622.000 - Discrimination and Harassment
Clark College is committed to freedom from discrimination for all members of the College community. The College expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or use of a trained guide dog or service animal. In addition, the College is committed to freedom from all forms of harassment including sexual harassment, domestic violence and harassment in the workplace. All claims of discrimination and harassment will be investigated by the designee of the president.
Clark College recognizes its responsibility for investigation, resolution, implementation of corrective measures, and monitoring the educational environment and workplace to stop, remediate, and prevent discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or use of a trained guide dog or service animal, as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendment Act, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and Washington State’s Law Against Discrimination, Chapter 49.60 RCW and their implementing regulations. To this end, Clark College enacted policies prohibiting discrimination against and harassment of members of these protected classes. Any individual found to be in violation of these policies will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the College or from employment.
1. Complainant: employee(s), applicant(s), student(s), or visitors(s) of Clark College who alleges that they were subjected to discrimination or harassment due to their membership in a protected class.
2. Complaint: a description of facts that allege violation of the College’s policy against discrimination or harassment.
3. Consent: knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Each party is responsible to make certain that the other consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid there must be, at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact, actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has engaged in nonconsensual conduct.
Intoxication is not a defense against allegations that an individual engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct.
4. Discrimination: unfavorable treatment of a person based on that person’s membership or perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment is a form of discrimination.
5. Harassment: a form of discrimination consisting of physical or verbal conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual because of their membership in a protected class or their perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it has the effect of altering the terms or conditions of employment or substantially limiting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational and/or social programs. Examples of conduct that could rise to the level of discriminatory harassment include but are not limited to the following:
a. Epithets, "jokes," ridicule, mockery or other offensive or derogatory conduct focused upon an individual's membership in a protected class.
b. Verbal or physical threats of violence or physical contact directed towards an individual based upon their membership in a protected class.
c. Making, posting, emailing, texting, or otherwise circulating demeaning or offensive pictures, cartoons, graffiti, notes or other materials that relate to race, ethnic origin, gender or any other protected class.
6. Protected Class: persons who are protected under state or federal civil rights laws, including laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or use of a trained guide dog or service animal.
7. Resolution: the means by which the complaint is finally addressed. This may be accomplished through informal or formal processes, including counseling, mediation, or the formal imposition of discipline sanction.
8. Respondent: person or persons who are members of the campus community who allegedly discriminated against or harassed another person or persons.
9. Sexual Harassment: a form of discrimination consisting of unwelcome, gender-based verbal, written, electronic and/or physical conduct. Sexual harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person's gender. There are two types of sexual harassment.
a. Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it has the effect of altering the terms or conditions of employment or substantially limiting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational and/or social programs.
b. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment occurs when an individual in a position of real or perceived authority, conditions the receipt of a benefit upon granting of sexual favors.
Examples of conduct that may qualify as sexual harassment include:
i. Persistent comments or questions of a sexual nature.
ii. A supervisor who gives an employee a raise in exchange for submitting to sexual advances.
iii. An instructor who promises a student a better grade in exchange for sexual favors.
iv. Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes.
v. Unwelcome touching, patting, hugging, kissing, or brushing against an individual's body.
vi. Remarks of a sexual nature about an individual's clothing, body, or speculations about previous sexual experiences.
vii. Persistent, unwanted attempts to change a professional relationship to an amorous relationship.
viii. Direct or indirect propositions for sexual activity.
ix. Unwelcome letters, emails, texts, telephone calls, or other communications referring to or depicting sexual activities.
10. Sexual Violence: is a type of sexual discrimination and harassment which includes:
a. Nonconsensual sexual intercourse. Any actual or attempted sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object or body part, by a person upon another person, that is without Consent and/or by force. Sexual intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
b. Nonconsensual sexual contact. Any actual or attempted sexual touching, however slight, with any body part or object, by a person upon another person that is without Consent and/or by force. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
c. Incest. Sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a person known to be related to them, either legitimately or illegitimately, as an ancestor, descendant, brother, or sister of either wholly or half related. Descendant includes stepchildren, and adopted children under the age of eighteen (18).
d. Statutory Rape. Consensual intercourse between a person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older, and a person who is under the age of sixteen (16).
e. Domestic violence. Physical violence, bodily injury, assault, the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, sexual assault, or stalking committed by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of State of Washington, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Washington, RCW 26.50.010.
f. Dating violence, Physical violence, bodily injury, assault, the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, sexual assault, or stalking committed by a person (i) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (ii) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
(i) The length of the relationship;
(ii) The type of relationship; and
(iii) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship
g. Stalking. Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (i) fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (ii) suffer substantial emotional distress.
11. Bullying: Workplace and/or Classroom bullying is defined as persistent, unwelcome, severe, and pervasive mistreatment that harms, intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates an employee or student, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, including “cyber” bullying, in the course of employment, or pursuit of education. Any employee found in violation of this policy, will be disciplined, up to and including immediate termination. Any student found in violation of the Code of Student Conduct, as it relates to this policy, will be disciplined, up to and including, immediate expulsion from the college. Examples of bullying behavior include, but are not limited to:
a. Being held to a different standard than the rest of an employee’s work group;
b. Consistent ignoring or interrupting of an employee in front of co-workers;
c. Personal attacks (angry outbursts, excessive profanity, or name-calling);
d. Encouragement of others to turn against, marginalize, or ostracize the targeted employee;
e. Use of email, internet, or other “cyber” venues to denigrate the targeted employee.
C. TITLE IX/EEO COORDINATOR
Title IX / EEO Coordinator
Office: 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, BRD 012, Vancouver, Washington, 98663. Phone 360-992-2057.
The Title IX / EEO Coordinator or designee:
1. Will accept all complaints and referrals from College employees, applicants, students,
2. Will make determinations regarding how to handle requests by complainants for confidentiality.
3. Will keep accurate records of all complaints and referrals for the required time period.
4. May conduct investigations or delegate and oversee investigations conducted by a designee.
5. May impose interim remedial measures to protect parties during investigations of discrimination or harassment.
6. Will issue written findings and recommendations upon completion of an investigation.
7. May recommend specific corrective measures to stop, remediate, and prevent the recurrence of inappropriate conduct.
D. HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT
Any employee, applicant, student or visitor of the College may file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator. If the complaint is against that Coordinator, the complainant should report the matter to the president’s office for referral to an alternate designee.
If the College President is the subject of allegations of harassment or discrimination, the complaint will go directly to the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the College.
If the complaint is against the Board of Trustees, the complaint falls outside the scope of this document. Complaints against the Board of Trustees should be filed with the State of Washington Affirmative Action Office for employees and applicants. Complaints from students or community members against a member of the Board of Trustees should be filed with the Office of Civil Rights of the US Department of Education.
Complaints may be submitted in writing or verbally. The College encourages the timely reporting of any incidents of discrimination or harassment. For complainants who wish to submit a written complaint, a formal complaint form is available online at Non-Student Discrimination and Harassment Grievance Complaint Form or Student Complaint Form Hardcopies of the complaint form are available at the following locations on campus: Title IX CoordinatorDi, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, BRD 012, Vancouver, Washington, 98663. Phone 360-992-2057. Any person submitting a discrimination complaint shall be provided with a written copy of the College’s anti-discrimination policies and procedures.
E. CONFIDENTIALITY AND RIGHT TO PRIVACY
Clark College will seek to protect the privacy of the complainant to the full extent possible, consistent with the legal obligation to investigate, take appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action, and comply with the federal and state law, as well as College policies and procedures. Although Clark College will attempt to honor complainants’ requests for confidentiality, it cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator will make determinations regarding how to handle requests for confidentiality.
Confidentiality Requests and Sexual Violence Complaints. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator will inform and obtain consent from the complainant before commencing an investigation into a sexual violence complaint. If a sexual violence complainant asks that their name not be revealed to the respondent or that the College not investigate the allegation, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator will inform the complainant that maintaining confidentiality may limit the college’s ability to respond to the allegations and that retaliation by the respondent and/or others is prohibited. If the complainant still insists that their name not be disclosed or that the College not investigate, the Title IX /EEO Coordinator will determine whether the College can honor the request and at the same time maintain a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of the college community, including the complainant. Factors to be weighed during this determination may include, but are not limited to:
1. the seriousness of the alleged sexual violence;
2. the age of the complainant;
3. whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
4. whether the respondent has a history of committing acts of sexual violence or violence or has been the subject of other sexual violence complaints whether the respondent threatened to commit additional acts of sexual violence against the complainant or others; and
5. whether relevant evidence can be obtained through other means (e.g., security cameras, other witnesses, physical evidence).
If the College is unable to honor a complainant’s request for confidentiality, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator will notify the complainant of the decision and ensure that complainant’s identity is disclosed only to the extent reasonably necessary to effectively conduct and complete the investigation.
If the College decides not to conduct an investigation or take disciplinary action because of a request for confidentiality, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator will evaluate whether other measures are available to limit the effects of the harassment and prevent its recurrence and implement such measures if reasonably feasible.
F. INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE
Upon receiving a discrimination complaint, the College shall commence an impartial
investigation. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator shall be responsible for overseeing
all investigations. Investigations may be conducted by the Title IX / EEO Coordinator
or their designee. If the investigation is assigned to someone other than the Title
IX /EEO Coordinator, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator shall inform the complainant and
respondent(s) of the appointment of an investigator.
Interim Measures. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator may impose interim measures to protect the complainant and/or respondent pending the conclusion of the investigation. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to, imposition of no contact orders, rescheduling classes, temporary work reassignments, referrals for counseling or medical assistance, and imposition of a summary suspension in compliance with the College’s student conduct code or an administrative leave of absence in compliance with the College’s employment policies and collective bargaining agreements.
Informal Dispute Resolution. Informal dispute resolution processes, like mediation, may be used to resolve complaints, when appropriate. Informal dispute resolution shall not be used to resolve sexual discrimination complaints without written permission from both the complainant and the respondent. If the parties elect to mediate a dispute, either party shall be free to discontinue mediation at any time. In no event shall mediation be used to resolve complaints involving allegations of sexual violence.
Investigation. Complaints shall be thoroughly and impartially investigated. The investigation shall include, but is not limited to, interviewing the complainant and the respondent, relevant witnesses, and reviewing relevant documents. The investigation shall be concluded within a reasonable time, normally ninety days unless there is good cause shown. Good cause includes, but is not limited to a party or a witness being unavailable; concurrent law enforcement activity; and the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities. If it appears completion of the investigation will take longer than ninety days, the Title IX/EEO Coordinator will notify the parties, describe the reasons for the delay, and provide an estimated time for completing the investigation.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator shall set forth their findings in writing. If the investigator is someone other than the Title IX / EEO Coordinator, the investigator shall send a copy of the findings to the Title IX / EEO Coordinator.
The Title IX / EEO Coordinator will provide each party and the appropriate student services administrator or appointing authority with written notice of the investigative findings, subject to the following limitations. The complainant shall be informed in writing of the findings only to the extent that such findings directly related to the complainant’s allegations. The complainant may be notified generally that the matter has been referred for disciplinary action. The respondent shall be informed in writing of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint and shall be notified of referrals for disciplinary action. Both the complainant and the respondent are entitled to review the investigative findings subject to any FERPA confidentiality requirements.
Final Decision/Reconsideration. Either the complainant or the respondent may seek reconsideration of the investigation findings. Requests for reconsideration shall be submitted in writing to the Title IX / EEO Coordinator within seven days of receiving the investigation report. Requests must specify which portion of the findings should be reconsidered and the basis for reconsideration. If no request for reconsideration is received within seven days, the findings become final. If a request for reconsideration is received, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator shall respond within ten days. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator shall either deny the request or, if the Title IX / EEO Coordinator determines that the request for reconsideration has merit, issue amended findings. Any amended findings are final and no further reconsideration is available.
G. PUBLICATION OF ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The policies and procedures regarding complaints of discrimination and harassment shall be published and distributed as determined by the president or president's designee. Any person who believes they were subjected to discrimination in violation of College policy will be provided a copy of these policies and procedures.
H. LIMITS TO AUTHORITY
Nothing in this procedure shall prevent the College President or designee from taking immediate disciplinary action in accordance with Clark College policies and procedures, and federal, state, and municipal rules and regulations.
I. NON-RETALIATION, INTIMIDATION AND COERCION
Retaliation by, for or against any participant (including complainant, respondent, witness, Title IX / EEO Coordinator, or investigator) is expressly prohibited. Retaliatory action of any kind taken against individuals as a result of seeking redress under the applicable procedures or serving as a witness in a subsequent investigation or any resulting disciplinary proceedings is prohibited and is conduct subject to discipline. Any person who thinks they have been the victim of retaliation should contact the Title IX / EEO Coordinator immediately.
J. CRIMINAL COMPLAINTS
Discriminatory or harassing conduct may also be, or occur in conjunction with, criminal conduct. Criminal complaints may be filed with the following law enforcement authorities:
Vancouver Police Department
605 E. Evergreen Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98661
Clark County Sheriff’s Office
707 West 13th Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 410
Vancouver, WA 98666
Main Phone: (360) 397-2211
The College will proceed with an investigation of harassment and discrimination complaints regardless of whether the underlying conduct is subject to civil or criminal prosecution.
K. OTHER DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT OPTIONS
Discrimination complaints may also be filed with the following federal and state agencies:
Washington State Human Rights Commission, http://www.hum.wa.gov/index.html
US Dept of Education Office for Civil Rights, http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, http://www.eeoc.gov/
March 3, 2015
Consensual romantic or sexual relationships between College employees and other employees or students over whom the employee has supervisory, instructional, or evaluative authority have potential for adverse consequences, including the filing of sexual harassment charges. Persons who engage in such relationships assume the risks and responsibilities associated with those relationships. The College does not condone or encourage consensual relationships as described in this policy.
No member of the College community should make recommendations or decisions, vote, or in any other way participate in any process that may directly affect the employment, promotion, academic status, or evaluation of any person with whom they have or had a familial, sexual, or romantic relationship. Should such a situation arise, both parties in the relationship are under an equal obligation to remove themselves from participation in the process.
Grievances regarding this policy are handled through the College’s discrimination and harassment grievance procedure (Administrative Procedure 620.010; chapter WAC 132N-300).
The College is committed to providing appropriate support and assistance to employees who are victims of domestic violence. This includes confidential means of coming forward for help; resource and referral information; work schedule adjustments or leave as feasible to obtain assistance; and workplace relocation as feasible. Other appropriate assistance will be provided based on individual need.
The College is committed to working with employees who are victims of domestic violence to prevent abuse and harassment from occurring in the workplace. No employee will be penalized or disciplined solely for being a victim of harassment in the workplace.
Employees who are perpetrators of domestic violence are also encouraged to seek assistance. The College will provide information regarding counseling and certified treatment resources and make work schedule arrangements to receive such assistance.
The College will not tolerate domestic violence, including harassment of any employee or visitor while in College offices, facilities, work sites, vehicles, or while conducting College business. This includes the display of any violent or threatening behavior (verbal or physical) that may result in physical or emotional injury or otherwise places one's safety and productivity at risk.
Any employee who threatens, harasses, or abuses someone at the workplace, assists another person in perpetrating any of these behaviors, at or from the workplace using any state resources such as work time, workplace phones, FAX machines, mail, e-mail, or other means, may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Corrective or disciplinary action may also be taken against employees who are arrested, convicted, or issued a permanent injunction as a result of domestic violence when such action has a direct connection to the employee's duties as a College employee. Any actions taken will be in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements.
All employees need to take seriously the problem of domestic violence and its effect in the workplace. The College will take all reasonable measures to foster a safe working environment for all employees. Questions regarding this policy and associated procedures should be directed to Human Resources.
A College faculty or staff member, administrator, or student who experiences harassment from another member of the College community, or any other person, may obtain an anti-harassment protection order as provided in Chapter 10.14 RCW. Although the order can only be obtained by an individual, and not by the College on behalf of an individual, the College can support the aggrieved person in the following ways:
Human Resources or the appropriate supervisor can provide resource and referral information and informal advice and assistance that can include, at the request of the complainant, facilitating a meeting between the complainant and the person committing the alleged harassment.
As allowable, and in accordance with the provisions of Administrative Procedure, 420.001, the College’s public records officer may provide copies of documents related to the complainant’s allegations.
The appropriate administrator can take disciplinary action as prescribed in the Student Code of Conduct, collective bargaining agreements, WAC rules, or other applicable College policies.
Anti-harassment orders may be obtained through the Clark County District Court. Petitioner completes the paperwork and pays the required fee at the time of filing. A Clark College employee who obtains an anti-harassment protection order must provide the Director of Safety and Security Services with a copy of the approved order.
Clark College recognizes its responsibility to investigate, resolve, implement corrective measures, and monitor the educational environment and workplace to stop, remediate, and prevent discrimination on the basis of sex, as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, and Washington State’s Law Against Discrimination, and their implementing regulations. To this end, Clark College enacted WAC 132N-125-300 and adopted the following Title IX Grievance Procedure for receiving and investigating Sexual Harassment allegations arising during education programs and activities. Any individual found responsible for violating Clark College’s Title IX policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the college educational programs and activities and/or termination of employment.
Application of this Title IX Grievance Procedure is restricted to allegations of “Sexual Harassment,” as that term is defined in 34 C.F.R. §106.30. Nothing in this procedure limits or otherwise restricts Clark College’s ability to investigate and pursue discipline based on alleged violations of other federal, state, and local laws, their implementing regulations, and other college policies prohibiting gender discrimination through processes set forth in the college’s code of student conduct, employment contracts, employee handbooks, and collective bargaining agreements.
For purposes of this Title IX Grievance Procedure, the following terms are defined as follows:
1. “Consent” means knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Each party is responsible to make certain that the other consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or are disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has engaged in nonconsensual conduct.
Intoxication is not a defense against allegations that an individual engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct.
2. “Complainant” means an individual alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Sexual Harassment.
3. “Respondent” means an individual reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Sexual Harassment.
4. “Formal Complaint” means a writing submitted by the Complainant or signed by the Title IX coordinator alleging Sexual Harassment against a Respondent and requesting that Clark College conduct an investigation.
5. “Education Program or Activity” includes locations, events, or circumstances over which Clark College exercised substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the alleged Sexual Harassment occurred. It also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization officially recognized by the college.
6. “Grievance Procedure” is the process Clark College uses to initiate, informally resolve, and/or investigate allegations that an employee or student violated Title IX provisions prohibiting sexual harassment.
7. “Supportive Measures” are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or Respondent regardless of whether the Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator filed a Formal Complaint. Supportive Measures restore or preserve a party’s access to the college’s education programs and activities without unreasonably burdening the other party, as determined through an interactive process between the Title IX Coordinator and the party. Supportive Measures include measures designed to protect the safety of all parties and/or Clark College’s educational environment and/or to deter Sexual Harassment or retaliation. Supportive measures may include, but are not limited to, (i) counseling and other medical assistance, (ii) extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, (iii) modifications of work or class schedules, (iv) leaves of absence, (v) increased security or monitoring of certain areas of campus, and (vi) imposition of orders prohibiting the parties from contacting one another in housing or work situations. Determinations about whether to impose a one-way no contact order must be made on a case-by-case basis. If supportive measures are not provided, the Title IX Coordinator must document in writing why this was clearly reasonable under the circumstances.
8. “Summary Suspension” means an emergency suspension of a student Respondent pending investigation and resolution of disciplinary proceedings pursuant to the procedure and standards set forth in WAC 132N-125-145.
9. “Sexual Harassment,” for purposes of these Title IX Grievance Procedures, Sexual Harassment occurs when a Respondent engages in the following discriminatory conduct on the basis of sex:
a. Quid pro quo harassment. A Clark College employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the college on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
b. Hostile environment. Unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the Clark College’s educational programs or activities or Clark College employment.
c. Sexual assault. Sexual assault includes the following conduct:
(i) Nonconsensual sexual intercourse. Any actual or attempted sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object or body part, by a person upon another person, that is without Consent and/or by force. Sexual intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
(ii) Nonconsensual sexual contact. Any actual or attempted sexual touching, however slight, with any body part or object, by a person upon another person that is without Consent and/or by force. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
(iii) Incest. Sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a person known to be related to them, either legitimately or illegitimately, as an ancestor, descendant, brother, or sister of either wholly or half related. Descendant includes stepchildren, and adopted children under the age of eighteen (18).
(iv) Statutory rape. Consensual intercourse between a person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older, and a person who is under the age of sixteen (16).
(v) Domestic violence. Physical violence, bodily injury, assault, the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, sexual assault, or stalking committed by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Washington, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Washington, RCW 26.50.010.
(vi) Dating violence, Physical violence, bodily injury, assault, the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, sexual assault, or stalking committed by a person (i) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (ii) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
(a) The length of the relationship;
(b) The type of relationship; and
(c) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
(i) Stalking. Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (i) fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (ii) suffer substantial emotional distress.
10. “Title IX Administrators” are the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX investigators, the Student Conduct Officer, Student Conduct Committee members, the President of the College or their designee, and Clark College-provided advisors assigned to the parties by the College during Title IX disciplinary proceedings.
11. “Title IX Coordinator” is responsible for processing Title IX complaints and conducting and/or overseeing formal investigations and informal resolution processes under this Grievance Procedure. Among other things, the Title IX Coordinator is responsible for:
a. Accepting and processing all Title IX reports, referrals, and Formal Complaints.
b. Executing and submitting a Formal Complaint when appropriate and necessary.
c. Handling requests for confidentiality.
d. Determining during the Grievance Procedure (i) whether a Formal Complaint should be dismissed either in whole or in part, and if so, (ii) providing notice to both parties about why dismissal was necessary or desirable, and (iii) referring the complaint to the appropriate disciplinary authority for proceedings outside the jurisdiction of Title IX.
e. Maintaining accurate records of all complaints, reports, and referrals, and retaining investigation files, complaints, reports, and referrals in compliance with the applicable records retention schedules or federal or state law, whichever is longer.
f. Conducting investigations or assigning and overseeing investigations.
g. Engaging in an interactive process with both parties to identify and provide supportive measures that ensure during the investigation and disciplinary processes that the parties have equitable access to education programs and activities and are protected from further discrimination or retaliation.
h. Upon completion of an investigation, issuing or overseeing the issuance of a final investigation report to the parties and the appropriate disciplinary authority in compliance with this Grievance Procedure.
i. Recommending non-disciplinary corrective measures to stop, remediate, and/or prevent recurrence of discriminatory conduct to disciplinary authorities and other Clark College administrators.
C. Principles for Title IX Grievance Procedure
1. Respondent shall be presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct unless or until a determination of responsibility is reached after completion of the grievance and disciplinary processes.
2. Before imposing discipline, the college is responsible for gathering and presenting evidence to a neutral and unbiased decision maker establishing responsibility for a Title IX violation by a preponderance of the evidence.
3. Clark College shall treat both the Complainant and Respondent equitably by providing Complainant with remedies against a Respondent found responsible for Sexual Harassment through application of the college’s Title IX grievance and applicable Title IX disciplinary procedures and by providing Respondent with Title IX procedural safeguards contained in this Title IX Grievance Procedures and in the applicable Title IX disciplinary procedures.
4. The investigator shall base investigation results on all relevant evidence, including both exculpatory and inculpatory evidence.
5. Formal and informal resolutions will be pursued within reasonably prompt timeframes with allowances for temporary delays and extensions for good cause shown. Grounds for temporary delay include, but are not limited to quarterly breaks, inclement weather, staff absences, and the cyclical nature of some positions. Good cause supporting a request for an extension includes, but is not limited to a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness being unavailable; concurrent law enforcement activity; and the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities. Both parties will receive written notice of any temporary delay or extension for good cause with an explanation of why the action was necessary.
6. A Respondent found responsible for engaging in Sexual Harassment may receive discipline up to and including dismissal from the Clark College. A description of other possible disciplinary sanctions and conditions that may be imposed against students can be found in WAC 132N-126-045.
An employee found responsible for Sexual Harassment may receive discipline up to and including dismissal from employment. A description of possible disciplinary sanctions and conditions that may be imposed against employees can be found at 640.002 Dismissal-for-Cause of Tenured Faculty; 640.004 Dismissal of Part-Time and Full-Time Temporary Exempt Employees; and 640.006 Dismissal of Classified Employees.
7. In proceedings against a student Respondent, the parties may appeal the Student Conduct Committee’s ruling to the President pursuant to WAC 132N-126-105 and Supplement Title IX Student Conduct Code Procedures, WAC 132N-126-240.
In proceedings against an employee Respondent, the parties may appeal the Employee Disciplinary Decision to the President pursuant to Clark College Administrative Procedure 622.040, Supplemental Title IX Employee Disciplinary Hearing Procedure.
8. Title IX Administrators may not require, allow, rely upon, or otherwise use questions or evidence that seeks disclosure of privileged communications, unless the privilege has been effectively waived by the holder. This provision applies, but is not limited to information subject to the following:
a. Spousal/domestic partner privilege;
b. Attorney-Client and attorney work product privileges;
c. Privileges applicable to members of the clergy and priests;
d. Privileges applicable to medical providers, mental health therapists, and counsellors;
e. Privileges applicable to sexual assault and domestic violence advocates; and
f. Other legal privileges identified in RCW 5.60.060.
D. Title IX Administrators – Free from bias – Training requirements
1. Title IX Administrators shall perform their duties free from bias or conflicts.
2. Title IX Administrators shall undergo training on the following topics:
a. The definition of Sexual Harassment under these procedures,
b. The scope of Clark College’s educational programs and activities,
c. How to conduct an investigation,
d. How to serve impartially without prejudgment of facts, conflicts of interest, or bias,
e. Use of technology used during an investigation or hearing,
f. The relevance of evidence and questions, and
g. Effective report writing.
3. All Title IX Administrator training materials shall be available on the college’s Title IX webpage.
E. Filing a Complaint
Any employee, student, applicant, or visitor who believes they have been the subject of Sexual Harassment should report the incident or incidents to the Clark College Title IX Coordinator identified below. If the complaint is against the Title IX Coordinator, the Complainant should report the matter to the President’s office for referral to an alternate designee.
Name: Yaju Dharmarajah
Title: Title IX Coordinator
Office: 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, BRD 012, Vancouver, Washington, 98663. Phone 360-992-2057.
1. Clark College will seek to protect the privacy of the Complainant to the fullest extent possible, consistent with the legal obligation to investigate, take appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action, and comply with the federal and state law, as well as Clark College policies and procedures. Although the college will attempt to honor Complainants' requests for confidentiality, it cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Determinations regarding how to handle requests for confidentiality will be made by the Title IX Coordinator.
2. The Title IX Coordinator will inform and attempt to obtain consent from the Complainant before commencing an investigation of alleged Sexual Harassment. If a Complainant asks that their name not be revealed to the Respondent or that the college not investigate the allegation, the Title IX Coordinator will inform the Complainant that maintaining confidentiality may limit the college's ability to fully respond to the allegations and that retaliation by the Respondent and/or others is prohibited. If the Complainant still insists that their name not be disclosed or that Clark College not investigate, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the college can honor the request and at the same time maintain a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the Clark College community, including the Complainant. Factors to be weighed during this determination may include, but are not limited to:
a. The seriousness of the alleged Sexual Harassment;
b. The age of the Complainant;
c. Whether the Sexual Harassment was perpetrated with a weapon;
d. Whether the Respondent has a history of committing acts of Sexual Harassment or violence or has been the subject of other Sexual Harassment or violence complaints or findings;
e. Whether the Respondent threatened to commit additional acts of Sexual Harassment or violence against the Complainant or others; and
f. Whether relevant evidence about the alleged incident can be obtained through other means (e.g., security cameras, other witnesses, physical evidence).
3. If the college is unable to honor a Complainant’s request for confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the Complainant of the decision and ensure that Complainant’s identity is disclosed only to the extent reasonably necessary to effectively conduct and complete the investigation in compliance with this Grievance Procedure.
4. If Clark College decides not to conduct an investigation or take disciplinary action because of a request for confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator will evaluate whether other measures are available to address the circumstances giving rise to the complaint and prevent their recurrence, and implement such measures if reasonably feasible.
G. Complaint Resolution
The Title IX resolution processes are initiated when the Title IX Coordinator’s Office receives a written complaint alleging that a Respondent(s) sexually harassed a Complainant and requesting that Clark College initiate an investigation (a Formal Complaint). A Formal Complaint must be either submitted by the Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator on behalf of the Complainant. Formal complaints submitted to the Title IX Coordinator may be resolved through either informal or formal resolution processes. The college will not proceed with either resolution process without a Formal Complaint.
For purposes of this Title IX Grievance Procedure, the Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in a Clark College education program or activity at the time the Formal Complaint is filed.
1. Informal Resolution:
Under appropriate circumstances and if the impacted and responding parties agree, they may voluntarily pursue informal resolution during the investigation of a concern. Informal resolution is not appropriate when the allegations involve a mandatory reporting situation, an immediate threat to the health, safety or welfare of a member of the Clark College community, or in cases where an employee is alleged to have sexually harassed a student.
If an informal resolution is appropriate, the impacted party and the responding party may explore remedies or resolution through:
· Guided conversations or communications conducted by the Title IX coordinator / HRO representative or a mutually agreed upon third party;
· Structured resolution process conducted by a trained mediator; or
· Voluntarily agreed on alterations to either or both of the parties’ work or class schedules or student housing arrangements.
If the parties agree to an informal resolution process, the college will commence the process within five business days after the parties agree to this option and conclude within five business days of beginning that process; subject to reasonably delays and extensions for good cause shown. The informal process is voluntary. Either the impacted or responding party may withdraw from the informal resolution process at any time, at which point the formal investigation process will resume.
If the impacted and responding party voluntarily resolve a report, the college will record the terms of the resolution in a written agreement signed by both parties and provide written notice to both parties that the report has been closed.
2. Formal Resolution
Formal resolution means that the Complainant’s allegations of Sexual Harassment will be subjected to a formal investigation by an impartial and unbiased investigator. The investigator will issue a report of the investigation findings. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will submit the final investigation report to the appropriate disciplinary authority to determine whether disciplinary proceedings are warranted.
H. Emergency Removal
If a student Respondent poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of the College Community or an immediate threat of significant disruption to Clark College operations, the college’s student conduct officer may summarily suspend a Respondent pursuant to WAC 132N-126-150 pending final resolution of the allegations. Nothing in this Grievance Procedure prohibits the Clark College from placing non‑student employees on administrative leave pending final resolution of the allegations.
I. Investigation Notices
Upon receiving a Formal Complaint and determining that allegations comport with Title IX claims, Clark College will provide the parties with the following notices containing the following information:
1. Notice of formal and informal resolution processes. A description of the Clark College’s grievance resolution procedures, including the informal resolution procedure.
2. The investigator will serve the Respondent and the Complainant with a Notice of Investigation in advance of the initial interview with the Respondent to allow the Respondent sufficient time to prepare a response to the allegations and to inform the Complainant that Clark College commenced an investigation. The investigation notice will:
a. Include the identities of the parties (if known), a description of the conduct alleged constituting Title IX Sexual Harassment, and the time and location of the incident (if known).
b. Confirm that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that the college will not make a final determination of responsibility until after the grievance and disciplinary processes have been completed.
c. Inform parties that they are both entitled to have an advisor of their own choosing, who may be an attorney.
d. Inform parties they have a right to review and inspect evidence.
e. Inform parties about student conduct code provisions and employment policies that prohibit students and employees from knowingly submitting false information during the grievance and disciplinary processes.
3. Amended investigation notice. If during the course of the investigation, if Clark College decides to investigate Title IX Sexual Harassment allegations about the Complainant or Respondent that are not included in the investigation notice, the college will issue an amended notice of investigation to both parties that includes this additional information.
4. Interview and meeting notices. Before any interviewing or meeting with a party about Title IX allegations, the college shall provide a five business day written notice to the party identifying the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of the interview or meeting to allow the party to prepare for the interview or meeting.
J. Investigation Process - Dismissal
1. Mandatory dismissal. The Title IX Coordinator will dismiss the Title IX allegations, if during the course of a formal investigation under the Title IX Grievance Process, the investigator determines that the alleged misconduct in the Formal Complaint:
a. Does not meet the definition of Sexual Harassment under Title IX, even if proved; or
b. Did not occur in the context of a College Education Program or Activity; or
c. Occurred outside the United States.
2. Discretionary dismissal. Clark College may dismiss a Title IX claim in whole or in part, if:
a. The Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that they would like to withdraw the Formal Complaint in whole or in part;
b. Respondent is no longer enrolled with or employed by the college; or
c. Specific circumstances prevent Clark College from gathering evidence sufficient to complete the investigation of the Title IX allegations in whole or in part.
3. The Title IX Coordinator will provide both parties written notice if Title IX allegations are dismissed with an explanation for the dismissal.
4. Mandatory or discretionary dismissal of a Title IX claim does not preclude the college from investigating and pursuing discipline based on allegations that a Respondent violated other federal or state laws and regulations, Clark College conduct policies, and/or other codes and contractual provisions governing student and employee conduct.
K. Investigation Process – Consolidation of Formal Complaints
When multiple Sexual Harassment allegations by or against different parties arise out of the same facts or circumstances, Clark College may consolidate the investigation of Formal Complaints, provided consolidation can be accomplished in compliance with confidentiality protections imposed by the Family Educational Records and Privacy Act (FERPA). This includes instances in which Complainant and Respondent have lodged Formal Complaints against one another or when allegations of sexual assault are lodged by a single Complainant against multiple Respondents, or when multiple Complainants lodge sexual assault complaints against single or multiple Respondents.
L. Investigation Process – Required Procedures
During the investigation, the Investigator:
1. Will provide the parties with equal opportunity to present relevant statements, and other evidence in the form of fact or expert witnesses and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence.
2. Will not restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or gather and present relevant evidence, except when a no contact order has been imposed based on an individualized and fact specific determination that a party poses a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of another party and/or witnesses or when contact with a party and/or witness is prohibited by court order. A Clark College-imposed no contact shall be no broader than is necessary to protect the threatened party or witness and must provide the impacted party or their advisor with alternative means of gathering and presenting relevant evidence from the protected witness and/or party.
3. Will allow each party to be accompanied by an advisor of their choosing, who may be an attorney, to any grievance related meeting or interview. Advisors’ roles during the investigation meetings or interviews will be limited to providing support and advice to the party. Advisors will not represent or otherwise advocate on behalf of the parties during the investigation process. An attorney representing a party must enter a notice of appearance with the Title IX Coordinator and the Investigator at least five (5) days before the initial interview or meeting they plan to attend, so that the college can secure its own legal representation, if necessary.
4. The investigator will provide both parties and their respective advisors with an equal opportunity to review the draft investigation report and to inspect and review any evidence obtained during the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the Formal Complaint, including inculpatory or exculpatory evidence, regardless of its source, as well as evidence upon which the investigator does not intend to rely in the final investigation report. After disclosure, each party will receive ten (10) days in which to submit a written response, which the investigator will consider prior to completion of the investigation report. If a party fails to submit a written response within ten (10) days, the party will be deemed to have waived their right to submit comments and the investigator will finalize the report without this information.
5. The investigator will forward the final report to the Title IX Coordinator, who will distribute the report and evidence to the parties, as well as the disciplinary authority responsible for determining whether pursuing disciplinary action is warranted.
M. Contracting Services.
The college may, at its discretion, contract with an administrative law judge or any other person to act as presiding officer and assign such presiding officer to exercise any or all duties in lieu of the student conduct committee and committee chair.