The College’s Title IX Coordinator has ultimate oversight responsibility for handling Title IX-related Complaints and for identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems involving Sexual Misconduct. The Title IX Coordinator is available to meet with individuals who are involved with or concerned about issues or College processes, incidents, patters or problems related to Sexual Misconduct on campus or in College programs. All allegations involving Sexual Misconduct should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator or other designated College individuals or offices as outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.
Clery Act. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the “Clery Act”) is a federal law. The Clery Act generally requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.
Complainant. A “Complainant” is an alleged victim of Sexual Misconduct who chooses to file a Complaint and participate in the College’s Investigation and Resolution of the alleged Sexual Misconduct.
Complaint. A “Complaint” is an allegation of Sexual Misconduct asserted against another party and reported to or filed with the College.
Consent. “Consent” is informed, freely and actively given and mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent exists when a reasonable person would consider the words or actions of the parties to have manifested a mutually understandable agreement between them to engage in certain conduct with each other. Consent cannot be gained by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another.
Consent cannot be inferred from:
- Silence, passivity, or lack of resistance alone;
- A current or previous dating or sexual relationship alone (or the existence of such a relationship with anyone else);
- Prior discussion as to sexual matters; or
- Consent previously given (i.e., consenting to one sexual act does not imply consent to another sexual act).
Consent is not effective if it is obtained through the use of physical force, violence, duress, intimidation, coercion, or the threat, expressed or implied, of bodily injury. Whether a party used intimidation or coercion to obtain consent will be determined by reference to the perception of a reasonable person found in the same or similar circumstances.
Consent may never be given by:
- Minors, even if the other participant did not know the minor’s age.
- Mentally disabled persons, if their disability was reasonably knowable to a sexual partner who is not mentally disabled.
- Persons who are incapacitated (whether as a result of drugs, alcohol or otherwise), unconscious, asleep or otherwise physically helpless or mentally or physically unable to make informed, rational judgments. The use of alcohol or drugs does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain Consent and does not excuse conduct that constitutes Sexual Misconduct under this Policy.
If at any time during a sexual act, any confusion or ambiguity is or should reasonably be apparent on the issue of consent, it is incumbent upon each individual involved in the activity to stop and clarify the other’s willingness to continue and capacity to consent. Neither party should make assumptions about the other’s willingness to continue.
Dating Violence. “Dating Violence” means violence committed by a person
- Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
- 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.
Dating Violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. Dating Violence may include but is not limited to:
- Physical Abuse: Any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause fear or injury.
- Verbal or Emotional Abuse: Non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring, humiliation, or intimidation.
- Sexual Abuse: Any action that impacts a person’s ability to control his or her sexual activity.
- Digital Media Abuse: Use of technology to intimidate, harass, or threaten a dating partner. This includes but is not limited to social media, cell phones, cyber-bullying, and sexting.
Day. A business day unless otherwise specified.
Domestic Violence. “Domestic Violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed
- by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim,
- by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common,
- by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner,
- by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or
- against 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 jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
“Domestic Violence” is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control and can include emotional, sexual, verbal, economic, social media, or physical threats. Acts may include any behaviors that intimidate, isolate, manipulate, humiliate, coerce, frighten, blame, or hurt someone.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA is a federal law that generally protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA grants to parents or eligible students the right to access, inspect, and review education records, the right to challenge the content of education records, and the right to consent to the disclosure of education records.
Gender-Based Discrimination and Harassment. This includes:
- Acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression; intimidation; or hostility based on sex, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
- Sex-based harassment by those of the same sex.
- Discriminatory sex stereotyping (e.g., harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and/or questioning students).
Good Standing. A student is deemed in Good Standing as pertains to the sexual violence offense if the student has completed all other sanctions, requirements, and recommendations related to the offense. The College may determine that a student is not in Good Standing as pertains to the Sexual Violence offense if there are extenuating circumstances involving the offense or if there were additional offenses of any kind following the student’s departure from the College. The term “Good Standing” as pertains to the Sexual Violence offense is applicable only to the removal of the required transcript notation. The removal of the notation from the transcript marks the end of the suspension period, but does not guarantee readmission to a student.
Investigator. The “Investigator” is a neutral fact-finder who is designated by the Title IX Coordinator to investigate a Complaint. The Investigator will be trained regularly on (1) reasonable and appropriate investigative techniques, (2) issues related to Sexual Misconduct, and (3) how to conduct an Investigation that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.
Personally Identifiable Information. Personally Identifiable Information (as that term is defined by FERPA) includes but is not limited to:
- a Student’s name;
- the name of a Student’s parent(s) or other family members;
- the address of a Student or a Student’s family;
- a personal identifier, such as a Student’s social security number, student number, or biometric record;
- other indirect identifiers, such as a Student’s date of birth, place of birth, or mother’s maiden name;
- other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific Student and that would allow a reasonable person in the College community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the Student with reasonable certainty; or
- information requested by a person whom the College reasonably believes knows the identity of the Student to whom the education record relates.
Preponderance of the Evidence. The “Preponderance of the Evidence” standard means that an Investigation must determine whether a complaint of Sexual Misconduct is “more likely than not” to have occurred or 51% likely to have occurred. This standard applies to all complaints of Sexual Misconduct.
Rape. “Rape” is penetration, no matter how slight, with any body part or any object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person or a sex-related object, without the consent of the victim.
Reasonable Person. A person under similar circumstances with similar identities to the victim.
Respondent. A “Respondent” is an individual who has been accused of committing Sexual Misconduct by the report or filing of a formal or informal Complaint.
Responsible Employees. The College’s “Responsible Employees” are any employees who have the authority to take action to redress sexual violence, who have been given the duty to report to appropriate school officials about incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct by students, or who a student could reasonably believe has this authority or responsibility.
Retaliation. “Retaliation” means any adverse action threatened or taken against a person because he or she has filed, supported, or provided information in connection with a Complaint of Sexual Misconduct, including but not limited to direct and indirect intimidation, threats, and harassment.
Sexual Assault. “Sexual assault means any actual, attempted, or threatened sexual act with another person without that person’s Consent. Sexual Assault includes but is not limited to:
- Rape and attempted Rape;
- Intentional and unwelcome sexual touching (including disrobing or exposure), however slight, with any body part or any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, without effective Consent, of a person’s breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals (or clothing covering such areas), or coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force another to touch you, themselves, or a third party with any of these body parts or areas when such touching would be reasonably and objectively offensive;
- Any sexual act in which there is force, violence, or use of duress or deception upon the victim;
- Any sexual act perpetrated when the victim is unable to give Consent; and
- Sexual intimidation, which includes but is not limited to:
- a) Threatening, expressly or impliedly, to commit a sexual act upon another person without his or her Consent,
- b) Stalking or cyber-stalking, and
- c) Engaging in indecent exposure.
Sexual Harassment. “Sexual Harassment” is any unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, written, electronic or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Examples of Sexual Harassment include instances in which:
- Submission or consent to the behavior is reasonably believed to carry consequences for the individual’s education, employment, on-campus living environment, or participation in a College activity. Examples of this type of sexual harassment include:
- b) making a real or perceived threat that rejecting sexual behavior will carry a negative educational or employment consequence for the individual.
- a) pressuring an individual to engage in sexual behavior for some educational or employment benefit, or
- The behavior is so severe or pervasive that it has the effect of substantially interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a College activity. Examples of this type of sexual harassment include:
- a) one or more instances of Sexual Assault;
- b) persistent unwelcome efforts to develop a romantic or sexual relationship;
- c) unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors;
- d) unwelcome commentary about an individual’s body or sexual activities;
- e) repeated and unwelcome sexually-oriented teasing, joking, or flirting; and
- f) verbal abuse of a sexual nature.
Sexual harassment also includes acts of intimidation, bullying, aggression or hostility based on gender or gender-stereotyping, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
Sexual Misconduct. “Sexual Misconduct” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including any conduct or act of a sexual nature perpetrated against an individual without Consent. Sexual Misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual Misconduct can be committed by men or by women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex. The College encourages reporting of all Sexual Misconduct. Sexual Misconduct includes but is not limited to:
- Dating Violence;
- Domestic Violence;
- Non-forcible acts, which are unlawful sexual acts where Consent is not relevant, such as sexual contact with an individual under the statutory age of Consent, as defined by Virginia law, or between persons who are related to each other within degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law
- Sexual Assault;
- Sexual Exploitation;
- Sexual Harassment; and
Sexual Violence. “Sexual Violence” is
- use of physical force to compel a person to engage in a sexual act against his or her will, whether or not the act is completed;
- attempted or completed sex act involving a person who is unable to understand the nature of condition of the act, to decline participation, or to communicate unwillingness to engage in the sexual act (e.g., because of illness, disability, or the influence of alcohol or other drugs or because of intimidation or pressure); or
- abusive sexual contact.
Acts of Sexual Violence may include, but are not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and coercion.
Stalking. “Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
- fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or
- suffer substantial emotional distress.
“Stalking” may include, but is not limited to, non-consensual communication; following, pursuing, or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom or other locations frequented by a Complainant; surveillance and other types of observation; trespassing; vandalism; non-consensual touching; direct physical and/or verbal threats against a Complainant or a Complainant’s loved ones; gathering of information about a Complainant from family, friends, co-workers and/or classmates; manipulative and controlling behaviors such as threats to harm oneself or threats to harm someone close to the Complainant; and defamation or slander against the Complainant.
Student. “Student” is any non-employee participating in a Ferrum College-sponsored educational program (a) at the time of the alleged Sexual Misconduct and (b) at the time a Complaint is filed.
Substantial Emotional Distress. “Substantial Emotional Distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Title IX Coordinator. The College’s “Title IX Coordinator” has ultimate oversight responsibility for handling Title IX-related Complaints and for identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems involving Sexual Misconduct. The Title IX Coordinator is available to meet with individuals who are involved with or concerned about issues or College processes, incidents, patters or problems related to Sexual Misconduct on campus or in College programs. All allegations involving Sexual Misconduct should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator or other designated College individuals or offices as outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.
Title IX Deputy Coordinator. The College’s “Title IX Deputy Coordinator” works under the oversight of the Title IX Coordinator to assist with the handling of Title IX-related Complaints. The Title IX Coordinator may assign a Title IX Deputy Coordinator in connection with a given Complaint.