at 520 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC, 28723.  The Director may be reached by telephone at (828) 227-7116.  Complaints should be made within fifteen (15) calendar days of the alleged harassing action (the conduct giving rise to the complaint) to ensure a prompt and complete investigation; however, the University reserves the right to initiate investigations and take action at any time depending on the nature of the alleged harassing conduct.

(b)  Investigation of Section VII.B.1 Complaints

The Director shall investigate thoroughly and impartially all complaints within forty-five (45) calendar days from the receipt of complaints.  The Director may seek the assistance of other University officials, including the deputy Title IX Coordinators, in situations where there may be actual or perceived conflicts of interest or as otherwise may be necessary to ensure timely, impartial, and complete investigations

(c) Written Reports /Resolution of Section VII.B.1 Complaints

Upon completion of his/her investigation, the Director shall provide to the applicable Vice Chancellor a written report of key evidentiary findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, whether the alleged harassing conduct constituted a violation of this policy as being unlawful or sexual harassment and the Director’s recommended resolutions pertaining to the complaint.  The Director’s report is deemed a confidential personnel record of the respondent employee and shall not be disclosed except as required or permitted by law.  The applicable Vice Chancellor shall be responsible for determining what University action, if any, is warranted.

Upon completion of his/her investigation, the Director also shall provide a written response to: (1) the complaining employee apprising him/her that the investigation is complete and whether the alleged harassing conduct constituted a violation of this policy; and (2) the respondent employee apprising him/her that the investigation is complete and whether the alleged harassing conduct constituted a violation of this policy.

(d)  Internal Appeals of Section VII.B.1 Complaint Resolution

Both the complaining employee and the respondent employee may appeal the Director’s finding(s) and conclusions within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the Director’s written response.  Appeals must be in writing and clearly state the basis for the appeal.  Appeals must be directed to the Director of Human Resources at 220 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC, 28723.  The Director of Human Resources may be reached by telephone at (828) 227-7218.  The Director of Human Resources shall respond to the appeal within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt, and may either uphold, overturn, or modify the finding(s).  No further appeal by either party shall be permitted.

2.  Complaints from SHRA Employees against Other Employees or Agents

SHRA employees should also refer to University Policy #77, “Grievance Policies and Procedures for SHRA Employees”.   http://www.wcu.edu/about-wcu/leadership/office-of-the-chancellor/university-policies/numerical-index/university-policy-77.asp

(a)  Initiating Section VII.B.2 Complaints

Complaints should be reported, preferably in writing, to the Director at 520 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC, 28723.  The Director may be reached by telephone at (828) 227-7116.  Complaints should be made within fifteen (15) calendar days of the alleged harassing action to ensure a prompt and complete investigation; however, the University reserves the right to initiate investigations and take action at any time depending on the nature of the alleged harassing action.  Former SHRA employees must submit a written complaint within fifteen (15) calendar days from the alleged harassing action or within fifteen (15) days from the employee’s last day of employment, whichever is earlier. 

A complaining SHRA employee has the right at any time to bypass or discontinue the University’s complaint process and file a charge directly with the EEOC.

A complaining SHRA employee also has the right to file a simultaneous complaint under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the EEOC along with a University internal complaint.

 A complaining SHRA employee may not file a contested case with the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings if the University’s internal complaint process has not been completed.

(b)  Investigation of Section VII.B.2 Complaints

The Director shall investigate thoroughly and impartially all complaints.  The University has forty-five (45) calendar days from receipt of the complaint to investigate and respond to the complaining employee, unless the employee and the University mutually agree in writing to extend the time due to occurrences that are beyond the control of the parties.  Such extension may not exceed fifteen (15) days.  The Director may seek the assistance of other University officials, including the deputy Title IX Coordinators, in situations where there may be actual or perceived conflicts of interest or as otherwise may be necessary to ensure timely, impartial, and complete investigations.

(c)  Written Report/Resolution of Section VII.B.2 Complaints

Upon completion of the Director’s investigation, the Director shall provide to the applicable Vice Chancellor a written report of key evidentiary findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, whether the alleged harassing conduct constituted a violation of this policy as being unlawful or sexual harassment and the Director’s recommended resolutions pertaining to the complaint.   The Director’s report is deemed a confidential personnel record of the respondent employee and shall not be disclosed except as required or permitted by law.

Upon completion of his/her investigation, the Director also shall provide a written response to: (1) the complaining employee apprising him/her that the investigation is complete and whether the alleged harassing conduct constituted a violation of this policy; and (2) the respondent employee apprising him/her that the investigation is complete and whether the alleged harassing conduct constituted a violation of this policy.

The Vice Chancellor shall provide the complaining employee with his/her written decision regarding whether this policy has been violated within forty-five (45) calendar days of receipt of the employee’s written complaint.

If there is reasonable cause to believe that unlawful or sexual harassment or retaliation occurred, the Vice Chancellor shall take appropriate action to resolve the matter.  If the complaint is successfully resolved, the complaining employee will sign a letter of agreement prepared by Human Resources detailing the terms of the resolution.  If the complaint is not successfully resolved, then the complaining employee may file a formal SHRA grievance pursuant to University Policy #77 within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the Vice Chancellor’s written decision.

If the investigation results show no reasonable cause to believe that unlawful or sexual harassment or retaliation occurred and the complaining employee disagrees with the conclusions of the investigation, the complaining employee may file a formal SHRA grievance pursuant to University Policy #77 within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the Vice Chancellor’s written decision and/or appeal the decision pursuant to Section VII.B.2.d below.

(d)  Internal Appeals of Section VII.B.2 Complaint Resolution

Both the complaining employee and the respondent employee may appeal the Director’s finding(s) and conclusions within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the Director’s written response.  Appeals must be in writing and clearly state the basis for the appeal.  Appeals must be directed to Director of Human Resources at 220 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC, 28723.  The Director of Human Resources may be reached by telephone at (828) 227-7218.  The Director of Human Resources shall respond to the appeal within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt, and may either uphold, overturn, or modify the finding(s).  No further internal appeals by either party under this policy shall be permitted.

3.   Complaints from EHRA Faculty and Non-Faculty and SHRA Employees against Students

Complaints from any employee about a student should be reported to the DSCE for investigation and appropriate action.   The DSCE office telephone number is (828) 227-7234 and the office is located in Scott Hall East, Cullowhee, NC 28723.  Complaints should be made within fifteen (15) calendar days of the alleged harassing action to ensure a prompt, impartial, and complete investigation; however, the University reserves the right to initiate investigations and take action at any time depending on the nature of the alleged harassing action.

Investigations, resolutions, and appeals shall be governed by the Student Code.

4.  Complaints from Agents or the General Public

Complaints from University Agents or the general public about University employees should be initiated and investigated in accordance with Section VII.B.1 above.  Complaints about students should be initiated and investigated in accordance with Section VII.B.3 above.


VIII.  COMPLAINTS FROM STUDENTS

THE STUDENT CODE EXERCISES THE CHANCELLOR’S DUTY TO REGULATE MATTERS OF STUDENT CONDUCT IN THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY.  THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES ARE TO BE READ AND UNDERSTOOD IN VIEW OF THE STUDENT CODE.  THIS POLICY SHALL CONTROL IN THE EVENT OF ANY CONFLICT BETWEEN THIS POLICY AND THE STUDENT CODE.

A.  Student Complaints against Employees and Agents              

1.  Initiating Section VIII.A Complaints

Complaints should be reported, preferably in writing, to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs (the “Director”) at 520 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC, 28723.  The Director may be reached by telephone at (828) 227-7116.  Complaints should be made within fifteen (15) calendar days of the alleged harassing action (the conduct giving rise to the complaint) to ensure a prompt and complete investigation; however, the University reserves the right to initiate investigations and take action at any time depending on the nature of the alleged harassing conduct.

2.  Investigation of Section VIII.A Complaints

The Director shall investigate thoroughly and impartially all complaints within forty-five (45) calendar days from the receipt of complaints.  The Director may seek the assistance of other University officials, including the deputy Title IX Coordinators, in situations where there may be actual or perceived conflicts of interest or as otherwise may be necessary to ensure timely, impartial, and complete investigations.

3. Written Reports /Resolution of Section VIII.A Complaints

Upon completion of his/her investigation, the Director shall provide to the applicable Vice Chancellor a written report of key evidentiary findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, whether the alleged harassing conduct constituted a violation of this policy as being unlawful or sexual harassment and the Director’s recommended resolutions pertaining to the complaint.   The Director’s report is deemed a confidential personnel record of the respondent employee and shall not be disclosed except as required or permitted by law.  The applicable Vice Chancellor shall be responsible for determining what University action, if any, is warranted.

Upon completion of his/her investigation, the Director also shall provide a written response to: (1) the complaining student apprising him/her that the investigation is complete and whether the alleged harassing conduct constituted a violation of this policy; and (2) the respondent employee apprising him/her that the investigation is complete and whether the alleged harassing conduct constituted a violation of this policy.

4.  Internal Appeals of Section VIII.A Complaint Resolution

Both the complaining student and the respondent employee may appeal the Director’s finding(s) and conclusions within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the Director’s written response.  Appeals must be in writing and clearly state the basis for the appeal.  Appeals must be directed to Director of Human Resources at 220 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC, 28723.  The Director of Human Resources may be reached by telephone at (828) 227-7218.  The Director of Human Resources shall respond to the appeal within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt, and may either uphold, overturn, or modify the finding(s).  No further appeal by either party shall be permitted.

B.   Student-on-Student Sexual Harassment and Unlawful Harassment Complaints

1.  Initiating Section VIII.B Complaints

Complaints of this nature should be reported, preferably in writing, to the DSCE for investigation and appropriate action.   The DSCE office telephone number is (828) 227-7234, and the office is located in Scott Hall East, Cullowhee, NC 28723.  Complaints should be made within thirty (30) calendar days of the alleged harassing action to ensure a prompt, impartial, and complete investigation; however, the University reserves the right to initiate investigations and take action at any time depending on the nature of the alleged harassing action.

Complaints should include the name and contact information of the complainant, the specific conduct that is the subject of the complaint, the name and contact information, if known, of the accused individual, and the name(s) and contact information of witnesses or other individuals having direct knowledge of the complaint.

2.  Investigation of Section VIII.B Complaints

Complaints of this nature shall be investigated as provided in the Student Code and applicable University and UNC policies.  Upon receipt of these complaints, the DSCE shall notify the Title IX Coordinator and the Deputy Title IX Coordinators from the Division of Student Affairs who shall supervise or assist with the investigation.

Investigations must be completed within forty-five (45) calendar days from receipt of a complaint.  Upon completion of its investigation, if the DSCE investigator has reason to believe that a violation of the Student Code has occurred charges will be filed against the accused student.

3.  Formal Resolution/Adjudicatory Hearings of Section VIII.B Complaints

Complaints of this nature may not be resolved by mutual resolution and waiver of hearing as provided for other disciplinary matters under the Student Code.

If charges are to be pursued, the matter shall be referred to a hearing body as provided in the Student Code.  In cases of this nature, students may not participate on hearing bodies.  Hearings shall be conducted consistent with the hearing procedures provided in the Student Code.

In accordance with UNC Policy 700.4.1.1[R], students who have been accused (charged) of a violation of the Student Code may be represented by an advocate (e.g., a lawyer)

4.   Written Report/Resolution of Section VIII.B Complaints

Written notification of the hearing body’s findings and recommended sanction(s) shall be provided to both the complaining student and the accused student within ten (10) calendar days from the conclusion of the hearing.  Written notification shall include information concerning the students’ opportunity to appeal the hearing body’s findings and recommendations, in accordance with the Student Code.

5.  Internal Appeals of Section VIII.B Complaint Resolution

In cases of this nature, both the complaining student and the accused student may appeal the findings and decision of the hearing body as provided in the Student Code.

C.  Student-on-Student Sexual Misconduct Complaints

SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS: GET HELP; GET EDUCATED; GET INVOLVED

http://www.wcu.edu/student-life/division-of-student-affairs/Sexual-Assault-Awareness/

 1.  Reporting Crime to University Police and Anonymous Reporting

Complaints of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, may be filed with the University Police.   Students should report crimes to the University Police Dispatch Emergency Number (828) 227-8911 or the non-emergency number of (828) 227-7301.  In addition to investigating complaints of sexual assault, University Police will refer such cases to DSCE and will also refer all such cases to the Jackson County District Attorney.

A student may make an anonymous complaint to University Police through its Silent Witness program at:  http://www.wcu.edu/about-wcu/campus-services-and-operations/university-police/university-police-forms/silent-witness-submit-an-anonymous-report.asp

A student may also make an anonymous complaint to University Police by calling the Police TIPS Line at:  (828) 227-8477.

The University Police have adopted Sexual Assault Investigation Policies to provide officers and investigators with guidelines for responding to reports of sexual assault, assisting victims, collaborating with local health and service agencies, and conducting interviews with victims, witnesses, and suspects. Because of the special needs involved in sexual assault investigations, their policy is an all-inclusive document that covers first response, investigation, and prosecution.  The department has a Victim Services Office, which may be contacted at: (828) 227-3059 of (828) 227-7301.

2.   Initiating Section VIII.C Complaints

Complaints of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, also may be filed with DSCE.

Complaints of this nature should be reported, preferably in writing, to the DSCE for investigation and appropriate action.   The DSCE office telephone number is (828) 227-7234, and the office is located in Scott Hall East, Cullowhee, NC 28723.  Complaints should be made within thirty (30) calendar days of the alleged harassing action to ensure a prompt, impartial, and complete investigation; however, the University reserves the right to initiate investigations and take action at any time depending on the nature of the alleged harassing action.

Complaints should include the name and contact information of the complainant, the specific conduct that is the subject of the complaint, the name and contact information, if known, of the accused individual, and the name(s) and contact information of witnesses or other individuals having direct knowledge of the complaint.

3.  Investigation of Section VIII.C Complaints

Complaints of this nature shall be investigated as provided in the Student Code and applicable University and UNC policies.  Upon receipt of these complaints, the DSCE shall notify the Title IX Coordinator and the Deputy Title IX Coordinators from the Division of Student Affairs who shall direct or assist with the investigation.

Investigations must be completed within forty-five (45) calendar days from receipt of a complaint.  Upon completion of its investigation, if the DSCE investigator has reason to believe that a violation of the Student Code has occurred charges will be filed against the accused student.

4.  Formal Resolution of Section VIII.C Complaints

Complaints of this nature may not be resolved by mutual resolution and waiver of hearing as provided for other disciplinary matters under the Student Code.

If charges are to be pursued, the matter shall be referred to a hearing body as provided in the Student Code.  In cases of this nature, students may not participate on hearing bodies.  Hearings shall be conducted consistent with the hearing procedures provided in the Student Code.

In accordance with UNC Policy 700.4.1.1[R], students who have been accused (charged) of a violation of the Student Code may be represented by an advocate (e.g., a lawyer).

5.  Written Report/Resolution of Section VIII.C Complaints

Written notification of the hearing body’s findings and recommended sanction(s) shall be provided to both the complaining student and the accused student within ten (10) calendar days from the conclusion of the hearing.  Written notification shall include information concerning the students’ opportunity to appeal the hearing body’s findings and recommendations, in accordance with the Student Code.

6.  Internal Appeals of Section VIII.C Complaint Resolutions

In cases of this nature, both the complaining student and the accused student may appeal the findings and decision of the hearing body as provided in the Student Code.

IX.  RETALIATION PROHIBITED

 This policy seeks to encourage students and employees to report concerns involving harassing personal conduct and accordingly retaliation is prohibited.  Any act of reprisal or retaliation, including interference, restraint, coercion, penalty, discrimination, harassment - overtly or covertly - against a student or employee for responsibly reporting under this Policy interferes with free expression and violates this Policy.  Accordingly, individuals who violate this retaliation prohibition may be subject to prompt disciplinary action.

X.  Employee's Obligation to Report

 Any University employee who experiences or witnesses an incident of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, unlawful harassment or related retaliation, or receives a written or verbal complaint of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, unlawful harassment or related retaliation shall promptly report it to the Director.

XI.  FRIVILOUS OR FALSE COMPLAINTS

This policy shall not be used to bring frivolous or false complaints against students or employees.  If a complaint has been made maliciously or in bad faith, disciplinary action may be taken against the person bringing the complaint.

XII.  CONFIDENTIALITY

Information gathered in the course of investigations or mediation conducted under this policy will be given the full extent of confidentiality accorded by law to employee personnel records and student education records.  Any person who, without authorization, reveals such information may be subject to disciplinary action.  Disclosure of the content of complaints will be made on a “need to know” basis, depending on the type of investigation and remedial action required by the complaint.  In any event, the accused individual will be informed of the specific allegations in the complaint.

XIII.  REPORTS TO CHANCELLOR

 The Director is responsible for routinely and periodically reporting to the Chancellor the number and nature of complaints made under this policy.

XIV.  RELATED POLICIES AND RESOURCES

 



[1] Western Carolina University recognizes that the categories of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression are not protected categories under federal or state laws. By extending protection to this category as an internal policy matter it is not the intention of the University to create any rights that either may be pursued or enforced off-campus, that extend to the employee benefits package not otherwise made available by the State of North Carolina or other off-campus entities, or that interfere with the University’s relationships with outside organizations, including the federal government, the military or private employers.

 

 

 

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