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Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy and Procedure Overview and Scope of Policy

Overview

Rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition of higher education, Anna Maria College is maintained and operated in conformity with the values of the Judeo-Christian tradition and in keeping with the ideals of its foundresses, the Sisters of Saint Anne.  The College is committed to nurturing the development of a sense of respect for oneself and for others, as well as a sense of responsibility to society and the world.  To stay true to the mission of the College, the environment at AMC must be free of sexual misconduct including sexual assault, sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, sexual discrimination, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. 

AMC recognizes that sexual misconduct is a serious concern on college campuses everywhere.  To address this concern, AMC provides educational and preventative programs; services for individuals who have been impacted by sexual misconduct; and accessible, prompt, and equitable methods of investigation and resolution of complaints, including cooperating with Paxton Police when the sexual misconduct rises to the level of a crime.

This Policy is written in a manner as to be easy to understand and accessible to students and employees while fulfilling legal obligations.  If you have any questions regarding this Policy, please do not hesitate to contact the Title IX Coordinator, Director of Human Resources, (508) 849-3398; the Title IX Deputy, Andrew Klein, Vice President for Student Affairs, (508) 849-3313, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Paxton Police Lieutenant Mark Savasta, (508) 494-9010, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Scope of Policy

This policy applies to both students and employees of the College and extends to sexual misconduct in all its forms and to retaliation by or against any employee, student, contractor, guest, visitor, or another person within the jurisdiction of the College. 

College jurisdiction shall be limited to the conduct which occurs on College property, at/during College sponsored events at any location, or anywhere when the conduct adversely affects a member(s) of the College community in the pursuit of his/her education and/or the fulfillment of the College’s mission. 

Individual and Community Responsibility

Each individual of the College Community is personally responsible for:

  • ensuring that his/her conduct is free from sexual misconduct;
  • reporting any instance of sexual misconduct to the appropriate official in a timely manner;
  • cooperating in any investigation of alleged sexual misconduct by providing any information he/she possesses concerning the matter being investigated unless such action violates his/her rights as protected by law;
  • actively participating in the College’s efforts to prevent and eliminate sexual misconduct;
  • maintaining a working/learning/living environment free from sexual misconduct; and
  • ensuring that his/her actions support an environment in which an employee/student who files a sexual misconduct claim or cooperates in an investigation may do so without fear of retaliation or reprisal.  

Reporting and Confidential Reporting

All members of the AMC community are encouraged to report sexual misconduct and/or reach out to receive support and services when having experienced sexual misconduct without fear of retaliation or retribution. The College will make every effort to maintain the privacy of parties reporting sexual misconduct by restricting information to those with a legitimate need to know.  Those reporting sexual misconduct should be aware that maintaining privacy is not the same as maintaining complete confidentiality.  The complete reporting protocol is found on page 67 of this document.

Confidential Reports

As sexual misconduct can take many forms, there are many avenues to report and address it.  There may be times that a person wishes to discuss his/her experience with sexual misconduct or seek services due to an experience in strict confidence.  Confidential reports may be made on campus (during office hours) to the AMC Health and Counseling Center, Trinity Hall Annex, (508) 849-3315, and to the Campus Priest or Deacon, Foundress Hall lower level by the Madore Chapel, (508) 849-3280.  Available 24-hours a day is the off-campus free and confidential hotline at Pathways for Change, (800) 870-5905. The AMC Health and Counseling Center, Campus Priest, Campus Deacon, and Pathways for Change personnel will provide support and assistance to a person and, with very few exceptions required by law, are not obligated to report any information about the sexual misconduct to the Police, Title IX Coordinator, or Conduct Code Administrator.  Reports made to the AMC Health and Counseling Center, Campus Priest, Campus Deacon, and Pathways for Change are confidential and will not automatically trigger further action by the College.

Non-Confidential Reports

Incidents of any form of sexual misconduct should be reported to the Paxton Police, (508) 494-9010 and the Title IX Coordinator, (508) 849-3398, or the Title IX Deputy and Andrew Klein, (508) 849-3313.

A more detailed discussion of reporting options can be found under the Reporting Policy and Protocol Section of this Policy.

Employees Who Receive Reports

All AMC employees, including students employed by the College, are required to make a report in a timely manner to their supervisors when told of, or when they become aware of possible sexual misconduct.  The supervisor, in turn, will report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator and/or Paxton Police.  AMC deems supervisors, managers, coaches, and executives as responsible persons for the purposes of Title IX compliance. 

Guidance of Taking Action Regarding an Incident of Sexual Misconduct

Go to a safe place.  Tell someone you trust. 

You are urged to contact the Paxton Police, 911 or (508) 791-6600, the Paxton Police on campus, (508) 494-9010, as soon as possible after an incident of sexual misconduct. Paxton Police has trained sexual violence investigators who are available to assist you with evidence collection and preservation, seeking medical assistance, obtaining resources and safety issues. 

Advocates or counselors are available to assist you whether or not you make a report to the Police.  These counselors and advocates provide confidential and free support.  During office hours, an AMC counselor, (508) 849-3315, will be available to assist you and to work closely with you to ensure that you have access to medical support, legal options, and campus interim options. After office hours, a counselor is available at Pathways for Change’s 24-hour free and confidential hotline, (800) 870-5905; either an AMC or a Pathways for Change counselor will help you navigate your choices.

College staff will work with you in whatever way reasonably possible to make you feel comfortable and safe. Such assistance may include housing relocations, change in course schedules, escort services, etc.  You do not have to make a formal report to access such services.

More information on reporting sexual misconduct is available later in this Policy.

Get medical treatment as soon as possible

SANE nurse/evidence collection

On campus, the Health Center can assist you in receiving the appropriate medical help.  When the Health Center is closed, Paxton Police may be contacted to gain access to emergency medical services.  You may also contact Pathways for Change, a confidential, free, 24-hour hotline.  Pathways will provide a counselor to accompany you to the hospital. 

Evidence collection is very important should a victim wish to press criminal charges immediately or at a future date.  The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program provides coordinated and expert forensic services to victims of sexual crime. Available 24-hours per day through Worcester hospital emergency rooms, SANE nurses are highly trained in medical-legal examinations and forensic evidence collection. SANE nurses provide invaluable care to victims of sexual assault and rape in the critical hours following the crime. SANE examinations are available at no cost to the victim.  When possible, bring a full change of clothing, including shoes, to the emergency room for use after a medical examination.

Be aware that, even if the hospital calls local authorities, you are not obligated to speak to them.  It is not necessary to file a police report to receive SANE services.  The evidence collected through the forensic examination will be kept for a specific period of time in case criminal charges are filed in the future.

Preserve all physical evidence

In the event that sexual assault or sexual violence occurred, do everything possible to preserve evidence by making certain that the crime scene is not disturbed.  (The decision to press charges does not have to be made at this time. However, following these procedures will help preserve this option for the future.)  Survivors should not smoke, bathe, urinate, douche, brush teeth, or drink liquids. Clothes should not be changed but if they brought all the original clothing to the hospital in a paper bag. (Plastic bags damage evidence).   If the attack happened in the victim’s room or apartment, do not clean or straighten up until all the evidence has been collected. However, if you have done any of these things, do not let it stop you from seeking medical treatment and/or from reporting the incident of sexual violence.

Report the assault to police

Paxton Police have trained sexual violence investigators available.  Reporting an incident of sexual violence to Paxton Police may not commit you to further legal action. However, the earlier you report an incident of sexual violence, the more helpful it will be to police investigating the crime and to the prosecutor in prosecuting the case successfully. It also helps preserve your options for the future. You do not have to report an incident of sexual violence to Paxton Police to receive support services and interim measures.

Talk with a professional counselor: a good place to begin

Counseling, medical support, and other victim support service referrals are available at the AMC Health and Counseling Center, (508) 849-3315, Trinity Annex.  Reports made to the AMC Health and Counseling Center are confidential and the services are free to AMC students.  When the Health and Counseling Center is not open, you may contact Paxton Police, 911 or (508) 494-9010, to gain access to emergency medical services.   Incidents reported to designated on-campus counselors may be kept confidential, except as required by law.

A counselor is always available offering crisis intervention, counseling, referrals, support (including at the hospital) and information through Pathways for Change, (800) 870-5905. This community resource is confidential and free of charge. 

On-Campus Resources

Paxton Police (24 hour) 911 or (508) 494-9010 West end of Foundress Hall.

AMC Health & Counseling Service (a good place to begin; confidential reports may be made here) Linda Aronson, Director, Trinity Annex (off East end), (508) 849-3315, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  After hours, call Pathways for Change at (800) 870-5905 to make a confidential report and for access to hospital services.

AMC Campus Ministry (confidential reports may be made here) Fr. Manuel Clavijo, Foundress Hall lower level, (508) 849-3280, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Deacon Jack Franchi, Foundress Hall lower level, (508) 849-3399, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Title IX Coordinator, Jan Ruggieri, Interim Director of Human Resources, Socquet House 1st floor, (508) 849-3398

Title IX Deputy Andrew Klein, Vice President for Student Affairs, Trinity East 2nd floor, (508) 849-3313, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On Campus Living Adjustments

  • AMC Residence Life, Bishop Flanagan Campus Center, (508) 849-3271,
  • Academic Adjustments: Student Success Center Dennis Vanasse, Director, Trinity East 1st floor, (508) 849-3372, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Off-Campus Resources

Counseling/Advocacy services: these local, state and national services provide confidential support 24-hours a day

  • Pathways for Change (a good place to start) A Counselor is always available offering crisis intervention, counseling, referrals, support (including at the hospital) and information: (800) 870-5905
  • Daybreak Domestic Violence Services. YWCA of Central MA:  (508) 755-9030
  • UMass Memorial University Campus Emergency Mental Health: (508) 856-3562
  • Violence Recovery Program (LGBT Services, located in Boston): (800) 834-3242 office hours & (877) 785-2020 Safelink after office hours
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (7233)
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: (800) 656-HOPE (4673)
  • Stalking Hotline: (800) 394-2255
  • Samaritans (Suicide Prevention): (877) 870-4673
  • GLBT Helpline: (888) 340-4528

Medical Services

These hospital emergency rooms have SANE nursing to provide confidential, compassionate, comprehensive, expert forensic nursing care to survivors of sexual assault at no charge.

  • UMass Memorial Hospital ER:  (508) 334-6481
  • UMass Memorial University Campus ER: (508) 334-3511
  • St. Vincent Hospital ER: (508) 363-6025

Law Enforcement

  • Paxton Police: 911 or (508) 494-9010

Court Advocacy: Confidential Services

  • Daybreak / SAFEPLAN (assistance with restraining orders):  (508) 831-2168
  • Victim Witness Program (advocate from DA’s office):  (508) 755-8601

Legal Assistance: Confidential Services

  • Community Legal Aid: (508) 752-3722
  • Victim Rights Law Center: (617) 399-6720
  • Massachusetts Justice Project (legal advice and referrals): (508) 831-9888
  • Violence Recovery Program (LGBT Advocacy): (800) 834-3242

State & National Resources

Interim Measures and Safety on Campus

When immediate interim measures to ensure his/her safety and well-being are requested by a person who has experienced sexual misconduct, they will be provided by the College as those measures are reasonable and available. 

For Students  

A student does not have to file a formal report with the Police or under the Student Code of Conduct to obtain interim measures.  Interim measures may include, but are not limited to,

  • changes in class schedule or class location;
  • changes in living arrangements;
  • issuing a no-contact order;
  • obtaining counseling or health services; 
  • modifying test schedules or other class requirements temporarily. 

Requests for interim measures are best made to the Health and Counseling Center (confidential reporting may be made here), but may also be made to Paxton Police or Title IX Deputy.  Students may directly ask faculty and/or appropriate staff for interim measures but should be aware that the employee must then make a report about the alleged sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.

For Employees 

Requests for interim measures may be made to the Title IX Coordinator.  When reasonable and available, interim measures may include, but are not limited to,  no-contact orders, a change in work schedule, a change in office and/or escort to/from vehicle.  

Definitions

Sexual Misconduct: General

“Sexual misconduct” is a broad term encompassing any sexual or gender-based behaviors that are not tolerated by the AMC community.  Sexual misconduct can take many forms: sexual assault, sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, sexual misconduct, sexual discrimination, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

Sexual misconduct may be committed by anyone, regardless of gender identity.  It may occur between people of the same or different sex or gender.  You can be subjected to sexual misconduct by anyone in your life: friend, supervisor, roommate, intimate partner, ex-boy/girlfriend, classmate, acquaintance, teammate, colleague, professor, or stranger.  Misconduct can range in severity from inappropriate humor to physical assault; from a one-time belittling remark about your gender identity to repeated sexual harassment creating a hostile environment where your academic or job performance is harmed. The misconduct can be experienced person-to-person; by seeing written notes, photographs, or drawings; by receiving phone calls or text messages; or over the internet. No matter the form, no matter the severity, no matter the perpetrator: sexual misconduct will not be tolerated at AMC. 

You do not have to be the person at whom the unwelcome sexual conduct is directed to experienced sexual misconduct. If the unwelcome sexual conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, living, or academic environment for you or interferes with your work or academic performance, then it could be a violation of this Policy.

The definitions of the most common forms of sexual misconduct behaviors are below. The College reserves the right to classify as “sexual misconduct” behaviors that are not explicitly listed below but, based on a “reasonable person” standard, would be considered to be such conduct.

While we have attempted to define and give examples of forms of sexual misconduct and have included all definitions required by the Violence Against Women Act, we recognize that this list cannot cover every experience that one may have.  If you feel that you have been the victim of or have witnessed sexual misconduct that is not listed below, you are strongly encouraged to report it and/or seek services due to it.  Don’t wait until the behavior has risen to a level that you can “fit” into a definition: seek out support and help as soon as possible.

Sexual Misconduct Definitions and Examples

  1. Gender-based or Sexual Harassment:  Gender-based or sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited by State and Federal laws.  Gender-based or sexual harassment includes any unwelcome conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature when: 1)  submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education, work, or educational activities; or 2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; or 3) such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, or offensive academic, work, or living environment.

Sexual or gender-based harassment is a broad term that includes many forms of misconduct from unwelcomed comments to sexual assault.  More severe or violent forms of gender-based or sexual harassment are defined separately below.  They include domestic violence, dating violence, sexual exploitation, stalking, and intimidation.

Sexual or gender-based harassment does not occur only during voluntary social activities.  It can occur in the workplace or anywhere in the academic environment: classroom, Success Center, Library, Study Abroad trip, or employee offices. Sexual or gender-based harassment is behavior which is not welcomed by the student/employee, is personally offensive to him or her, and/or undermines morale and/or interferes with the ability of the employee/student to work/learn effectively. 

Sexual or gender-based harassment may create a hostile environment when it is sufficiently serious and objectively offensive as to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the academic, social, and/or work environment at AMC.  Not all sexual or gender-based harassment will create a hostile environment. 

While it is not possible to list all of the circumstances that may constitute sexual or gender-based harassment, depending upon the totality of the facts, including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness, following is a list of unwelcomed situations that could constitute sexual or gender-based harassment:

  • abusive conduct directed towards one sex;
  • use of sexually degrading words or images;
  • name calling and/or insults based on gender nonconformance;
  • telling sexual stories or jokes or making sexual comments;
  • gossip, with sexual overtones (e.g. talking about a person’s sex life), which makes for unpleasant educational conditions and undermines the integrity of educational relations;
  • unwanted teasing, remarks, comments or questions with sexual innuendoes or in reference to a person’s gender, sexual orientation, or sexual activities;
  • verbal comments of a sexual nature about an individual’s appearance or sexual terms used to describe an individual;
  • comments, jokes, or threats directed at a person because of his/her sexual orientation, gender orientation, or gender expression;
  • videotaping or photographing someone or people without consent
  • posting or distributing sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons, or other materials;
  • unwanted sexually-oriented letters or notes;
  • sending unwanted offensive or discriminatory messages or materials through the use of electronic communications (e.g. email, social media, voicemail, text messages, instant message or fax) which contain overt sexual language, sexual implications or innuendo, or comments that offensively address someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity;
  • unwelcome and/or repeated invitations (for lunch, dinner, drinks, dates, sexual favors, sexual relations);
  • demand for sexual favors accompanied by an implied or overt threat concerning an individual’s employment/student status or promises of preferential treatment;
  • staring at parts of a person’s body, leering, ogling, winking, or making suggestive gestures;
  • suggestive sounds or noises, including wolf whistles, kissing sounds, or howling;
  • unwanted, inappropriate references to a person as “hunk,” “doll,” “babe,” “honey,” “stud,” or “sweetie;”
  • unwanted sexual gestures, including sexual hand gestures or body movements, touching or rubbing oneself sexually in the presence of another person, throwing kisses, or licking lips;
  • unwanted physical contact such as touching, hugging, kissing, stroking, fondling, patting, pinching, or repeated brushing up against one’s body;
  • deliberate and unwanted bumping, leaning over, cornering, mauling or grabbing;
  • indecent exposure or sexual exhibitionism;
  • peeping or other voyeurism;
  • assaults, molestations, or coerced sexual acts;
  • sexual assault or rape;
  • attempting to force someone to engage in sexual relations; and/or
  • condoning any behavior that would be considered sexual or gender-based harassment.
  1. Sexual Assault (non-consensual sexual intercourse and/or non-consensual sexual contact): Any form of sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object without consent is sexual assault.  Intercourse means vaginal penetration (however slight) by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact). 

Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object without a person’s consent is sexual assault.  Intentional sexual contact includes contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another person touch any of these body parts or any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner.

  1. Rape: Rape is defined in the general laws of Massachusetts as follows:  “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person and compels such person to submit by force or against their will or compels such person to submit by force or against their will or compels such person to submit by threat of bodily injury.  If the act occurs while the victim is unconscious, asleep or otherwise unable to communicate willingness, it is still considered rape.”
  2. Sexual Exploitation:  Sexual exploitation occurs when an individual 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.  Sexually-based stalking or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: 
  • prostituting another person;
  • non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
  • non-consensual distribution of images or information of another’s sexual activity, intimate body parts or nakedness with the intent to or having the effect of embarrassing an individual who is the subject to such images or information;
  • going beyond the boundaries of consent (i.e. allowing others to watch you have consensual sex without telling your sexual partner that they are watching);
  • engaging in non-consensual voyeurism;
  • knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another without having disclosed your STI or HIV status; or
  • exposing one's genitals in non-consensual circumstances, or inducing such exposure in another person.
  1. Domestic Violence: a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviors and tactics used by one person over another to gain power and control. In domestic violence situations, the involved persons can be intimate partners or former intimate partners; those who are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship; those residing in the same household; and/or family members.  The abusive behaviors can involve one or more of the following:
  • physical harm;
  • direct or implied threat of physical harm or causing a situation where fear of physical harm is present;
  • economic abuse:
  • emotional abuse creating an apprehension of physical harm to self, loved ones or pets or damage to property; and/or
  • repeated communication, anonymously or directly, made with the intent to intimidate, control, terrify, harass, or threaten.
  1. Relationship (Dating) Violence: abuse or violence between those in a dating relationship involving one or more of the following:
  • physical harm;
  • direct or implied threat of physical harm or causing a situation where fear of physical harm is present;
  • emotional abuse creating an apprehension of physical harm to self, loved ones or pets or damage to property; and/or
  • repeated communication, anonymously or directly, made with the intent to intimidate, control, terrify, harass, or threaten.
  1. Stalking: a pattern of behavior over a period of time directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

Stalking can rise to the level of a crime.  Massachusetts law defines stalking as 1) willfully and maliciously engaging in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person which seriously alarms or annoys that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress and 2) making a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury. 

Stalking behaviors may include:

  • non-consensual communication including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email messages, social networking site postings, instant messages, postings of pictures or information on Web sites, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired and/or place the specific person in fear;
  • following, pursuing, waiting for, or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom, or other locations frequented by the specific person;
  • surveillance and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means (including peeping, staring, use of spyware on the specific person’s computer, stealing/using of passwords to gain access to emails or voicemails, monitor by GPS or other application;
  • trespassing;
  • vandalism;
  • non-consensual touching;
  • direct physical and/or verbal threats against the specific person,  his/her loved ones, and/or pets;
  • gathering of information about the specific person 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 specific person; and/or
  • lying to others about the specific person (defamation or slander).

Other Definitions

  1. Consent: Consent is informed, freely and actively given, and requires clear communication between all persons involved in the sexual encounter. Lack of consent is a critical factor in any incident of sexual misconduct. If you have sexual activity with someone you know to be, or should know to be, mentally or physically incapacitated (for instance by alcohol or drug use, unconsciousness, or blackout), you are in violation of this policy. Use of alcohol or drugs will never function to excuse behavior that violates this policy.
  • Consent is active, not passive. 
  • Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent.
  • Consent can be communicated verbally or by actions.  In whatever way consent is communicated, it must be mutually understandable.
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
  • It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual contact to make sure he or she fully understands what the person(s) with whom they are involved want(s) or do(es) not want sexually.       
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.   
  • Previous relationships or consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts.    
  • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another;
  • Consent cannot be procured by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion.             
  • Effective consent cannot be given by minors (in Massachusetts, persons under 16 years of age are considered “minors” in this context), individuals with a mental disability, or persons incapacitated as a result of drugs and/or alcohol.           
  1. Use of alcohol and other drugs: The recreational and/or social use of alcohol or other drugs never makes someone at fault for being sexually assaulted.  Alcohol and other drugs can lower inhibitions and create an atmosphere of confusion over whether consent is freely and affirmatively given.  The use of alcohol and other drugs do not always create incapacitation.  The standard of “a reasonable person” will be used for determining if one should have known that the impact of the alcohol or drug made the other person unable to give consent.

Sometimes a person is reluctant to report instances of sexual misconduct when other policy violations, such as underage drinking, may be involved.  To encourage reporting, any other policy violations may be addressed (if necessary) separately from the sexual misconduct allegation. 

  1. Incapacitation:  Incapacitation is a state where one cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because he or she lacks the ability to give knowing consent or to understand the "who, what, when, where, why, or how" of his or her sexual interaction. This policy also covers someone whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the ingesting of a so-called "date-rape" drug.  Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one or more of these or any drugs to another person for the purpose of inducing incapacity is a violation of this policy. 
  2. Force:  Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access.  Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent. 
  3. Coercion:  Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity.  Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another.  When someone makes clear that he or she does not want sex, wants to stop an encounter, or does not want to proceed past a certain point of interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.   

Reporting Policy and Protocol

Overview

It is the responsibility of each and every member of the Anna Maria College community to foster an inclusive environment and to take a stand against sexual misconduct.  To that end, Anna Maria College expects all members of the community to report any incident of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, sexual misconduct, sexual discrimination, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking, immediately, whether experienced first-hand or directed against someone else.  It is only through each community member speaking out that the College can act to investigate and work to eliminate sexual misconduct.

There is no time limit on reporting an incident of sexual misconduct. The individual experiencing or witnessing the sexual misconduct should be aware that the longer the period of time between the event and the report, the more difficult it will be for an investigation to be successfully concluded.  Even if an individual may not wish to file a report immediately upon experiencing sexual misconduct, he/she is strongly encouraged to make a confidential report as soon as possible.  By speaking in a confidential setting with a member of the AMC Health and Counseling Center, Campus Priest, Campus Deacon or a volunteer on a community hotline such as Pathways for Change or Daybreak, an individual may receive support and advocacy even without filing a report.

While the community at large bears the responsibility to speak out against sexual misconduct, staff with managerial or supervisory authority (including student Residence Life and Orientation staff), faculty members, and administrators are required, when they have reasonable cause to believe or personal knowledge of sexual misconduct occurring to 1) notify the victim(s) of the existence of this Policy and 2) to report the  issue in a timely manner to the Title IX Coordinator, the Director of Human Resources, Socquet House, (508) 849-3398, or to Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the Vice President for Student Affairs & Retention, Andrew Klein, Trinity East 2nd floor, (508) 849-3313, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Any member of the College community who has a question about his or her responsibilities under this policy should contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

Reporting Incidents

Students, faculty, and staff who wish to report an incident of sexual misconduct are strongly encouraged to contact Paxton Police, 911 or (508) 494-9010.  Paxton Police are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Paxton Police have trained sexual violence investigators who are available to assist victims during what can be a very emotional and stressful time. The Paxton Police Department provides Anna Maria College with our Public Safety Services and works closely with the Office of Residential Life, the AMC Health and Counseling Center to support victims of and to promote awareness about sexual misconduct. 

The decision to report a sexual assault or sexual violence to the Paxton Police or to file a complaint is entirely the victim’s choice. Reporting to the Paxton Police or filing a complaint is not necessary for a victim to receive counseling or other supportive services.

A student and/or employee may choose to report an incident of sexual misconduct to both the Paxton Police for criminal pursuit and to the College for action under the Student Code of Conduct and/or College policies.  Because the standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards in this Policy, criminal investigations or reports are not determinative of whether or not a violation of this Policy has occurred.  The filing of a criminal report will not delay the College acting on the report under this Policy.

Paxton Police can assist anyone reporting sexual misconduct to:

  • receive medical services (including access to a SANE nurse at local hospital emergency room, regardless of a formal report being filed);
  • get information about filing a criminal complaint or other legal action without actually filing a formal complaint;
  • make a criminal complaint (including securing possible evidence);
  • file a restraining order;
  • make a Code of Conduct complaint;
  • receive support services (on and/or off-campus resources regardless of a formal report being filed); and
  • access interim measures such as getting an on campus “no contact” order, changing residence hall room, academic accommodations, and other interim measures (regardless of a formal report being filed).

Reports of sexual misconduct may also be reported by students, faculty, and staff to the following:

Title Name Contact Information
Title IX Coordinator, Director of Human Resources Socquet House, First Floor, Box H, (508) 849-3398
Title IX Deputy, Vice President of Student Affairs Andrew Klein Trinity East, Second Floor, Box F, (508) 849-3313, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Title IX Coordinator, Title IX or Deputy can assist a student reporting sexual misconduct to:

  • receive medical services (including access to a SANE nurse at local hospital emergency room regardless of a formal report being filed);
  • receive support services (on and/or off-campus resources regardless of a formal report being filed);
  • understand and have questions answered about this Policy;
  • make a Code of Conduct complaint;
  • contact Paxton Police to file a criminal complaint, obtain a restraining order, or discuss legal options without filing a formal report;
  • access interim measures such as getting an on campus “no contact” order, changing residence hall room, academic accommodations, and other interim measures (regardless of a formal report being filed); and/or
  • file an anonymous report.

Employee as Victim Reporting

An employee is encouraged to report the possible sexual misconduct of which he/she is a victim which occurs on campus, at an AMC-sponsored event, may negatively impact his/her ability to successfully do his/her job, and/or which involves an AMC community member.  If an employee prefers to discuss a possible sexual misconduct problem with his or her supervisor, the employee may always do so, but employees do not have to go through the regular chain of supervision when reporting sexual misconduct and may go directly to Paxton Police, 911 or (508) 494-9010, or to the Title IX Coordinator, Director of Human Resources, (508) 849-3398. 

Employees may talk in confidence with the employee resource LifeScope by calling (800) 828-6025, the 24-hour hotline available to AMC employees.  Employees may also use the confidential, 24-hour hotlines available to the general community such as Pathways for Change, (800) 870-5905, and Daybreak, (508) 755-9030.

Anonymous Reporting

A student or employee may wish to make a report about sexual misconduct but may want to keep his/her name from the report.  Anonymous reports will result in an investigation of the alleged behavior by the College as the College is obligated by law to take action. If the complainant requests anonymity or asks that the complaint not be pursued, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for anonymity or request not to pursue the investigation, however, the College’s ability not to investigate as requested may be limited by its legal obligations.  The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for evaluating requests for anonymity and/or taking no action and weighing the request against the College’s legal responsibility to investigate and/or take action. 

When the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator is made aware of an incident involving sexual misconduct, the Coordinator involved will ensure that an anonymous incident report is made to the Paxton Police to comply with campus safety laws (known as the “Clery Report”).  The name of the reporting party and/or possible victim will not be disclosed or in any way connected to the report. The report contains the following data about the incident (as available from the original report): date, time, location (as specific as possible without revealing the identity of the alleged victim) and type of sexual misconduct reported.

Confidential Reporting, Students

There may be times that a student wishes to discuss his/her experience with sexual misconduct or seek services due to an experience in strict confidence.  Confidential reports may be made on campus (during office hours) to the AMC Health and Counseling Center, Trinity Hall Annex, (508) 849-3315, and to the Campus Priest or Deacon, Foundress Hall lower level by the Madore Chapel, 508-849-3280.  Available 24-hours a day is the off-campus free and confidential hotline at Pathways for Change, (800) 870-5905.

The AMC Health and Counseling Center, Campus Priest, Campus Deacon, and Pathways for Change personnel will provide support and assistance to a student and, with very few exceptions required by law, are not obligated to report any information about the sexual misconduct to the Police, Title IX Coordinator, or Conduct Code Administrator.  Reports made by students to the AMC Health and Counseling Center, Campus Priest, Campus Deacon, and Pathways for Change are confidential and will not automatically trigger further action by the College. 

Sharing at Educational Event

The College and/or community will at times sponsor educational events around preventing and/or recognizing sexual misconduct.  Some of these events, such as “take back the night rallies” or “Denim Day”, can encourage participants to share personal experiences with the group and/or with the facilitators/organizers.  If a student or employee chooses to share an experience with sexual misconduct in this manner, it is not considered a report to the College.  The College is not obligated by law to take action due to such a sharing.

Title IX Compliance Team

The Title IX Compliance team includes administrators from Athletics, Student Affairs, Student Affairs & Retention, Human Resources, and the Paxton Police. The team will meet regularly and as needed to review adherence to policy and policy training.

The Title IX Coordinator, Director of Human Resources, has the responsibility for the overall development, administration, and monitoring of all programs, policies, procedures, and regulations related to Title IX and sexual misconduct. The Title IX Deputy, Andrew Klein, Vice President of Affairs & Retention, in addition to assisting the Title IX Coordinator, has the responsibility for the development, administration, and monitoring of all educational programs, policies, procedures, and regulations related to sexual misconduct experienced by or perpetrated by students.

Listed below are the members of the Title IX Compliance Team who have primary responsibility for Title IX compliance and with whom complaints regarding sexual misconduct may also be filed: 

Title Name Contact Information
Title IX Coordinator, Director of Human Resources Socquet House, First Floor, Box H, (508) 849-3398
Title IX Deputy, Vice President of Student Affairs Andrew Klein Trinity East, Second Floor, Box F, (508) 849-3313, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Director of Residence Life Jessica Eckstrom Bishop Flanagan Campus Center, (508) 849-3271, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Athletic Director Serge DeBari AMCAT Center, Box A, (508) 849-3447, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Paxton Police Lieutenant Mark Savasta Foundress Hall West, Box 1, (508) 494-9010, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct: Summary

Chart showing to whom you may make which type of report:

    Full Report & Investigation   Anonymous Report   Confidential Report
Tell Paxton Police Yes
Tell AMC Staff, including student staff, admnistrators, faculty member Yes (Paxton Police will be called)   Yes (Paxton Police will be given report with identifying data removed unless a full investigation is required by law)
Tell AMC Health and Counseling Center     Yes
Tell AMC Priest or Deacon (in their professional capacity) Yes
Call off-campus confidential hotline (i.e. Pathways for Change, Daybreak, Victim Rights Law Center, etc.) Yes
Go to Emergency Room of Hospital (SANE nurse available) Yes

Chart explaining what actions each report can initiate: 

  Full Report   Anonymous Report   Confidential Report
Receive Support Services (counseling, advocacy) Yes Yes Yes
Receive Medical Assistance Yes Yes Yes
Ask for and receive interim measures such as housing change, class or work schedule, receive no contact order, access academic support Yes Yes Yes
Make Criminal Complaint Yes No No
Make Conduct Code Complaint Yes Yes (but College's ability to act on the complaint may be limited) No
College Must Investigate Complaint Yes Yes (but College's ability to act on the complaint may be limited) No
Complaint part of crime data (no personal information included) Yes Yes No
Timely warning must be issued if situation merits   Yes   Yes   No
Name of alleged victim possibly disclosed to alleged perpetrator during investigation   Yes   No (unless circumstances warrant College taking action by law)   No investigation, name not disclosed
Can request investigation be stopped/no further action taken   Yes (but College reserves right to continue investigation under certain circumstances)   Yes (but College reserves right to continue investigation under certain circumstances)   No investigation

 

Investigation Procedures and Protocols

When a report is filed, it will be promptly investigated in a fair and expeditious manner and in such a way as to maintain privacy to the extent practicable under the circumstances. For reports involving students, the investigation will be conducted under the procedures outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. For reports involving employees, the investigation will be conducted under the procedures outlined in the Guidelines for Investigation and Adjudication of Allegations of Sexual Violence found in this document and in the Student Code of Conduct.

Investigation

  1. Upon being notified that a reporting party wishes to pursue a complaint of violation of the policy regarding sexual violence, or when the Title IX coordinator has been made aware of an alleged violation, the Title IX Coordinator will consult with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator to determine whether the allegations, if proven, would constitute a violation of this policy. This evaluation will normally occur within five working days of the initial report.
  2. If it is determined that the allegations would not constitute a violation of this policy, the reporting person will be advised of other disciplinary, legal and support options as appropriate, and no further violation under this policy will be pursued. If new information is subsequently provided, this decision may be reevaluated.
  3. If it is determined that the allegations would constitute a violation of this policy, the Title IX Coordinator will ask the Deputy Title IX Coordinator to prepare the charge describing the alleged violation and the provisions of this policy alleged to have been violated, and to designate an Investigator to conduct an investigation and prepare a report.  A single investigator will ordinarily be assigned to each case.  Investigators will be selected from a group of qualified and trained individuals employed by the College.
  4. Upon initiating the investigation, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator will send the reporting person and the responding person a Notice of Investigation which will include:
    1. A copy of the charge;
    2. The name and contact information of the investigator;
    3. A copy of this policy.
  5. The investigation will be conducted in a prompt, fair, thorough and impartial manner. It will include at a minimum:
    1. Speaking separately with the reporting person and the responding person;
    2. Speaking with pertinent witnesses;
    3. Soliciting and reviewing documentation relevant to the investigation including available police reports, campus incident reports and written statements submitted by the reporting and responding persons.
  6. The investigator will provide the reporting and responding persons with timely notice of meetings at which they are asked to be present.  The reporting and responding persons will not be permitted to directly question each other and will not be required to be present together at any point.  Each person may have an advisor and/or an observer present with them at all meetings concerning the investigation.  The role of the advisor and/or observer is outlined below. 
  7. This investigation will normally be completed within sixty days of the initial report to the Title IX Coordinator.

Standard of Proof

All findings and determinations of responsibility under this policy will be made using a preponderance of the evidence standard.  With respect to any factual issue, this standard requires the determination of whether it is more likely than not that a fact exists or an event or violation of this policy occurred.

Investigation Findings and Report

The investigator will prepare a written report at the conclusion of the investigation.  Before the report is finalized, the investigator will give the reporting person and the responding person an opportunity to review a draft of the factual findings of the report and submit comments in writing.  The investigator will then make any modifications to the draft report that the investigator deems appropriate and finalize the report.

The investigator’s final written report will set forth, at a minimum:

  1. The investigator’s factual findings;
  2. The investigator’s determination as to whether the responding person committed the misconduct alleged in the charge;
  3. The investigator’s rationale for the findings.

The investigator will submit the report directly to the College Conduct Code Official as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Sanctioning Decision

Upon review and approval of the investigation report and findings, the Conduct Code Official will determine the appropriate sanctions and remedies if there is a finding of responsibility. Both parties will be simultaneously notified in writing of the resolution of the investigation.   

Appeal

Both the reporting person and the responding person may submit an appeal of finding in a sexual misconduct matter in accordance with the appeal process set forth in Section III Paragraph M in the Student Code of Conduct.

Role of Advisor

The reporting person and the responding person may bring an advisor/observer of their choosing to any investigatory meeting.  In the cases involving sexual misconduct only, this advisor may be an attorney or parent.   The procedure and regulations regarding the presence of an advisor/observer are as follows:

  1. At least 48 hours before a scheduled hearing, a student must inform the investigator or Conduct Code Official that he or she will bring an advisor and provide contact information for that person;
  2. Hearing will not be scheduled or delayed based on an advisor’s availability;
  3. Advisors may not address the investigator or Conduct Code Official and may not advocate for the student during the meeting;
  4. The student and his or her advisor may confer at any point during the hearing, but the advisor may not formulate specific questions, responses or statements for the student;
  5. If the advisor violates procedures (i.e., begins advocating for the student or otherwise disrupts the meeting), he or she will be asked to leave the meeting;
  6. College staff involved with the student conduct process will only discuss procedural matters with an attorney who is serving as an advisor. All other questions must be answered by the College’s Legal Counsel. 

Statement on Retaliation

Retaliation against an individual for filing a complaint of sexual harassment or against any individual for cooperating in an investigation of a gender or sexual misconduct complaint is prohibited by this policy and, in many cases, by State and Federal law. An action is generally deemed retaliatory if it would deter a reasonable person in the same circumstances from opposing practices prohibited by this policy.  This includes action taken against a bystander who intervened or attempted to intervene to stop the sexual misconduct.  Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against a person because of that person’s complaint or participation or inciting others to retaliate on one’s behalf.

Relations with Subordinate Employees and Students

In keeping with the College’s interest in prohibiting unethical conduct, the College prohibits faculty members or supervisors from engaging in romantic or sexual relations with individuals over whom they exercise evaluative or supervisory authority, including students employed in any capacity by the College. 

The College also considers inappropriate, and therefore prohibits, any relationship of a romantic or sexual nature between a faculty or staff member and a student, even when no such evaluative or supervisory relationship exists.   

False Accusation

The College recognizes that false accusations of sexual misconduct can have serious effects on innocent persons. If, after an investigation has been completed, a person has accused another of sexual misconduct based on frivolous, reckless, or bad-faith complaints leading to a false accusation, the employee/student will be subject to appropriate sanctions, up to and including student suspension/dismissal and employee discharge. 

Policy Dissemination

The College’s policies and complaint procedures are well publicized to students and employees.  These policies and procedures are documented for students in the Student Handbook located on the College website. For employees, they are referenced in the Employee Guidelines and found on the employee intranet.  The College will distribute a copy of the Sexual Misconduct (Title IX) Policy to current employees and students on an annual basis through AMC email.  New employees will receive a copy of the policy during employee orientation in the Human Resources office.  

State and Federal Agencies

Using the College’s complaint process does not prohibit an employee or student from filing a complaint with state or federal agencies with appropriate jurisdiction.  Each of these agencies has a deadline for filing claims (EEOC 300 days; MCAD – 300 days; OCR – 180 days).

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”), located at One Ashburton Place, Room 601, Boston, MA  02108, and 436 Dwight Street, Suite 220, Springfield, MA  01103, is responsible for enforcing the Massachusetts sexual harassment law, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is responsible for enforcing the federal law prohibiting sexual harassment.  The EEOC is located at JFK Federal Office Building, Government Center, Room 475, Boston, MA 02203.  They may be contacted at the above addresses.  The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) may also be contacted at U.S. Department of Education,  33 Arch Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA  02110

 Revised July 2017

Sex Offenders Registry Information (Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act)

The Federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act requires colleges and universities to issue a statement advising the campus community where state law enforcement agency information concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained.  The Act also requires registered sex offenders to provide to appropriate state officials notice of each institution of higher education at which the offender is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student.

The public may request information about sex offenders in Massachusetts at the Massachusetts Sex Offenders Registry Board (SORB), (978) 740-6400 or at http://sorb.chs.state.ma.us/ or at the Paxton Police Department, (508) 755-1104.

The information contained in the Sex Offenders Registry shall not be used to commit a crime against an offender or to engage in illegal discrimination or harassment of an offender.  Any person who improperly uses Sex Offender Registry information shall be punished by not more than two and one-half years in the house of corrections or by a fine of not more than $1000 or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Reviewed July 2014

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