• Section 59-53-20 and 16-3-1700 of the 1976 Code of Laws of South Carolina, as amended • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended • Title IX Education Amendments of 1972, as amended • Clery Act, 20 U.S.C.§ 1092(f) • Violence Against Women Act, 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)
The purpose of this policy is to inform all Trident Technical College (TTC) students and employees that the College prohibits discrimination, harassment, including sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse, as defined below. The policy applies to all forms of misconduct, which may include employee-to-employee, employee-to-student, student-to-employee, and student-to-student. Any conduct or behavior as discussed in this policy or the accompanying TTC Procedure 8-2-1 will not be tolerated. The policy also serves to inform the TTC community that sexual harassment violates both federal and state laws.
The College will not tolerate sexual harassment of its students or employees, nor will the College tolerate unprofessional conduct which leads to sexual harassment.
TTC Procedure 8-2-1 provides for reporting, investigating, and resolving complaints made by students, faculty, or staff in a timely manner and also describes the sanctions for acts which constitute violations of this policy.
Retaliatory acts against any individual who exercises his or her rights under Title VII or Title IX are considered to be discrimination and are unlawful. TTC is prohibited from intimidating, threatening, coercing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title VII or Title IX.
AVAILABILITY AND TRAINING
The College maintains its policies and procedures on the College website along with contact information for the Title IX Coordinator and other resources, including training materials.
When used in this document and TTC Procedure 8-2-1, unless the context requires other meaning,
- “Actual Knowledge” means notice of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment to a college’s Title IX Coordinator or any official of the college who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the college.
- An “Advisor” is someone who is present to help the Complainant or Respondent understand the proceedings and to assist them during the live hearing and cross- examination.
- An “Appeals Officer” is a person designated by a college to hear an appeal of a dismissal of a formal complaint or a decision maker/hearing panel’s determination.
- An “Approved Method of Notification” means any communication from college personnel through a communication channel to which the student has consented or which confirms receipt of the communication by the student, such as a hand-delivered letter, restricted mail delivery services, or e-mail. A student who communicates with the college via e-mail or otherwise provides an e-mail address in connection with communications relating to a grievance thereby consents to the service of documents and all other correspondence associated with the grievance by e-mail, and the date and time of such e-mail(s) shall be deemed the date and time of service.
- "Chief Student Services Officer” means the Administrative Officer at the College who has overall management responsibility for student services, or his/her designee.
- “Close of Business” means the time that the administrative offices of the college close on that specific workday.
- "College" means Trident Technical College.
- “Complainant” means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
- “Consent” means an informed, affirmative, conscious, voluntary, and mutual agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that s/he has the consent of the other participant(s) to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent nor does silence mean consent. Consent can be withdrawn or revoked. Once consent is withdrawn, the sexual activity must cease immediately and all parties must obtain mutually expressed or clearly stated consent before continuing further sexual activity. Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated. A person with a medical or mental disability may also lack the capacity to give consent. Sexual activity with a minor (under 18 years old) is never consensual because a minor is considered incapable of giving legal consent due to age.
- “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, where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: the length of the relationship; the type of relationship; and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
- A “Decision-Maker” is someone (who cannot be the same person as the Title IX Coordinator or the Investigator) who issues a written determination regarding responsibility with findings of fact, conclusions about whether the alleged conduct occurred, rationale for the result as to each allegation, any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Respondent, and whether remedies will be provided to the Complainant.
- “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 cohabitating with or has cohabitated 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 receiving grant monies, or by 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.
- “Education Program or Activity” includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the college exercised substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by a postsecondary institution.
- “Formal Complaint” means a document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a Respondent and requesting that the college investigate the allegation of sexual harassment.
- “Instructional Days” means any weekday (M-F) in which classes are in session.
- “Instructor" means any person employed by the college to conduct classes.
- An “Investigator” is someone who acts as a neutral party in the investigation and provides a detailed, unbiased report regarding the findings of the investigation.
- “Notice” means, but is not limited to, a report of sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator.
- “Respondent” means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
- “Preponderance of the Evidence” is the standard used to evaluate the evidence for purposes of making findings and drawing conclusions for an investigation or hearing conducted under this Procedure. The preponderance of evidence standard means it is more likely than not that the conduct complained of occurred.
- “Retaliation” is adverse action taken against an individual for engaging in protected activity. No college or other person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by 34 C.F.R. Part 106 (Title IX), or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under Title IX. Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, constitutes retaliation.
RELATED UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
Relationships between a student and an individual with professional responsibility for that student deserve particular attention. A college employee with professional responsibility for a student has real or potential power and authority over that student in a variety of roles including but not limited to instructor, academic advisor, student organization advisor, work study supervisor, counselor, committee member, etc. To ensure that employees shall not abuse that power no employee shall have engaged in, shall engage in, or shall solicit an amorous or sexual relationship (consensual or otherwise) with a student
- who is enrolled in a class being taught by the employee;
- whose academic work is being supervised by the employee or;
- who is a member of a college group which is supervised or advised by the employee.
Amorous and/or sexual relationships between a student and an individual with professional responsibility for that student are presumed to be exploitative, and constitute unprofessional conduct. The consensual nature of such a relationship does not necessarily constitute a defense to a charge of sexual harassment or related unprofessional conduct.
Any member of the College community who feels he or she has been sexually harassed should immediately contact the Title IX Coordinator, or submit a report through the online report form, or contact one of the College staff members designate as a confidential resource to help students, faculty, and staff with sexual harassment concerns (see Confidential Resources Contact List on the College’s Title IX webpage). The College encourages the prompt reporting of instances of sexual harassment. Additionally, any employee who is made aware of a complaint should immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator. If the individual reporting an instance of sexual harassment files a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will supervise an investigation to be conducted with sensitivity to all involved and with as much confidentially as possible.
RIGHTS AND PENALTIES
Any person who violates this policy by engaging in sexually harassing conduct may be subject to prompt and firm disciplinary actions as determined by the College. Such disciplinary actions may range from reprimand to dismissal for an employee and warning to expulsion for a student.
Any student or employee may also seek other relief to which he/she is entitled by law.
Employees could be held personally liable for participation in or condoning sexual harassment.
An employee of the College must not refuse to cooperate in the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint, but the employee may assert whatever testimonial or evidentiary privileges that are available to the employee by law.
If the circumstances of the complaint warrant, the College may take necessary action to alleviate the situation while the complaint is being resolved as outlined in this policy.
An employee or student who files a verified/substantiated complaint of sexual harassment shall not be subject to retaliation for filing the complaint. The college shall take necessary action to assure that there is no retaliation against this person.
FRIVOLOUS or UNVERIFIED/UNSUBSTANTIATED COMPLAINTS
This policy shall not be used to file a frivolous or unverified/unsubstantiated complaint. Any person who makes an unverified/unsubstantiated complaint of sexual harassment will be disciplined in accordance with college policy for unprofessional conduct.