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For more information regarding Title IX and relevant policies and procedures, review the Sexual and Gender Based Misconduct Policy and the Northland College Title IX Grievance Process.

Isn’t Title IX just about women’s sports?

No. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination based on the gender of students and employees of educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance.

What if an incident did not occur on campus or happened long ago?

There are no time period limits in the Sexual and Gender Based Misconduct Policy. Therefore, all incidents, no matter the date of the incident, should be reported. All incidents reported to a responsible employee should be reported to the Title IX coordinator. The Title IX coordinator will determine whether jurisdiction exists to conduct an investigation. Even in incidents where there is no jurisdiction, the Title IX coordinator may assist a reporting party with appropriate resources and reasonable protective measures. Therefore, reporting all incidents may connect individuals with valuable campus resources.

If I speak with someone about possible sexual assault or gender-based harassment, do I have to pursue informal resolution or an official complaint?

No. Speaking with someone, even the Title IX coordinator or someone who is responsible for notifying the College or Title IX coordinator, does not mean that you will need to participate in an informal resolution or file a complaint. The College encourages all persons who believe they may have been the subject of sexual or gender-based misconduct to speak with an appropriate College official about the incident because, even if no informal process is commenced or formal complaint is filed, that information will help identify any concerns about harassment and work to address them. Reporting the incident will allow any student affected to be supported by the College, and will also allow College officials to consider whether there are broader issues for the community that need to be addressed.

Will my report be confidential?

Conversations with the Title IX coordinator or any member of the faculty or staff (including RA’s)* of the College are kept as private as possible, but information about incidents of sexual misconduct must be shared with relevant coordinators if action needs to be taken for reasons of community safety. Reports made to responsible employees will be shared with the Title IX coordinator and/or deputy Title IX coordinator. In all cases, the wishes of the person initiating the conversation are given full consideration.

*Confidential Resources: Employees who qualify for the confidentiality privilege by law will maintain strict confidentiality in all circumstances. These include the campus counselor and the campus nurse. Reporting discrimination or sexual misconduct through such employees will not serve as notice to the College to address the alleged discrimination or misconduct.

What is the purpose of a Title IX investigation?

Northland College is committed to providing an environment for employees, students, and campus visitors that is free from illegal harassment and free from discrimination. Therefore, the College will address allegations and suspected instances of discrimination and harassment with a prompt and impartial investigation. The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether conduct has occurred that is in violation of Title IX and College policy, end the harassing or discriminatory conduct, take steps to prevent the recurrence of the harassing or discriminatory conduct with regard to the specific incident and overall campus culture, and provide accommodations and/or safety measures to keep the individuals involved in the investigation and the Northland community as a whole safe.

What is harassment?

Harassment is abusive or hostile conduct which is directed toward or inflicted upon another person because of his or her race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status and which, because of its severity or pervasiveness, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates a hostile or abusive work or learning environment for that individual’s work, education, or participation in a College activity.

Harassment is typically based on stereotyped prejudices and includes, but is not limited to, slurs, jokes, objectionable epithets, or other verbal, graphic, or physical conduct that demeans, insults, or intimidates an individual because of his or her race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status.

What types of behavior could be considered sexual misconduct?

Sexual misconduct behaviors include, but are not limited to, sexual harassment; non-consensual sexual contact (or attempts to commit the same); non-consensual sexual intercourse (or attempts to commit the same); sexual exploitation; and other misconduct offenses that will fall under title IX when sex or gender-based including threatening, discrimination, intimidation, hazing, bullying, violence in an intimate relationship, stalking, domestic violence or dating violence. Please refer to the Sexual and Gender Based Misconduct Policy for a detailed definition and description of each.

Is intoxication the same as incapacitation?

No. There are many levels of intoxication. People can be intoxicated and still be able to make and express their decisions. Incapacitation is when someone is so impaired as to be incapable of requesting or inviting the conduct.

Can I be protected from retaliation for making a report or participating in an investigation?

Yes. It is a violation of the College’s harassment policy and the Student Code of Conduct for any Northland College employee or student to retaliate against any individual who makes a good faith report of harassment. Any employee or student who retaliates against an individual who has made a good faith report of harassment will be subject to disciplinary sanctions, up to and including expulsion or termination. For more information regarding the retaliation policy, see the Title IX Grievance Process.

Am I considered a Responsible Employee?

Responsible employees (also termed mandatory reporters) include all faculty and staff of Northland College. Residential advisors are also considered responsible employees. Exceptions include the campus nurse and campus counselor, who are designated confidential resources and will not report the incident unless specifically asked.

What will typically happen after I make a report to the Title IX Coordinator involving a student?

The reporting party may receive correspondence from the Title IX coordinator providing options for requesting an investigation and offering assistance with resources. Reporting parties can receive support from the Title IX coordinator and from other offices on campus regardless of if they request an investigation. However, when an incident poses a risk to campus safety, the College may proceed to move forward with steps to end the discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.

Why are Responsible Employees required to report sexual misconduct?

Northland College is committed to providing an environment free from sexual misconduct. When a responsible employee has knowledge of an alleged incident, the College is deemed to have notice of the incident and may be required to take steps to end the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy any effects of the misconduct. Reporting of sexual misconduct assists the College in addressing incidents of sexual misconduct and preventing future incidents. The Title IX coordinator(s) will determine what steps, if any, to take next.

What do I do when a student reports sexual misconduct to me as a Responsible Employee?

If there is an emergency situation promptly call 911 or report to the Ashland Police Department and Campus Safety.

The responsible employee should advise the reporting party about

  1. their duty to inform the Title IX coordinator about the incident (e.g., the names of the individuals involved; the time, place, and location; etc.);
  2. the option of the reporting party to request that the responding party not be informed of the identity of the reporting party (but that request may limit the College’s ability to end the inappropriate conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remediate its effects); and
  3. the fact that the reporting party or other reporting individual may share information on a strictly confidential basis with professional mental health counselors on campus. Any information that the reporting party shares should also be communicated to the Title IX coordinator, including identities of the individuals involved (if they know) and the nature of the conduct.

What if the incident was told to me in confidence?

If you are a responsible employee and you know or reasonably should know of sexual misconduct, because of your employment role you are required to report. You may assure the reporting party that the reports are kept as private as possible and shared only on a need to know basis, and that any information that is shared will be done in strict confidence.

What if the incident was mentioned in a class discussion or in an assignment turned in to me?

Those employees with reporting obligations are not required to report incidents of sexual misconduct if they are communicated as part of the routine academic experiences (for example, statements in classroom discussion, writing assignments, research projects, admission or scholarship application essays, or awareness events) unless the reporting party clearly states that they want a report to be made or they are seeking assistance. All employees are encouraged, however, to provide individuals who communicate sexual misconduct with information regarding where resources can be found both on and off campus.

Can I make an anonymous report?

Yes, you can report harassment anonymously. However, anonymous reports are investigated based on the extent of the information provided and may complicate the College’s ability to take appropriate action to end the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and remediate its effects. In some circumstances, a request for anonymity may mean an investigation cannot go forward. In other circumstances, the Title IX coordinators may determine that further investigation is necessary (for example, if there is a potential risk of a hostile environment for others in the community), in which case the person raising the complaint will be informed that his or her identity will be disclosed as necessary for the investigatory process.

What resources are available to those impacted by sexual misconduct or those involved in a Title IX investigation?

Resources are available to those impacted by sexual misconduct regardless of whether the individual(s) request that the College conduct an investigation. Additionally, in instances where the College has initiated an investigation, resources are available to both the reporting party and the responding party. Resources include medical treatment and counseling, community resources, or other assistance as reasonably available. For more information regarding resources, see the Title IX services and resources page.