Title IX and NJC Sexual Misconduct Procedure
This procedure applies to all Administrators/Professional Technical employees, Faculty and Adjunct Instructors, Classified employee, students, authorized volunteers, guests and visitors of Northeastern Junior College.
The System President delegates to each College President the responsibility to ensure this procedure is implemented at their college.
The NJC community has the right to be free from sexual violence. All members of the NJC community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. NJC believes in a zero tolerance policy for sex/gender-based misconduct. When an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, and a respondent is found to have violated this policy, serious sanctions will be implemented to reasonably ensure that such actions are never repeated. This procedure has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. This procedure is intended to define NJC expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated.
Complainant(s) is a person who is subject to the alleged sex misconduct or related retaliation. For purposed of this procedure, a complainant can be NJC employee(s), student(s), authorized volunteer(s), guest(s), or visitor(s).
Respondent(s) is a person whose alleged conduct is the subject of a complaint. For purposes of this procedure, a respondent can be NJC Employee(s), student(s), authorized volunteer(s), guest(s), or visitor(s).
Sexual Misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual Harassment
- Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
- Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
- Sexual Exploitation
Sexual Harassment is:
- Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting someone the ability to participate in or benefit from CCCS educational program and/or activities, or work activities, and
- The unwelcome behavior is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.
There are three types of Sexual Harassment:
1. Quid pro quo sexual harassment exists when there are:
- Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, and
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action; or
- Affects the terms or conditions of education or employment, or activities with the college.
2. Hostile Environment includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it alters the conditions of employment or limits, interferes with or denies educational benefits or opportunities, from both a subjective (the alleged victim's) and an objective (reasonable person's) viewpoint.
The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on all of the circumstances. These circumstances could include, but are not limited to:
- the frequency of the conduct;
- the nature and severity of the conduct;
- whether the conduct was physically threatening;
- whether the conduct was humiliating;
- the effect of the conduct on the alleged victim’s mental or emotional state;
- whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;
- whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
- whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim’s educational or work performance;
- whether a statement is a mere utterance of an epithet which engenders offense in an employee or student, or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness;
- whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of the 1st Amendment.
3. Retaliatory harassment is any adverse employment or educational action taken against a person because of the person’s perceived participation in a complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct.
Examples of Sexual Harassment include, but are not limited to:
- An attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship.
- To repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention.
- To punish a refusal to comply with a sexual based request.
- To condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances.
- Sexual violence which is defined as threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.
- Violence between those in an intimate relationship.
- Stalking that is gender-based which is defined as repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the community; or the safety of any of the immediate family of members of the community.
- Gender-based bullying which is defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally (excluding speech or conduct otherwise protected by the 1st Amendment).
- Gender expression/stereotyping which is defined as simplistic generalizations about gender attributes, differences, and roles of individuals and/or groups. Stereotypes rarely communicate accurate information about others. When people automatically apply gender assumptions to others regardless of evidence to the contrary, they are perpetuating gender stereotyping.
- Hazing which is defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the college community on the basis of gender, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity.
- Discrimination which is defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of gender.
- Intimidation that is gender-based which is defined as implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm in another.
While a particular interaction must be offensive to both a reasonable person and to the complainant to be defined as harassment, NJC employees and other persons of authority should be sensitive to questions about mutuality of consent that may be raised and to the conflict of interests that are inherent in personal relationships that result from professional and educational interactions. Harassment is particularly damaging when it exploits the educational dependence and trust between students and faculty/staff. When the authority and power inherent in faculty/staff relationships with students, whether overtly, implicitly, or through misinterpretation, is abused in any way, there is potentially great damage to the individual student, to the accused individual, and to the climate of the institution.
It is the policy of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education that none of its employees or its Board members shall engage in any activity or relationship that places them in a conflict of interest between their official activities and any other interest or obligation. Conflict of interest requires all employees to disqualify themselves from participating in a decision when a personal interest is present; therefore, SP 3-70a, Relationships, requires all employees involved in an amorous relationship to excuse themselves from any authority or evaluative role with respect to the other person. Please refer to SP 3-70a for more information and disclosure requirements.
Non-consensual sexual contact is:
- any intentional sexual touching,
- however slight,
- with any object,
- by any individual upon any individual,
- that is without consent and/or by force
Non-consensual sexual intercourse is:
- any sexual penetration
- however slight,
- with any object,
- by any individual upon any individual,
- that is without consent and/or by force.
Consent must be 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 clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity. Also, in order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age. Further, consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.
Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcomes resistance or produces consent.
Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you 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.
Sexual activity with someone whom one should know to be—or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be—mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation of this procedure.
Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent. Incapacitation could result from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the ingestion of rape drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including, but not limited to Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another person is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at http://www.911rape.org. Having sex with someone whom you know to be, or should know to be, incapacitated (mentally or physically) is a violation of this procedure.
Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this procedure.
Sexual exploitation occurs when anyone 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 other sexual misconduct offenses.
Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
• Invasion of sexual privacy.
• Prostituting another person.
• Non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity.
• Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex).
• Engaging in voyeurism.
• Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to another person.
• Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals.
• Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.
• Viewing or possessing child or adult pornography at work or on college owned property.
Title IX Coordinator(s) is the employee designated by the college president to oversee all civil rights complaints, including sexual misconduct, when students are complainants and/or respondents. The CCCS Title IX Coordinator’s responsibilities include, but need not be limited to:
• Contact for government inquiries;
• Point person for all civil rights complaints involving a student as complainant and/or respondent;
• Creator and implementer of appropriate procedures;
• Assurance of 1st Amendment protection;
• Prevention and remediation of stalking;
• Prevention and remediation of intimate partner and relationship violence;
• Prevention and remediation of bullying and cyber bullying;
• Oversight and coordination of prompt and equitable grievance procedures;
• Coordinator of the interaction of multiple student and employee grievance processes;
• Supervisor of investigations;
• Compliance auditor; and
• Trainer or convener of broad training requirements for NJC employees, boards, investigators and appeals officers.
NJC can only respond to allegations of misconduct if it is aware of the misconduct. Further, NJC can more effectively investigate the sooner the allegation is brought to its attention. Any employee, student, authorized volunteer, guest or visitor who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual misconduct, or believes someone else a part of the NJC community is being subjected to sexual misconduct, shall contact:
• The Title IX Coordinator(s) when the alleged victim and/or respondent is a student.
• The EO Coordinator(s) when the alleged victim and the respondent are a composition of employees, authorized volunteer, guests or visitors.
Anyone can request advice and information about possible ways to proceed and to put the college on notice.
NJC shall investigate complaints pursuant to SP 3-50c and SP 4-31a, Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process for Employees and Students.
Reporting an Incident of Sexual Misconduct
Employee’s Obligation to Report
NJC employees have an ethical obligation to report any incidences they are aware of concerning discrimination and/or harassment. If the employee is unsure, s/he may direct their questions to Human Resources at the college. Failure to report will be considered a violation of BP 3-70, Colorado Community College System Code of Ethics, and may result in discipline, up to and including termination.
Reporting a Complaint
In order to take appropriate corrective action, NJC must be aware of discrimination, harassment and related retaliation that occur in NJC employment and educational programs or activities. Therefore, anyone who believes s/he has experienced or witnessed discrimination, harassment or related retaliation should promptly report such behavior to the Title IX and/or EO Coordinator.
Clery Act-Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations
Certain campus officials have a duty to report criminal 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.
Clery Act-Timely Warnings
To date, the Department of Education has declined to provide a definition of "timely reports." The Department of Education has advised that “timely reporting to the campus community. . . must be decided on a case-by-case basis in light of all the facts surrounding a crime, including factors such as the nature of the crime, the continuing danger to the campus community, and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts.” Victims of sexual misconduct 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. The college will make every effort to ensure that a victim’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger.
All Clery reportable crimes are subject to the "timely warning" requirements when police believe the crimes pose an ongoing threat regardless of whether or not the victim or perpetrator is a member of the campus community. However, there are often concerns raised regarding confidentiality if the information disclosed in the "timely warning" report would personally identify an individual. Information that might personally identify students may be disclosed, if disclosure of this information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals. For example, see the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the FERPA regulations: personally identifiable information may be disclosed from an education record of a student without the student’s consent “to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other individuals.” The campus may disclose personally identifying information about an individual if it determines “that compelling circumstances exist which affect the health or safety of an individual.” This standard also applies to the disclosure of personally identifying information about any other individuals, including campus employees and individuals not associated with the campus.
For more information on Clery Act reporting requirements please contact Steve Smith, VP of Student Services—Hays 132 (970) 521-6657.
Initial Response to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
NJC reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect employee and students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to:
• For employees, interim work reassignment, and administrative leave from the college pending an investigation, and reporting the matter to the local police in the jurisdiction where the college is located.
• For students, modification of living arrangements, class schedule reassignment, interim suspension from the college pending an investigation, and reporting the matter to the local police in the jurisdiction where the college is located.
• For authorized volunteers, interim volunteer reassignment or removal from volunteering pending an investigation, and reporting the matter to the local police in the jurisdiction where the college is located.
• For guests or visitors, the college may issue a no-trespass order and report the matter to the local police in the jurisdiction where the college is located.
Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and NJC reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, dismissal, termination, or no-trespass order, depending on the severity of the offense. NJC will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the respondent.
Employees found to be in violation of the sexual misconduct procedure will be sanctioned up to and including termination. All sanctioning will be in accordance with the policies, procedures, and rules that govern.
Employees found to have had actual knowledge of any sexual misconduct incidences and fails to report may be sanctioned up to and including termination. All sanctioning will be in accordance with the policies, procedures, and rules that govern.
Students found to be in violation of the sexual misconduct procedure will be sanctioned up to and including expulsion. All sanctioning will be in accordance with the policies, procedures, and rules that govern.
An authorized volunteer in violation of the sexual misconduct procedure will be dismissed from their volunteer duties to the college.
Guests or visitors found in violation of the sexual misconduct procedure will be issued a no-trespass order stating s/he will no longer be allowed on the college campus.
It is a violation of this procedure to engage in retaliatory acts against any employee or student who reports an incident of sexual misconduct, or any employee or student who testifies, assists or participates in a proceeding, investigation or hearing relating to such allegation of sexual misconduct.
NJC Campus Contacts
Director of Human Resources - Jeri Estrada 970.521.6730
Vice President of Student Services—Steve Smith; (970) 521-6657
Vice President for Academic Services—Stanton Gartin; (970) 521-6650
Director of Residence Life and Student Activities—Chelsea Blumenshine; (970) 521-6655
Athletic Director—Marci Henry; (970) 521-6617
Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and Title IX
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Sexual Assault Response Advocates (S.A.R.A.)
418 Ensign Street
Fort Morgan, Colorado 80701
(Phone) 970-867-2121 (Fax) 970-867-4714
(Toll Free) 1-855-440-SARA (7272)
Pandora’s Project: Support and resources for survivors of rape and sexual abuse www.pandys.org
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
This is a timely warning/notification of an alleged sexual assault, as required under the Clery Act and Title IX.
There has been a report of an alleged sexual assault that reportedly occurred in the Blue Spruce residence hall of NJC during the early morning hours of Sunday, October 11, 2015. Sterling Police have been notified. Police are aware of the identities of the complainant and the respondent.
While this matter does not appear to pose a continuing threat to the NJC community, students and employees are reminded to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity they observe. Tell a hall director, a campus administrator, or call the police or 9-1-1 if you are aware of any threat to safety, or see someone acting suspiciously.