II. Glossary and Definitions
Complainant. An individual who is alleged to have experienced conduct that could constitute Prohibited Conduct under this Policy.
Education Program or Activity. Includes all of the College’s operations, including locations, events, or circumstances over which the College exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the conduct occurs; and any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the College.
Formal Complaint. A document filed by and signed by a complainant or signed by the Civil Rights & Title IX Coordinator alleging harassment and/or discrimination based on a protected characteristic against a respondent AND requesting that the College investigate the allegation/s. Formal complaints must be filed in order to pursue either an Informal Resolution Process or a Formal Resolution.
Formal Resolution. A grievance process initiated when a formal complaint is signed and filed alleging harassment and/ordiscrimination based on a protected characteristic against a respondent, and also requests that the complaint be investigated. The Formal Resolution includes an investigation, a decision, and appeal. The decision-making process includes a live hearing when the complaint involves allegations of “Sexual Harassment – Title IX,” as explained in greater detail in Section XI.G.
Informal Resolution Process. Alternate complaint resolution process available when a formal complaint is signed and filed alleging harassment and/or discrimination based on a protected characteristic against a respondent, and both parties agree to have the complaint resolved informally.
Mandated Reporter. Previously referred to as responsible employees. All College employees, student employees, and affiliated individuals are required to disclose to the Civil Rights & Title IX Coordinator any report of harassment or discrimination of which they are aware to ensure the College is able to provide a prompt, thorough, and supportive response. Confidential resources are exempt from this requirement as detailed in Section VI. Mandated reports do not require that complainants take any specific course of action, or any action at all, with regard to any process under this Policy.
Preponderance of the Evidence. A preponderance of the evidence means that the information or evidence provided is more likely than not to be true. When evaluating the information and evidence, the decision-maker(s) will first evaluate the quality. The decision-maker(s) will consider all of the information and evidence regardless of its origin. Any information or evidence the decision-maker(s) find to be of high quality should be given more weight than any information or evidence the decision-maker(s) find to be of low quality. Quality may or may not be identical with quantity, and sheer quantity alone should not be the basis for a finding of responsibility. The testimony of a single party or witness or a single piece of information or evidence may be sufficient to establish a fact.
Decisions that require the use of an evidentiary standard (determinations of responsibility, process appeals, challenges to Title IX dismissal, and findings of fact) will be made after the decision maker(s) assess the quality of the information or evidence and unanimously determine that the decision is justified. That is, the decision-maker(s) should find that there is sufficient evidence that is relevant, probable, and persuasive to convince them that a particular assertion is more likely than not and that the evidence supporting such an assertion outweighs any evidence to the contrary.
Prohibited Conduct. Conduct prohibited by this Policy and listed in Section VII. This includes Discrimination on the Basis of a Protected Characteristic, Harassment on the Basis of a Protected Characteristic, Sexual Harassment – Title IX, Sexual Assault – Non-Title IX, Dating Violence – Non-Title IX, Domestic Violence – Non-Title IX, Stalking – Non-Title IX, Sexual Harassment – Non-Title IX, Threats Toward an Intimate Partner, Sexual Exploitation, and Retaliation.
Protected Characteristics. Race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, medical condition, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, familial status, parenting, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by state, local or federal law.
Report. Information disclosed to the Civil Rights Office that, if true, may constitute Prohibited Conduct as defined in this policy.
Reporting Party. Any person who files a report of Prohibited Conduct.
Respondent. An individual who has been reported to have committed Prohibited Conduct. A respondent can be an individual or a student group or organization that is alleged to have engaged in conduct that violates this policy.
Supportive Measures. Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered to both the complainant and respondent as appropriate, reasonably available, and without fee or charge. This is referred to as protective measures in the Clery Act Compliance Section, Section XV.
Title IX Dismissal. If the conduct alleged in a formal complaint does not constitute sexual harassment as defined under Title IX, did not occur in a College education program or activity, or did not occur against a person in the United States, the College must dismiss the formal complaint with regard to that conduct for purposes of sexual harassment under Title IX. When a complaint is dismissed under Title IX, it may be resolved through the Investigator Resolution Process as described in Section XI.G.5.