Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It reads:
"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." --Legal Citation: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 106 (Title IX).
The purpose of Title IX is to insure equal access and fairness for men and women with regards to athletics, employment, admissions, financial aid, publications, educational programs, and student rights. Sexual discrimination interferes with an individual's employment or educational performance and has the purpose or effect of denying or limiting an individual's ability to participate in or benefit from the school's programs. Sexual discrimination includes sexual harassment, which also includes sexual violence.
Emmanuel College is committed to preventing sexual violence, relationship violence, and sexual harassment. Educational programs will be conducted annually by the College to (1) inform students, faculty, staff and administration about identifying sexual harassment and the problems it causes; (2) advise members of the College community about their rights and responsibilities under this policy; (3) train personnel in the administration of this policy. The Sexual Harassment / Sexual Violence Policy and Procedures will be issued to all incoming students and personnel.
Public awareness events or forums such as "Take Back the Night," the Clothesline Project, or other forums in which students disclose incidents of sexual violence, are not considered notice to the College of sexual violence for purposes of triggering its obligation to investigate any particular incident(s). Such events may, however, inform the need for campus-wide education and prevention efforts, and the College will provide information about students' Title IX rights at these events.
Additional information regarding how to respond to instances of sexual violence that also include other service providers include:
- Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault (GNESA): http://gnesa.org
- The Federal Government's "Not Alone" Website: www.notalone.gov
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
- Domestic abuse Helpline for Men & Women: 888-7HELPLINE (888-743-5754)
Throughout the entire process, the College prohibits retaliation against any person involved in the investigation; as a separate violation of college policy, serious sanctions, including separation from the institution may result from any act that could be reasonably deemed retaliation for participation in the process.
Likewise, the College may work with a reporting student to provide additional academic support or even withdrawing from class(es) without penalty. Requests for such changes will be considered on the basis of their appropriateness and whether the requested change is reasonably available. The College can assist students in obtaining other relief, including the issuance of a “no contact” order directing the accused not to have any further contact with the complainant, and a ban from campus of non-students alleged to have committed sexual assault on campus.
Upon beginning an investigation, the College may take any immediate interim actions deemed appropriate that may remain in effect until a decision is reached; these actions could involve the alteration of class schedules, extracurricular activities, or residential location; removal from classes; or restrictions from communicating with involved parties. In some cases, these measures could remain in place even after final decisions are made.
Upon receipt of a formal written complaint that alleges a violation of the College's policy against sexual violence, sexual harassment, or other Title IX policies (including dating/domestic violence and stalking), the College's Title IX Coordinator, a Title IX Deputy Coordinator, or designee shall begin an investigation of the charge(s).
An investigation shall include an interview with the person filing the complaint, the person(s) accused of violating the anti-harassment policies and any person designated by either of the principle parties as witnesses to the incident in question. All evidentiary decisions made regarding the complaint will be based on a preponderance of evidence standard.
In cases of sexual violence involving students, the College may begin an investigation without a written complaint from the student. The right to confidentiality of all members of the College community will be respected in both formal and informal procedures insofar as possible.
The investigation shall be completed within 30 days of the receipt of the complaint unless extraordinary circumstance arise that delay in the investigation. Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to all procedural protections outlined in this policy including the same opportunities to have a person choice (other than legal counsel) present during the investigation and disciplinary proceedings.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the matter shall then be presented to the Title IX Adjudicator and Vice President for Student Development in the form of written recommendations. At the Title IX Adjudicator and Vice President for Student Development’s discretion, they may accept the recommendations, interview the persons involved, or direct further investigation by the investigator. This process shall be completed and the Title IX Adjudicator and Vice President for Student Development shall make a final decision on the merits of the complaint and communicate that decision simultaneously to both parties in writing within 60 days of receipt of the complaint by the College.
Possible outcomes of the investigation are (1) that the allegation is not warranted and cannot be substantiated, (2) a negotiated settlement of the complaint or (3) that the allegation is substantiated requiring a recommendation to the Title IX Adjudicator and Vice President for Student Development that disciplinary action be taken. In the case of students, disciplinary sanctions include those listed in the College's Code of Student Conduct. In the case of employees, disciplinary sanctions include those listed the Employee Handbook.
In matters involving students, the decision of the Executive Vice President and CFO shall be final; employees may appeal a final decision regarding the complaint in writing within 10 days to the College's President. Throughout this process, the college will keep the identities of the complaining party and accused confidential.
Individuals can also report cases of sexual assault, relationship violence, etc. to the following local law enforcement/emergency services entities:
- Franklin County Emergency Dispatch – 911
- Franklin Springs Police Department – (706) 245-0000
- Franklin County 911: Non-Emergency - (706) 384-7188
- St. Mary Sacred Heart Hospital – (706) 356-7800; 367 Clear Creek Pkwy., Lavonia GA, 30553
- Franklin County Health Department (706) 384-5575
- U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights to complain of sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence; see: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html.
The College reserves the right to share any information from its own investigation with law enforcement at the discretion of the Title IX coordinator.
It is also possible to report to a counseling agency or advocate group off campus who may maintain confidentiality and only inform the school that an incident has occurred. As reporting requirements vary, it is important to discuss confidentiality with the third party prior to speaking with that individual.
- The Harmony House – (706) 245-8700; Operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An advocate can assist with obtaining resources and arrange for a student to be seen by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) in the event of a sexual assault. Additional advocacy and support following the incident can also be provided.
A responsible employee is a College employee who has the authority to redress sexual harassment and/or violence, who has the duty to report incidents of sexual violence or other student misconduct, or who a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. The College has identified the following individuals as responsible employees:
- Members of the Senior Management Team
- Campus Safety personnel
- Human Resources personnel
- Employees of Student Life
- Residence Life personnel (includes Resident Directors and Resident Assistants)
- Athletics personnel
Responsible employees will take the necessary steps to report to the Title IX Coordinator/Title IX Deputy Coordinator(s) all relevant details about the alleged sexual violence shared by the victim. Information may include but is not limited to the names of the victim and alleged perpetrators(s), any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the date, time and specific locations of the alleged incident.
Unlike a confidential counselor, campus officials with knowledge of actions regarding College policies in the area of sexual violence, sexual harassment, and Title IX policies have an institutional responsibility to take prompt and appropriate steps to resolve complaints. Therefore, the College cannot always guarantee confidentiality.
To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling the College’s response to the report. A responsible employee should not share information with law enforcement without the victim’s consent or unless the victim has also reported the incident to law enforcement.
Responsible Employees and Confidentiality
If a student discloses an incident to a responsible employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the College must weigh that request against the College's obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the reporting student.
If the College honors the request for confidentiality, a student must understand that the College's ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator(s) may be limited.
Although rare, there are times when the College may not be able to honor a student's request in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students.
The College has designated the following individuals to evaluate requests for confidentiality once a responsible employee is on notice of alleged sexual harassment or sexual violence:
- Joann Harper, Director of Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator (Aaron Building, second floor, Room 203; 706-245-2805; firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Courtney Hamil, Director of Student Life and Title IX Deputy Coordinator (Student Development Office; 706-680-1247; email@example.com)
- Dr. Sue Weaver, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Title IX Deputy Coordinator (Aaron Building, third floor, Room 300; 706-245-2733; firstname.lastname@example.org)
When weighing a student's request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, The Title IX Coordinator/Title IX Deputy Coordinator(s) will consider a range of factors, including the following:
- The increased risk that the alleged perpetrator will commit additional acts of sexual or other violence, such as:
- Whether there have been other sexual harassment or sexual violence complaints about the same alleged perpetrator;
- Whether the alleged perpetrator has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;
- Whether the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim or others;
- Whether the sexual harassment or sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators;
- Whether the sexual harassment or sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
- Whether the victim is a minor;
- Whether the College possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual harassment or sexual violence (e.g., security personnel, physical evidence);
- Whether the victim's report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.
The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the College to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action. If none of these factors is present, the College will likely respect the victim's request for confidentiality.
If the College determines that it cannot maintain a victim's confidentiality, the College will inform the student prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the College's response.
The College will remain ever mindful of the student's well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect the student from retaliation or harm and work with the victim to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the reporting student, whether by students or College employees, will not be tolerated. The College will also:
- Assist the student in accessing other available victim advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off campus (see portion of this policy on “Reporting to Off-campus entities and Reporting to Law Enforcement/Emergency Services”);
- Provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of living or working arrangements or course schedules (including for the alleged perpetrator pending the outcome of an investigation) or adjustments for assignments or tests; and
- Inform the student of the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement – and provide the victim with assistance if the victim wishes to do so.
Because the College is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual harassment and sexual violence campus-wide, reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence (including non-identifying reports) will also prompt the College to consider broader remedial action – such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported sexual violence occurred; increasing education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments/victimization surveys; and/or revisiting its policies and practices.
If the College determines that it can respect a student's request for confidentiality, the College will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the student.
The College's Title IX Coordinator:
Mrs. Courtney Hamil, Director of Student Life and Title IX Coordinator
Student Development Office
The College encourages individuals to immediately consult with or report incidents of sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence to Mrs. Hamil or to one of the College’s Title IX Deputy Coordinators:
Issues involving students:
Mrs. Courtney Hamil, Director of Student Life and Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Student Development Office
Issues involving faculty or staff:
Dr. Sue Weaver, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Aaron Building, Room 300
706-245-7227 ext. 2733
Mrs. Joann Harper, Director of Human Resources and Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Aaron Building, Second Floor, Room 203-B