Title IX / Sexual Misconduct

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states that “no person in the United States shall on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Title IX specifically identifies sexual misconduct as a type of prohibited sexual discrimination.


WPCC Non-Discrimination and Unlawful Harassment Policy

Students, without any fear of reprisal, have the responsibility to bring any form of sexual or other unlawful harassment or discrimination (whether by a college employee, student, or other person who is participating in, observing or otherwise engaged in College activities) to the appropriate person so that a prompt investigation into the circumstances of the incident and the alleged harassment can be conducted. The College shall take all steps to discourage and prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring and, when appropriate, the College shall take corrective measures.


What is sexual misconduct?

Sexual misconduct is a term used to describe a range of prohibited/unlawful behaviors that occur without the consent of another individual. These behaviors include, but are not limited to:

ConsentSexual AssaultSexual HarassmentDating/Domestic ViolenceStalkingSexual Exploitation
Sexual Consent is defined as explicit approval to engage in sexual activity through clear actions or words.






  • Must be made freely and actively by all participants.
  • Non-verbal communication, silence, passivity or lack of active resistance does not imply consent.
  • Previous participation in sexual activity does not indicate current consent to participate.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.

Consent has NOT been obtained:

  • When an individual has been forced, pressured, or manipulated or they have reasonable fear that they or someone else will be injured if they do not submit to the act.
  • Cannot be obtained from an individual who is physically or mentally incapable (due to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol),
  • Is prevented from resisting due to physical or mental incapacity or has a physical or mental disability.
Sexual Assault is a form of sexual violence that includes rape or any involuntary sexual act in which a person is:






  • Coerced (intimidated or threatened)
  • Physically forced to engage in against their will, or which involves
  • Non-consensual sexual touching of a person.
Sexual Harassment is defined as:






  • Unwelcome physical conduct or contact, such as unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, that create a hostile or intimidating environment
  • is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program
  • involves a power differential (quid pro quo), where submission to the conduct is made a condition of an individual’s academic performance either implicitly or explicitly.
Dating/Domestic Violence is defined as violent crimes committed against a person with whom the person has or has had a social relationship or a romantic/intimate relationship. Relationship abuse includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or threats of abusive behavior.
Stalking is defined as:






  • Engaging in a course of conduct directed toward an individual that would cause a reasonable person to 1) fear for his/her own safety or the safety of others or 2) suffer substantial emotional distress
  • Stalking behaviors include but are not limited to the following behaviors:
    • Non-consensual communication, i.e. telephone calls, texts, or email messages, instant messages, verbal/picture postings on social media, letters, gifts, and other unwanted communication
    • Following in person or by car, showing up/waiting at locations frequented by complainant
    • Observation/surveillance, personally or electronically
Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person 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 the other sexual misconduct offenses.


Student Rights Under Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination which includes sexual violence in educational programs and activities. All public and private schools, school districts, colleges and universities receiving federal funds must comply with Title IX.

If you have experienced sexual violence, here are some things you should know about your Title IX rights:

  • Students have the right to report an incident of sexual violence to campus security and to local law enforcement. Title IX requires that WPCC investigate what happened and have your complaint resolved promptly and equitably.
  • Students have the right to interim measures for protection, as necessary, even before the investigation is completed and to report retaliation from the perpetrator, campus personnel or other students.
  • Students must have access to confidential support resources.
  • If WPCC finds that sexual violence created a hostile environment, the college must take steps to end the sexual violence, eliminate the hostile environment and prevent its recurrence.

All students are protected under Title IX regardless of disability, U.S. residency status, sexual orientation or gender identity.


How To File A Complaint

WPCC has an established process for reporting issues of sexual misconduct. Learn more about the process below.

The Complaint Process

Any student who believes that discrimination has occurred against themselves or another individual is encouraged to report the incident as soon as possible. If you need additional information about sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment or sexual assault, please refer to the the top of this page for definitions and other information.


Responsible Employees

WPCC has designated the employees listed below as responsible employees.  Responsible employees for the purposes of Title IX are required to report incidences of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, Susan Williams. A licensed professional counselor on campus is considered a confidential employee and is not required to report incidences of alleged sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.


  • Dr. Gergana Adams
    Department Head, English & Humanities
    Phifer Learning Resources Center Room 31
    (828) 448-6021 • gadams@wpcc.edu
  • Dori Barron
    Director, Financial Aid
    Hildebrand Hall, Room 114
    (828) 448-3170 • dbarron@wpcc.edu
  • Susan Berley
    Director, Institutional Research & Evaluation
    Moore Hall, Room 270
    (828) 448-6125 • sberley@wpcc.edu
  • Michael Bingham
    Moore Hall 201-B
    (828) 448-6020 • mbingham@wpcc.edu
  • Star Brown
    Department Head, Public Services
    Carr Hall, Room 221
    (828) 448-6059 • sbrown@wpcc.edu
  • Joy Buff
    Director, College & Career Readiness
    K Building, Room 115-D
    (828) 448-6704 • jbuff@wpcc.edu
  • Linda Carswell
    Director, Purchasing
    Moore Hall, Room 201-C
    (828) 448-3110 • lcarswell@wpcc.edu
  • Jim Coleman
    Dean, Information Technology
    Moore Hall, Room 14
    (828) 448-3148 • jcoleman@wpcc.edu
  • Rhia Crawford
    Vice-President, Academic & Student Success
    Moore Hall, Room 207-A
    (828) 448-6048 • rcrawford@wpcc.edu
  • Nancy Daniel
    Director, Library
    Phifer Learning Reources Center, Room 134
    (828) 448-3160 • ndaniel@wpcc.edu
  • Michael Daniels
    Dean, Health Engineering & Applied Technology
    Breeden Hall, Room 90
    (828) 448-3564 • mdaniels@wpcc.edu
  • Amy Elliott
    Director, Marketing & Development
    Moore Hall 207-G
    (828) 448-3125 • aelliott@wpcc.edu
  • Tom Frost
    Department Head, Mathematics
    Patton Hall, Room 21
    (828) 448-3514 • tfrost@wpcc.edu
  • Rick Furse
    Director, Industry Services & Customized Training
    Foothills Higher Education Center 105
    (828) 448-3121 • tfurse@wpcc.edu
  • Ronald Gray
    Director, Facility Services
    Hildebrand Hall, Room 27
    (828) 448-6068 • rgray@wpcc.edu
  • Sandra Hoilman
    Vice-President, Administrative Services/
    Chief Financial Officer
    Moore Hall, Room 201-D
    (828) 448-6025 • shoilman@wpcc.edu
  • Joan Hogan
    Director, Records & Registration
    Hildebrand Hall, Room 113
    (828) 448-6041 • jhogan@wpcc.edu
  • Chip Hope
    Department Head, Applied Technology
    K Building, Room 215-B
    (828) 448-3554 • chope@wpcc.edu
  • Annette Joy
    Director, Career & Testing Services
    Hildebrand Hall 132
    (828) 448-6196 • ajoy@wpcc.edu
  • Zebedee Graham
    Chief of Security and Safety
    Jim Burnett Hall 151
    (828) 448-6196 • zgraham@wpcc.edu
  • Dr. Shannon Kincaid
    Department Head, Science
    Patton Hall, Room P106
    (828) 448-3524 • skincaid@wpcc.edu
  • Lee Kiser
    Dean, Workforce Development
    Foothills Higher Education Center
    (828) 448-6707 • wkiser@wpcc.edu
  • Cindy Konarski
    Department Head, Health Sciences/
    Instructor, Recreational Therapy
    Patton Hall
    (828) 448-3504 • ckonarski@wpcc.edu
  • Lisa Mauney
    Director, QEP/
    Coordinator, Academic Success Center
    Phifer Learning Resources Center, Room 135
    (828) 448-3116 • lmauney@wpcc.edu
  • Eddie McGimsey
    Director, Small Business Center/
    Entrepreneurship Development
    Foothills Higher Education Center, Room 109
    (828) 448-6719 • emcgimsey@wpcc.edu
  • Leslie McKesson
    Dean, Business, Public Service, & Academic Support
    Carr Hall, Room 140
    (828) 448-3156 • lmckesson@wpcc.edu
  • Ann Marie McNeely
    Dean, Arts & Sciences
    Phifer Learning Resources Center, Room 42
    (828) 448-3509 • amcneely@wpcc.edu
  • Lisa Miller
    Director, Grant Development & Administration
    Moore Hall, Room 280
    (828) 448-3123 • lmiller@wpcc.edu
  • Nancy Norris
    Director, Management Information Systems
    Moore Hall, Room 14
    (828) 448-3150 • nnorris@wpcc.edu
  • Terri Ollis
    Department Head,
    Business & Distance Learning
    Carr Hall, Room 214
    (828) 448-6072 • tollis@wpcc.edu
  • Jennifer Patton
    Director, Educational Talent Search
    Hildebrand Hall, Room 139-B
    (828) 448-3181 • jpatton@wpcc.edu
  • Mark Pellatt
    Department Head, Social Sciences
    E Building, Room 112-F
    (828) 448-3543 • mpellatt@wpcc.edu
  • Karen Pritchard
    Interim Director & Instructor, Nursing
    Foothills Higher Education Center, Room 129
    (828) 448-3533 • kpritchard@wpcc.edu
  • Jennifer Propst
    Director, Enrollment Management
    Hildebrand Hall, Room 115
    (828) 448-6051 • jpropst@wpcc.edu
  • Naomi Roberts
    Department Head, Developmental Education
    Patton Hall, Room 33
    (828) 448-6764 • nroberts@wpcc.edu
  • Lisa Sessions
    Title IX Coordinator for Employees/
    Director, Human Resources
    Moore Hall 240
    (828) 448-3126 • lsessions@wpcc.edu
  • Atticus Simpson
    Vice-President for External Affairs
    & Workforce Development/
    Executive Director, WPCC Foundation
    Moore Hall, Room 207-I
    (828) 448-3120 • asimpson@wpcc.edu
  • Steve Warren
    Director, Law Enforcement Training, BLET
    Moore Hall, Room 103
    (828) 448-3138 • swarren@wpcc.edu
  • Susan Williams
    Title IX Coordinator/
    Dean, Student Services
    Hildebrand Hall, Room 116
    (828) 448-3178 • swilliams@wpcc.edu


Confidential Resources

Unlike responsible employees who are required to contact the Title IX Coordinator with complaints of alleged sexual misconduct, the campus counselor is considered a confidential employee. Though students are encouraged to file complaints of sexual misconduct, reports made to the counselor are confidential.

These confidential resources are available to students on campus and in the community:


Vicki Holder, MA, LPC
HH 133, WPCC
(828) 448-3536


Be An Active Bystander

At Western Piedmont Community College, we believe safety is everyone’s concern and responsibility. Our mission is to provide a safe learning and working environment for students. In order to do so, we encourage all members of our campus community to become Active Bystanders against sexual violence. Active bystanders learn how to recognize and safely intervene in potentially dangerous situations. Sometimes this means distracting someone who appears to be targeting someone whose judgement is impaired (and cannot give consent) due to alcohol or drugs. Other times, it means reaching out to WPCC staff or the police for help.

The information below is based on research on bystander intervention done at the University of New Hampshire. See “Be an Active Bystander” by The University of New Hampshire, Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) Copyright ©2015.

Simple Steps to Becoming An Active Bystander
  • Notice the situation: Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Interpret it as a problem: Do I recognize that someone needs help?
  • Feel responsible to act: See yourself as being part of the solution to help.
  • Know what to do: Educate yourself on what to do.
  • Intervene safely: Take action but be sure to keep yourself safe.


How to Intervene Safely

  • Tell another person. Being with others is a good idea when a situation looks dangerous.
  • Ask a victim if he/she is okay. Provide options and a listening ear.
  • Ask the person if he/she wants to leave. Make sure that he/she gets home safely.
  • Call the police (911) or someone else in authority or yell for help.
  • Use our Relationship Violence and Sexual Assault Resources for support and options.
  • Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE.


What can my friends and I do to be safe?

Remember these tips when you are out…

Have A Plan

Talk with your friends about your plans for the night BEFORE you go out. Where do you want to go? Having a clear plan ahead of time helps friends look after one another.

Go Out Together

Go out as a group and come home as a group; never separate and never leave your friend(s) behind. Watch out for others. If you are walking at night with friends and notice a woman walking by herself in the same direction, ask her to join you so she doesn’t have to walk alone.

Diffuse Situations

If you see a friend coming on too strong to someone who may be too drunk to make a consensual decision, interrupt, distract, or redirect the situation. If you are too embarrassed or shy to speak out, get someone else to step in.
the situation.

Trust Your Instincts

If a situation or person doesn’t seem “right” to you, trust your gut and remove yourself, if possible, from the situation.

Notice of Non Discrimination

Western Piedmont Community College, as an Equal Opportunity Institution, complies with applicable federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, age, ethnic origin, association, or disability. It is the policy of Western Piedmont Community College that no person shall be discriminated against in employment, admissions, or educational activities. The College will provide reasonable accommodations, modifications or adjustments through the use of nondiscriminatory policies and procedures for persons with qualifying disabilities. Inquiries concerning Federal Title IX, Section 504, and related laws may be addressed to the Director of Human Resources, 1001 Burkemont Avenue, Morganton, NC 28655 or telephone (828) 448-3500.

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