- The purpose of these procedures is to provide a prompt and equitable resolution for complaints or reports of discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
- Any person believing that they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment on any of these bases may file a complaint or report with the Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX Team Member. These procedures address all complaints or reports of alleged discrimination or harassment, including conduct that violates the Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking and Retaliation Policy (hereinafter referred to as “Policy Violations”). The procedures also address complaints or reports of retaliation against those who have opposed practices forbidden under the policy, those who have filed complaints or reports under the policy, and those who have testified or otherwise participated in enforcement of the policy
- Complaints and Reporting
- Complaints and third-party reports of discrimination, including Policy Violations, or any other alleged conduct which may violate Title IX should be forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator or one of the Title IX Team Members for review. All instances of retaliation should be reported and will be addressed in the same manner.
- Complaints and reports should be made as soon as possible after an incident.
Dr. Karen Severson, Title IX Coordinator
LLC Suite 100
801 East Benjamin Ave Norfolk, NE 68702
Amanda Nipp, Title IX Deputy Coordinator
LLC Suite 100
801 East Benjamin Ave Norfolk, NE 68702
Jessica Dvorak, Title IX Deputy Coordinator
LLC Suite 100
801 East Benjamin Ave Norfolk, NE 68702
There are several avenues available for submitting a complaint or report:
- Leave a private voice message;
- Send a private email;
- Mail a letter;
- Visit the Title IX Coordinator or one of the Title IX Team Members (it is best to make an appointment first to ensure availability);
- Report to another trusted College official (e.g., Resident Assistant, Faculty, Coach, Advisor) who will provide information as required under the policy.
- If there is a complaint about the Title IX Coordinator or any staff member that is part of the Human Resource Office, or if the Title IX Coordinator or any staff member that is part of the Human Resource Office staff has a complaint, that complaint should be filed with the President of the College. The President will appoint another trained individual to take the place of the Title IX Coordinator for purposes of the complaint.
- Criminal Reporting
- Please remember that if someone is in immediate danger or needs immediate medical attention, the first place to report is 911. You may also report to the Sioux City Night Patrol on the Norfolk Campus (402) 841-5163. Some forms of discrimination and harassment may also be crimes. For example, sexual assault, stalking and rape are crimes. Criminal reports should be made to law enforcement, even if it is uncertain whether the particular conduct is a crime.
- Calling local law enforcement can help you: Obtain emergency and nonemergency medical care; get immediate law enforcement response for your protection; understand how to provide assistance in a situation that may escalate to more severe criminal behavior; arrange a meeting with victim advocate services; find counseling and support; initiate a criminal investigation; and answer questions about the criminal process.
- Process and Resolution
- When a report is received which indicates a behavior may have involved a Title IX violation, the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members will review the information to determine if the described behavior constitutes violations or concerns regarding Title IX. If there is not a potential Title IX Violation, it will be determined if other processes/policies apply and determine the best next steps. If there is a potential Title IX violation, the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members will do the following:
Assess the level of investigation and remedial measures already implemented.
- The College may take interim measures to assist or protect the parties during the grievance process, as necessary and with the Complainant’s consent. Such measures for a student Complainant may include arranging for changes in class schedules or living arrangements, issuing a no-contact order, obtaining counseling, and modifying test schedules or other class requirements temporarily. For an employee Complainant, the College may temporarily reassign or place on administrative leave an employee alleged to have violated this policy.
- Assess the need for a timely warning* and issues of mandated reporting (e.g., Clery) and communicate as appropriate with Police.
- Ensure that the Complainant, if known, is aware of the resources and remedial measures available and work with appropriate staff to work to implement appropriate measures.
- When only a third party Reporter is identified, make contact and share information that may be shared with a Complainant. (see Third Party Reports section below)
- Evaluate the severity and nature of the alleged behavior and its potential impact to the community.
- Determine appropriate investigative strategy based on the information received, and conduct or oversee a fair and impartial investigation of the alleged Policy Violation. Typically, an investigation will be completed within twenty (20) days of receipt of the complaint. If it becomes necessary to extend the process, both parties will be notified of a revised expected resolution time frame.
- Only trained investigators conduct investigations. Respondents will have the opportunity to review and respond to evidence considered against them. Both parties will have the opportunity to review and provide comments to the investigator about the written investigation report before it is finalized.
- Take reasonable action to ensure that the behavior has ended.
- Assess the need for action to prevent the behavior from occurring again, and take appropriate steps.
- Document case information. Information contained will be periodically shared with the Title IX Coordinator.
- In cases in which the Complainant wants the Complainant’s name kept confidential or does not want it to be shared with the Respondent(s), or requests that an investigation not be conducted, the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members will communicate to the Complainant that the College may be limited in the actions it can take.
- The Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members will also explain that retaliation for reporting alleged harassment or discrimination or for participating in a resolution is a violation and that any retaliation should be immediately reported and will be promptly addressed.
- The Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members will consider the reasons for the request, including concerns about continued safety of the person reportedly harmed and members of the campus community. The Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members must also balance considerations about the continued health and safety of members of the community against a Reporter’s or Complainant’s desire not to have the report investigated.
- In cases when a Reporter or Complainant does not want to have a report investigated, but the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members has concerns that not taking action might endanger the health or safety of members of the campus community, the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members will initiate confidential consultation with appropriate individuals to analyze the situation and assist in determining appropriate measures to take. Consultation may occur with the Vice President of Student Services, Dean of Student Life, chair(s) of the CARE Team, Sioux City Night Patrol Officer, Clery Compliance Officer/Director of Student Conduct, psychological health professional, Director of Residence Life and Food Service, Associate Vice President of Human Resources, and legal counsel. The Title IX Coordinator will make the ultimate decision about whether to conduct an investigation or respond to the report in another manner.
- A resolution must adequately address the concerns of the Complainant, as well as the rights of the Respondent and the overall intent of the College to stop, remedy and prevent Policy Violations. (Actions might include, but are not limited to: providing training to a work unit; provide educational programs; having a discussion with an individual whose conduct, if not stopped, could rise to the level of discrimination, or hostile environment harassment; or having a confidential conversation with a supervisor or instructor.) However, the Complainant’s name will not be shared with the Respondent or others, unless absolutely necessary to ensure the safety of the College community.
- If the information provided and the investigation confirms that additional action must be taken, every effort will be made to communicate with the Complainant to explain the rationale for proceeding and the status of the process, even if the Complainant does not wish to proceed. This may include, in certain circumstances, an explanation of why the Complainant’s request for confidentiality cannot be met.
- Initial Investigation Process:
- When an initial investigation is pursued, the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members will contact the Respondent to schedule a meeting. In that meeting, the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members will review the following:
- rights of the Respondent,
- the allegations,
- the Respondent's perspective on the allegations,
- actions requested by the Complainant, and
- actions recommended by the College.
- The Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members determine whether there is a preponderance of the evidence to believe that an individual engaged in a Policy Violation. This means that individuals are presumed not to have engaged in alleged conduct unless a “preponderance of the evidence” supports a finding that the conduct has occurred. This “preponderance of the evidence” standard requires that the evidence supporting each finding be more convincing than the evidence in opposition to it.
- In making the determination of whether harassment has created a hostile environment, the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members will consider not only whether the conduct was unwelcome to the Complainant, but also whether a reasonable person in the Complainant’s situation would have perceived the conduct as objectively offensive. The Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members findings will be in writing and will be provided to both the Complainant(s) and to the Respondent(s).
- If the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members finds a preponderance of the evidence of a Policy Violation does not exist, the matter is documented and closed; in this case the Complainant may appeal the finding according to the Discrimination Grievance Policy-.
- If the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members finds that a preponderance of the evidence of a policy violation exists, the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members written report will include recommendations for steps to take to prevent recurrence of any such violation, and as appropriate, remedies for the Complainant. The Respondent may appeal according to the Discrimination Grievance Policy. If the Respondent does not contest the finding, the Respondent will be required to sign the written finding and will be assigned the appropriate sanctions.
- In the case of student Respondents, the Discipline Authority will be the Director of Student Conduct.
- In the case of employees, the Discipline Authority is the College Administrator with the authority to impose sanctions in accordance with applicable employment policies and procedures and collective bargaining agreements.
- The Discipline Authority must inform the Title IX Coordinator of the ultimate sanctions imposed upon a Respondent.
- Relation to the Student Code of Conduct
- The Director of Student Conduct is charged with imposing sanctions on students who are found to have violated the policy. Sanctions may include eviction from campus housing, suspension, expulsion, probation, a warning, or any other sanction set forth in the Student Conduct Code. Disciplinary records for policy violations are maintained in the same manner as other disciplinary records, as described in article IV of Student Conduct Code Procedures, B.3.
- Anonymous and Third Party Reporting
- When a report of a Title IX concern is made by a third party Reporter, the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members will make contact with the third party and will:
- review the third party's understanding of the issues and incident,
- assess the level of investigation, accommodation and remedial actions already implemented,
- ascertain the current status of the Complainant,
- explain the College's process for managing Title IX allegations,
- make decisions regarding the need for a timely warning* and issues of mandated reporting, and
- assess the impact on the community and the climate.
- The Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members may be limited in the ability to investigate an anonymous report unless sufficient information is furnished to enable the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members to conduct a meaningful and fair investigation.
After the Investigation
*Timely Warnings: If it is determined that a timely warning is warranted under the Clery Act and/or there are additional security concerns, the police will be notified of the information shared with the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team Members. The Complainant, if known, will be notified if and when such a determination is made.