Sexual Misconduct and Harassment
An educational institution is a community of trust whose very existence depends on the recognition of each individual’s importance and value. This trust creates and nurtures the freedom of each individual to live, think, act, and speak in a manner that contributes to a wholesome and productive academic environment. It is the intent of RCC to foster and maintain a campus environment free of sexual misconduct and the fear of such behavior.
Sexual misconduct is a flagrant violation of the values and behavioral expectations for a college community. RCC does not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form. All reported violations will be investigated and, if proven, punished through the college disciplinary processes.
This policy provides all RCC faculty, staff, and students with a method for addressing complaints of sexual misconduct involving students and/or students and college employees.
Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment and sexual assault, and each is defined below.
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct or written communication of a sexual nature. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to a victim’s use of drugs or alcohol. An individual also may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
Sexual assault includes intentionally touching, either directly or through clothing, of the victim’s genitals, breasts, thighs or buttocks without the victim’s consent, as well as touching or fondling of the accused by the victim when the victim is forced to do so against his or her will. Although sexual advances such as touching, patting, hugging or brushing against a person’s body are generally viewed as forms of sexual harassment, the acts are in fact legally categorized as assault, which is a misdemeanor offense. The victims of such unwanted sexual advances may take legal action.
Harassment has two legal aspects:
- Quid pro quo – Harassment occurs when the unwelcome conduct is either explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s employment and/or academic performance.
- Hostile environment – Hostile environment harassment differs from ‘quid pro quo’ harassment in that no discriminatory effect on grades, wages, job assignments, or other tangible benefits is required. Instead, such unwelcome sexist or sexual conduct has at least one of these purposes or effects:
- It unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work and/or academic performance.
- It creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work and/or academic environment.
Gender-based harassment includes acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
Sexual harassment and gender-based harassment are contrary to the values of RCC and will not be tolerated in any form. Sexual harassment, a form of sex discrimination, and gender-based harassment are prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This policy applies to all members of the college community including students, classified and wage employees, and members of the instructional, administrative and professional faculty.
Any employee of or student at RCC found guilty of sexual harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action which may include dismissal or expulsion.
This policy does not preclude academically relevant discussions or presentations concerning gender or sex. The fact that such discussions or presentations may cause some students discomfort does not in itself indicate hostile environment harassment. If relevant to course content, gender and sex are legitimate areas of inquiry.
Nothing in this policy is intended to inhibit or restrict the free speech content of written or oral presentations. Academic freedom and, more generally, freedom of expression are of paramount value in an academic community.
Procedures for Reporting
Students should report instances of sexual or gender-based harassment to the college’s Title IX Coordinator, Lorraine Justice, 804-333-6737, firstname.lastname@example.org All reports will be investigated and managed using the Student Disciplinary Procedure found in the RCC Student Handbook www.rappahannock.edu/catalog/student-handbook/Student-Disciplinary-Procedure/. The student bringing a complaint of harassment also may initiate legal proceedings.
Title XI Report Form
College employees should report instances of sexual or gender-based harassment in the workplace to the Human Resource Office.
Any reported act of sexual assault involving students will be aggressively investigated and appropriate action will be taken as outlined in the Student Disciplinary Procedure. Victims will be informed of available resources and courses of action. It should be stressed that seeking assistance does not obligate the victim to take further action. Depending on the circumstances and the wishes of the victim, one or more of the following courses of action may be pursued: If the assault occurs on campus, the victim should contact the Title IX Officer, or if the Title IX Officer is not available contact either the dean of student development or the campus security office for assistance. This individual or office will notify the police. If the assault occurs off campus and involves another RCC student or college employee, report the assault to local police and to the Title IX Officer.
Assaults will be reported to the police by the dean of student development. Reporting an assault does not require the victim to prosecute at the time of the assault. The victim may not feel prepared to make that decision immediately following the assault. However, a delayed report could result in the loss of physical evidence that could be vital in legal proceedings. After reporting the assault to the police, the decision to continue legal proceedings is the victim’s.
The victim may choose not to report the assault to the police. If the victim chooses not to report the assault immediately, it can be reported later. Victim’s services are available through local law enforcement agencies.
An individual who has been sexually assaulted may choose a civil course of action against the assailant. If the victim wishes to explore this option, private legal counsel should be consulted.
The emergency room at the nearest hospital can provide immediate medical attention and assistance with concerns about pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases.
A victim may choose to see a family doctor or gynecologist as another medical option. The victim or the victim’s personal insurance will be responsible for all medical costs if the purpose of seeking medical attention is not for collecting physical evidence.
Counselors, both on campus and in the community, are available for immediate and long-term concerns.