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

 

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:

Counseling

Vicki Holder, MA, LPC
HH 133, WPCC
(828) 448-3536
vholder@wpcc.edu

 

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 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) 438-6000.