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ACHS Sexual Misconduct Policy
American College of Healthcare Sciences (“ACHS”) seeks to foster and maintain a community of mutual respect and concern for all of its members. ACHS is committed to providing an academic environment free of discrimination of any kind and prohibits discrimination, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, and sexual harassment. In keeping with this commitment, ACHS maintains a strict policy prohibiting all forms of sexual misconduct and unlawful discrimination and discouraging conduct that, while not unlawful, could reasonably be considered sexual misconduct and/or unlawful discrimination. All members of the ACHS community share responsibility for fostering this environment by adhering to standards of conduct.
This policy reflects ACHS’s continued commitment to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of our community. This policy applies to all students, employees, and third party vendors of ACHS and prohibits unlawful sexual misconduct and/or harassment in any form. It also prohibits retaliation of any kind against individuals who file complaints or who assist ACHS in an investigation.
This policy applies to behavior on campus, in online classrooms, off campus at ACHS-sponsored events and activities, and may apply to behavior that takes place fully off campus at other events and activities. Under federal law, campus officials who receive a report of misconduct, regardless of the source of the information, must share that information with the appropriate ACHS authorities for investigation and follow-up. ACHS is obligated under the law to investigate the complaint, to take action to eliminate sexual misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. All members of ACHS community who learn of instances of sexual misconduct are encouraged to report this behavior immediately to the appropriate ACHS officials in order to ensure prompt, proper investigation into these matters.
Prohibited Conduct and Definitions
Sexual Misconduct, as defined below in this policy, is prohibited. Sexual Misconduct is a broad term that includes Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Bullying, Stalking, and Sexual Harassment. This policy applies to instances where the Respondent is a student, an employee, and/or a third-party vendor of ACHS. This policy also prohibits acts of Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation (see definition below) against anyone who files a complaint pursuant to this policy or participates in the investigation of a complaint. Furthermore, this policy prohibits bringing false allegations of sexual misconduct.
1. Sexual Misconduct
Sexual Misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in intimate or sexual relationships. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or women and can occur between people of the same or different sex.
Sexual Misconduct may be a form of sex discrimination prohibited by federal and state discrimination laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. In addition, some forms of sexual misconduct violate criminal laws.
Sexual misconduct may include the following:
a. Sexual Violence
Sexual Violence includes physical sexual acts that are performed against a person’s will or in instances when a person cannot give consent. A person may be unable to give consent to a sexual act for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to:
- if s/he is physically or psychologically pressured, forced, threatened, intimidated, unconscious, drunk, or drugged;
- due to an intellectual or other disability or health condition; or
- by operation of laws governing the age of consent.
Physical resistance need not occur to fulfill the definition of sexual violence.
Sexual violence may include the following:
Rape is the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
Sexual Assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are:
- attempted rape;
- rape, forcible sodomy, or forcible sexual penetration, however slight, of another person’s anal or genital opening;
- touching of an unwilling person’s intimate parts (defined as genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks, or clothing covering them); or
- forcing an unwilling person to touch another’s intimate parts.
Domestic Violence includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound.
Dating/Relationship Violence is defined as 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: the length of the relationship; the type of relationship; the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Sexual Exploitation is taking sexual advantage of another person without consent for one’s own advantage or benefit or for the advantage or benefit of anyone other than the person being exploited.
Examples of Sexual Exploitation may include, but are not limited to the following:
- causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person in order to gain a sexual advantage over such other person;
- causing the prostitution of another person;
- electronically recording, photographing or transmitting identifiable utterances, sounds or images of private sexual activity and/or the intimate body parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved;
- allowing third parties to observe private sexual acts of a participant without the participant’s consent; and/or
- voyeurism (spying on others who are in intimate or sexual situations).
Sexual Intimidation is described in the following examples:
- threatening to sexually assault another person;
- stalking, including cyber-stalking; or
- engaging in indecent exposure.
Bullying has two key components: 1) repeated harmful acts and 2) an imbalance of power. It involves repeated physical, verbal, or psychological attacks or intimidation directed against a victim who cannot properly defend him- or herself because of size or strength or because the victim is outnumbered or less psychologically resilient.
Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
Examples of Stalking may include, but are not limited to:
- repeated unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications from the perpetrator by phone, mail, and/or e-mail;
- repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents, or flowers;
- following or laying in wait for the victim at places such as home, school, work, or recreation place;
- making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, the victim’s children, relatives, friends, or pets;
- damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property;
- harassing victim through the internet;
- posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth;
- obtaining personal information about the victim by accessing public records, using internet search services, hiring private investigators, going through the victim’s garbage, following the victim, contacting victim’s friends, family, work, or neighbors, etc.
d. Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
- unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity;
- an employee of the school conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the school on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; or
- sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as those terms are defined in VAWA.
Examples of Sexual Harassment may include any or all of the following behavior, if pervasive or continuous:
- Offensive conversation, remarks, slurs, commentaries, or epithets of a sexual nature; sexual jokes; sexual comments about appearance, clothing, body; comments concerning sexual relations; sexual flirtations; propositions; vulgar talk;
- Leering, making sexual gestures;
- Displaying offensive sexually oriented objects, pictures, cartoons, posters or electronic programs or email outside a scholarly context and purpose; and/or
- Offensive conversation, remarks, slurs, commentaries based on a person exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic for their sex, or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.
Retaliation against anyone who files a complaint, serves as a witness, or otherwise participates in the enforcement of this policy is strictly prohibited. Any actual or threatened retaliation against anyone who files a report, serves as a witness, or otherwise participates in the enforcement of this policy is strictly prohibited. Initiating a complaint of Sexual Misconduct will not negatively affect a student or employee’s status. A Complainant, a Respondent, or witness who is threatened in any way should immediately report these concerns to the Title IX Coordinator.
3. False Allegations
False accusations of sexual misconduct can seriously injure innocent people. It is a violation of this policy, therefore, for anyone knowingly to make false accusations of harassment or discrimination. A determination that a complaint is not meritorious however is not necessarily equivalent to a false allegation. A finding for the Respondent does not constitute a finding that the complaint was in bad faith.
Students - Students refer to any current or potentially past students of ACHS and may include students currently enrolled and/or enrolled within the past year.
Employees - Employees refer to any person currently or previously employed by ACHS. Employees include faculty and staff regardless of the nature of the employment relationship.
Third Parties - Third Parties refer to individuals whose relationship with ACHS is based on a contractual relationship with vendors and other ACHS partners.
Responsible College Employee - A Responsible Employee includes any ACHS employee.
Complainant - The Complainant means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
Respondent - Respondent means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
Confidentiality - In all instances and to the extent possible, ACHS will protect the privacy of all parties to a report of sexual misconduct. Under federal law, campus officials who receive a report of misconduct, regardless of the source of the information, must share that information with the appropriate ACHS authorities for investigation and follow-up. ACHS is obligated under the law to investigate the complaint, to take action to eliminate sexual misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible. ACHS will take steps to protect the identity of a person making a report, but ACHS may be obligated to conduct an investigation regardless of the complainant’s requests. In the course of the administrative investigation, information will be shared as necessary with people who need to know, such as investigators, witnesses, and the Respondent. Any response by ACHS may be hindered by the Complainant’s requests for anonymity and/or inaction.
Under certain state laws, if a student desires that the details of an incident be kept strictly confidential, s/he can speak with a healthcare provider or contact off-campus rape crisis resources, such as RAIN (https://rainn.org) or National Center for Victims of Crime (http://victimsofcrime.org). Confidential resources in Oregon include local hospitals and the Portland Women’s Crisis Line (http://pwcl.org). Staff in community mental health centers will also maintain a Complainant’s confidentiality unless there is an imminent danger to the victim or to others.
Consent - Consent is informed, freely given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in any form of sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance. Consent must be given by a person with the ability and capacity to exercise free will and make a rational, reasonable judgment. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. It is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in the sexual activity to ensure that s/he has consent of the other to engage in the activity. Consent must be present throughout sexual activity and may be withdrawn at any time. Consent cannot be obtained by the use of physical force, threats, intimidating behavior or coercion. Having sexual activity with someone you know or should know is incapacitated is a violation of this policy.
Reporting Allegations of Misconduct
To report an incident of Sexual Misconduct, please complete this complaint form or contact the ACHS Title IX Coordinator directly:
Title IX Coordinator: Tracey Abell, Chief Operating Officer. 5005 S. Macadam Avenue, Portland, OR 97239. Phone: 503-244-0726, email: TitleIX@achs.edu
Individuals may also verbally report an incident of Sexual Misconduct to a Responsible College Employee, which includes any college administrator, supervisor, faculty member, admissions representative, student services representative, or ACHS employee. The Responsible College Employee will promptly refer the matter to the Title IX Coordinator. The staff member who receives the verbal report will assist the Complainant in completing the formal complaint form.
Confidential Reporting: If you would like to file an anonymous report, you may do so by completing and filing a complaint form without providing your name. Please be aware that if a report is filed anonymously, ACHS will not be able to provide resources and support to help you through this difficult time. A list of local and national resources, however, can be found below.
When a matter is referred to the Title IX Coordinator, information will be gathered to understand the nature of the complaint. Matters must be filed within one year of leaving ACHS, either as an Employee or as a Student. ACHS may in its discretion investigate matters brought to its attention that took place outside of this limitation period. Because the investigation of these matters may be negatively impacted by the passage of time and the availability of witnesses and other evidence, individuals are encouraged to report matters of Sexual Misconduct as soon as possible.
The initial complaint should include, at a minimum:
- Name, address, and telephone number of the Complainant;
- The nature of the complaint;
- Date(s) and location(s) of the alleged occurrence(s);
- Names and contact information for any witnesses
- Evidence on which the complaint is based; and
- The resolution or redress sought by the Complainant.
Upon receipt of the complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate an investigation. For matters involving Respondents who are Students, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Life will initiate the investigation. For matters involving Respondents who are Employees or Third Parties, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate the investigation.
Criminal Charges Reporting Process
ACHS encourages the Complainant to report all relevant incidents of Sexual Misconduct to the Portland police or the relevant law enforcement agency. The Complainant has the right to file or choose not to file criminal charges with the appropriate law enforcement official. Keep in mind that ACHS may also report such incidents to the Portland Police when the safety of the campus is in jeopardy or the Complainant/potential Complainant cannot do so him/herself. Information obtained through the criminal investigation may be used for consideration in ACHS’s disciplinary process.
A Complainant has the option to pursue a criminal complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency, to pursue charges in accordance with the ACHS’s Sexual Misconduct policy, or to pursue both processes consecutively or concurrently. If a Complainant wishes to pursue a criminal complaint exclusively, the Complainant may request to temporarily defer the administrative investigation and/or disciplinary process by making a formal written request to the Title IX Coordinator, which deferral may delay the administrative investigation and the ACHS’s ability to respond. At any time, the Complainant may choose to rescind the deferral by making a formal written request to the Title IX Coordinator, electing to resume the administrative investigation and/or disciplinary process. ACHS will maintain documentation of the date of the deferral.
Regardless of the Complainant’s requests, ACHS may continue its administrative investigation into the Sexual Misconduct in accordance with the requirements set forth in Title IX.
Investigation Process when Respondent is a Student
1. Informal Resolution
Informal Resolution procedures are not available in matters that allege Sexual Misconduct. Mediation will not be used in matters involving Sexual Violence.
2. Formal Investigation and Resolution
Upon receipt of the complaint, the Title IX Coordinator shall confer with the designated Title IX Investigator and initiate the investigation of the allegations.
The investigation will include written statements obtained from Complainant and Respondent, notes of any interviews with both parties and any witnesses, the collection of relevant documentary evidence, and any other information that is relevant to the allegations against Respondent. Both parties have a right to have an advisor of their choice present at any interviews, hearings, or other investigative procedure. Both parties may present documents, names of witnesses, and other relevant information to the investigator. Once the investigation is completed, the Dean of Students in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, will forward copies of the materials that have been collected during the investigation to the Complainant, the Respondent, and to ACHS’s Title IX Investigation and Hearing Board (“Board”).
Upon receiving and reviewing the investigation materials, the Board will resolve the matter either through an administrative resolution or a hearing panel. The parties will be notified (typically via email) of the specific violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy under consideration in advance of an administrative resolution. A designee of the Board will review the information gathered during the investigation separately and in private with each party and give each party an opportunity to respond. The designee will determine if the Respondent is responsible for the alleged policy violation(s), and if so, issue appropriate sanction(s). The parties will be notified of the outcomes concurrently. If the Respondent or Complainant does not accept the administrative resolution finding, then either party may request by the stated deadline a hearing before a hearing panel, as described below. If such a request is made, the Board will then proceed in scheduling a hearing panel. The proposed outcome from the administrative hearing will not be disclosed to the hearing panel unless the Complainant or Respondent shares such information.
If the Board decides the case should be resolved through a hearing panel, the Board will appoint a specially trained 3-person hearing panel (typically including 2 faculty or staff members and 1 student) to resolve a complaint under this policy. A finding of responsibility must be based on a majority vote. Sanctions of suspension or expulsion must be supported by a unanimous vote. A majority vote is required for all other sanctions.
Hearing Protocol for complaint that proceeds to a hearing panel:
Notice: Both the Complainant and the Respondent will be notified at least 120 hours in advance of the date and time of the hearing and the names of the hearing panelists.
- Hearing Packet: In advance of the hearing, the Board prepares a packet with information it deems relevant to the case to be shared with the hearing panel. The Board will share a copy of that packet with both the Complainant and the Respondent at least 120 hours in advance of the hearing. If a Complainant or Respondent wishes to share additional relevant written information to a hearing panel in advance of the hearing, it must be submitted to the Board at least 72 hours before the hearing. If deemed relevant by the Board, that material will be shared with the Complainant/Respondent and the hearing panel.
- Conflict of Interest: A Complainant and/or Respondent may challenge the participation of a panelist because of perceived conflict of interest, bias, or prejudice. Such challenges, including rationale, must be made to the Board at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of the hearing. At its discretion, the Board will determine whether such a conflict of interest exists and whether a panelist should be replaced.
- Witnesses: A Complainant and Respondent may offer relevant material witnesses to provide information. Absent exceptional circumstances, the Complainant and Respondent should inform the Board in writing at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing the names of any witnesses and what information they will provide. Names of witnesses submitted to the Board by the Complainant or Respondent will be shared with the other party in advance of the hearing. The hearing panel may, in its sole discretion, exclude witnesses or witness testimony the panel considers irrelevant or duplicative.
- Character References: A Complainant and Respondent may each submit two character references written on their behalf to a hearing panel before the hearing begins. Character references may only address the character of the Complainant/Respondent and may not address the specific issue at hand or the character of the other party. A character reference may not also serve as a material witness.
- Electronic Devices: A Respondent, Complainant, advisor, and/or witness may not bring electronic devices that capture or facilitate communication (e.g., computer, cell phone, audio/video recorder, etc.) into a hearing room. The Board will make an audio recording of the hearing to be kept on file for three years. Reasonable care will be taken to create a quality audio recording and minimize technical problems; however, technical problems that result in no recording or an inaudible one will not be a valid argument for appeal.
- Hearing Procedure: A hearing panel has general authority over the conduct of the hearing (e.g., it may set time frames for witness testimony and it may limit opening/closing statements or their length, etc.). The general course of procedure for a panel hearing is as follows: introductions; Respondent’s statement accepting or denying responsibility; opening comments from the Complainant; opening comments from the Respondent; questions from the panel; testimony/questions of other material witnesses (if applicable); closing comments from the Complainant; and, closing comments from the Respondent. A Complainant or Respondent may not question each other or other witnesses directly, but may raise questions to be asked of that party through the hearing panel, which will determine whether to ask them. The hearing panel determines the relevancy of any information presented/submitted at the hearing and can exclude irrelevant information.
- In evaluating the relevance of information, the Board or the hearing panel, as appropriate, considers, among other things, whether the information bears on a fact at issue in the case, is more prejudicial than probative, or is duplicative.
- A Complainant’s or Respondent’s prior or subsequent sexual activity is typically not relevant and will only be considered as evidence when the previous or subsequent behavior was substantially similar to the conduct at issue or indicates a pattern of behavior and substantial conformity with that pattern.
The Complainant and Respondent will receive verbal notification of the decision of a hearing panel no later than 5 business days after the hearing. Notification will be individually given to the Respondent and Complainant at approximately the same time. A written hearing report outlining the decision and rationale of the hearing panel will be delivered to the Respondent and the Complainant within 10 business days of the hearing panel’s decision.
The Board’s Final Report that must include:
- A summary of the facts of the matter;
- All the material considered in making the determination, including but not limited to the complaint, response to the complaint, witness statements, etc.;
- A determination of whether a violation of the policy occurred or did not; and
- Recommended sanctions, if necessary.
In making its determination, the Board shall apply a preponderance of the evidence standard, in other words, whether it is more likely than not that a violation of this Policy has occurred. A majority vote of the Board is needed to reach a conclusion that a violation of this Policy occurred.
Barring no unforeseen complications, the Board will supply the Final Report to the Complainant, the Respondent, and the Dean of Students within 45 days of the notice of complaint. The Final Report may be redacted when necessary to protect privileged or confidential information, to protect the safety or well-being of individuals involved in the investigation, or to comply with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Sanctions for a finding of responsibility include, but are not limited to, expulsion, suspension, disciplinary probation, recommended counseling, and/or other educational sanctions. The hearing body will determine the sanctions, first considering whether expulsion (permanent removal) from the university is appropriate. While expulsion is the starting point for consideration, the hearing body has discretion to decide that (a) different sanction(s) is (are) appropriate. Factors pertinent to the determination of what sanction applies include, but are not limited to, the nature of the conduct at issue, prior disciplinary history of the respondent (shared with a panel only upon a finding of responsibility for the allegation), previous college response to similar conduct, and college interests (e.g., in providing a safe environment for all).
Title IX Coordinator will work with the complainant and appropriate college administrators to identify and implement any appropriate/necessary long-term or permanent remedies to address the effects of the conduct on the Complainant, restore the Complainant’s safety and well-being, and maximize the Complainant’s educational and employment opportunities. Remedies seek to restore to the Complainant, to the extent possible, benefits and opportunities lost as a result of the alleged sexual misconduct. Title IX Coordinator and/or appropriate Student Services staff will also identify appropriate remedies to address any effects of the alleged conduct on the ACHS community. Long-term remedies may include extending or making permanent any interim protective measures or implementing additional measures. Many of the remedies and supports that a Complainant might need after a finding of responsibility will have already been provided as interim measures, including but not limited to academic accommodations, short-term counseling, and housing arrangements. The Title IX Coordinator and/or Student Services staff will consider whether there is a need for additional remedies, which may include “no contact” directives, and reassignment or removal of the Respondent from a class.
The Complainant or Respondent may submit a written objection to the hearing panel’s decision. Objections are limited to 1500 words based on one or more of the following: 1) new information not reasonably available before the hearing that could significantly affect the finding and/or sanction(s); 2) procedural errors within the investigation or hearing process which ma have significantly affected the finding; and/or 3) the finding has no plausible basis in the record before the hearing panel. An objection does not entitle the party to a re-hearing of the case.
Any objection must be submitted to the Dean of Students within 5 business days of written notification of the hearing panel’s decision, must identify the ground(s) for objection, and the written objection shall be made part of the record and will be included with the Final Report.
After the receipt of the objections from the Respondent and/or Complainant or if the 5 days have passed, the Dean of Students shall forward the Committee Report to the Chief Operating Officer. The Chief Operating Officer in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator will make a final determination as to the finding of whether a violation of this policy occurred and the imposition of sanctions and/or other administration action. Sanctions will be imposed in accordance with the findings of the panel. Barring no unforeseen circumstances and/or intervening ACHS holidays, the Final Determination will be completed within 60 days of the filing of the Complaint, and the substance of that final determination will be communicated to the Complainant, the Respondent, and the Dean of Students.
The Final Determination of the Chief Operating Officer is the final decision of ACHS. Records of the Final Determination will be kept in the student’s file. No administrative process otherwise available to students, faculty, or staff may be used to further appeal this decision.
Investigation Process when Respondent is an Employee or Third Party
1. Informal Investigation and Resolution
At the option of the Complainant and with the subsequent agreement by the Respondent, it may be possible to resolve a harassment complaint through an Informal Resolution process. This voluntary conversation between Complainant and Respondent will be facilitated by the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee. The Complainant and Respondent will not meet alone with each other during this process. If the Complainant and the Respondent feel that a resolution has been achieved through this informal procedure, then the conversation may remain confidential and no further action need be taken. Written results of any informal resolution prepared by the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee and shall be signed by the Complainant and the Respondent. This Informal Resolution information will be kept in a file in the Office of Human Resources. Copies of the Informal Resolution will be placed in the personnel files of the Complainant and the Respondent.
Informal Resolution procedures are not available in matters that allege Sexual Violence, and mediation will not be used in matters involving Sexual Violence.
2. Formal Investigation and Resolution
Upon receipt of the Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will supply the Respondent with a copy of the allegations of the Complainant and commence an investigation.
The investigation will include a review of statements obtained from Complainant and Respondent, interviews with both parties and any witnesses, a review of relevant documentary evidence, and any other information that is relevant to the allegations against Respondent. The Respondent may not be present for the Complainant’s interview unless the Complainant consents, and vice versa. Both parties may present documents, names of witnesses, and other relevant information to the investigator.
Once the investigation is complete, the Title IX Coordinator shall refer the matter and all materials and documents collected during the investigation to Title IX Committee (“Committee”). The Committee will review the Complainant’s and Respondent's statements, review the information collected by the Title IX Coordinator during the investigation, and, as necessary, request any additional information or investigation, the collection or performance of which will be coordinated by the Title IX Coordinator or designee. The Committee shall consist of three Employees and the Title IX Coordinator or designee. The role of the Title IX Coordinator or designee on the Title IX Committee is to act as Ex Officio Chair of Committee with no voting rights and to coordinate any additional investigation requested by the Committee.
When the Respondent is a faculty member, the three-member Committee shall include at least two faculty members. When the matter involves a staff member, the Committee shall include at least two staff members. When the matter involves a Third Party, the Committee shall include any mix of Employees. The Committee shall strive at all times to maintain the confidentiality of the allegations and the investigation. Members of the Committee shall be selected by the chair of the Committee. Either party may object to a member of the Committee due to a conflict of interest. Such objections must be directed to the Chair of the Committee immediately.
The Committee shall review all of the investigation materials which have been collected and any other information or evidence which has been collected at the Committee's request, after which it will prepare a Committee Report. The Committee Report must summarize the investigation and must also include:
- A summary of the facts of the matter.
- All the material considered in making the determination, including but not limited to the complaint, response to the complaint, witness statements, etc.
- A determination of whether a violation of the policy occurred or did not.
- Recommended sanctions, if necessary.
In making its determination, the Committee shall apply a preponderance of the evidence standard, or in other words, whether it is more likely than not that a violation of this Policy has occurred. A majority vote of the Committee is needed to reach a conclusion that a violation of this policy occurred.
Recommended sanctions may include, but are not limited to, written reprimand of Respondent, suspension or dismissal of Respondent, a change of reporting line for an employee, or any other appropriate sanction(s) under the circumstances.
Barring no unforeseen complications, the Committee will complete the Committee Report within 30 days of the notice of complaint.
Upon completion of the Committee Report, the Committee Chair will supply the Committee Report to both the Complainant and the Respondent. The Committee Report may be redacted when necessary to protect privileged or confidential information, to protect the safety or well-being of individuals involved in the investigation, or to comply with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
If either the party has objections to the Committee Report, such comments must be submitted in writing to the Committee Chair within 5 calendar days of receipt of the Committee Report. These comments shall be made part of the record and will be included with the Committee Report.
After the receipt of the objections from the Respondent and/or Complainant or if the 5 days have passed, the Committee Chair shall forward the Committee Report to the appropriate Director in the Respondent’s reporting line. The Director will review the Committee’s Report and in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator make a Final Determination as to the finding of whether a violation of this policy occurred and the imposition of sanctions and/or other administration action. Sanctions will be imposed in accordance with the provisions in handbooks published for faculty, staff, and students. Barring unforeseen circumstances and/or intervening ACHS holidays, the Final Determination will be completed within 60 days of the filing of the Complaint.
The Final Determination of the Director will be distributed to both parties. The Final Determination of the Director is the final decision of ACHS, and no administrative process otherwise available to faculty or staff may be used to further appeal this decision, except in instances where the decision has been made to terminate the faculty member. Records of the Final Determination will be kept in the employee’s file in the Office of Human Resources. If the Final Determination is made to terminate the faculty member, the faculty member may avail himself/herself of the Appeal Process.
The faculty member may submit a written appeal of the final decision limited to 1500 words based on one or more of the following: 1) new information not reasonably available to the Committee that could significantly affect the finding (defined as the decision of “responsible” or “not responsible”) and/or sanction(s); 2) procedural errors within the investigation or review process which may have significantly affected the finding (as defined above); and/or 3) the finding (as defined above) has no plausible basis in the record before the Committee. An appeal is not a re-hearing of the case.
An appeal must be submitted to the Academic Dean within 5 business days of written notification of the Committee’s decision. The appeal statement must identify the ground(s) for appeal.
The composition of the Appellate Board for cases arising under this policy includes members of the ACHS community appointed by the Academic Dean in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator and appropriate college leadership. A four-person panel of the Appellate Board, typically including, when possible, at least one faculty, will review the appeal, any response provided by the other party, the Committee report, information considered from the investigation, and any additional information from the record it deems relevant. A complainant or the faculty member may request to meet with the panel of the Appellate Board to amplify the reason(s) for the appeal or to respond to the appeal; if the panel meets with either party, it will invite the other party to the meeting.
The Appellate Board’s role is limited to reviewing the Committee Report and the information presented in, and in response to, the appeal with one exception: If the appeal raises procedural errors, the appellate panel may, if necessary to resolve the appeal, interview staff member(s) who participated in the Committee to gather more information about the alleged procedural error. The appellate panel will invite the Complainant and the Respondent to participate in the interview with the staff member(s) and the Appellate Board. The Respondent and the Complainant may respond once the interview with the staff member is complete.
After its review, the appellate panel will resolve the case; or, if more information is needed from additional witness(es), it will remand the case to the original Committee with instructions to interview or take statements of the witness(es) and to reconsider its decision in light of that additional testimony. To overturn the Committee’s decision, at least three of the four Appellate Board panelists must support changing the decision of the hearing panel.
The Appellate Board will generally decide an appeal within 15 business days from when the appeal was received; if the decision will take longer, the Appellate Board will let the parties know. The Appellate Board will provide written notification of the final decision to the Complainant and Respondent at approximately the same time.
In the event that allegations of Sexual Misconduct involve the Title IX Coordinator, the Complainant may initiate this matter by reporting the facts of this matter to the President, Chief Operating Office, or any Responsible Employee. In the event that the allegations of Sexual Misconduct involve the supervisor and/or administrator of the Respondent, the Committee Chair in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator shall make any substitutions that may be necessary to avoid a conflict of interest.
Investigation Process for Certain College Administrators
When allegations of Sexual Misconduct involve the President or other executive team member, the investigation process for each of these individuals will follow the Investigation Process When the Respondent is an Employee or Third Party (Section IV above) with the exceptions set forth below:
Matters involving executive team members other than the President will be reported to the President. The investigation will be conducted by an independent, external investigator designated by the President, and the Committee will include two (2) members of the Board of Directors designated by the Chair of the Board of Directors. The recommendation of the Committee will be presented to the President for Final Determination.
Matters involving the President will be reported to the Chair of the Board of Directors; if the President is the current Chair, matters may be reported to any member of the Board of Directors. The investigation will be conducted by an external investigator designated by the Chair (or contacted Board Member if the matter involves the President), and the Ad Hoc Committee will include two (2) members of the Board of Directors designated by the Chair (or contacted Board Member). The recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee will be presented to the Chair for Final Determination.
Request for Interim Measures for Students
Reports of alleged sexual misconduct in violation of this policy may be supported by appropriate immediate interim measures coordinated by the Title IX Coordinator, and/or a designee. When appropriate, the college may provide interim measures prior to completion of its investigation.
Interim measures may be requested by the Complainant and the Respondent and may include the following:
- change to alternate housing;
- assistance in exploring alternative living arrangements;
- assistance in transferring to another section of a lecture ;
- assistance in arranging for incompletes, leaves, or withdrawal from campus;
- assistance in arranging for alternate ACHS employment arrangements;
- “no contact” directive pending the outcome of the investigation. Such a directive serves as notice to both parties that they must not have verbal, electronic, written or third party communication with one another
Request for Interim Measures for Employee
Reports of alleged Sexual Misconduct in violation of this policy may be instigate appropriate interim measures coordinated by the Title IX Coordinator and/or a designee. When appropriate, ACHS may provide interim measures prior to completion of its investigation.
Interim measures may be requested by the Complainant and the Respondent and may include the following:
- change in work location;
- assistance in exploring alternative living arrangements;
- “no contact” directive pending the outcome of the investigation. Such a directive serves as notice to both parties that they must not have verbal, electronic, written, or third party communication with one another.
Sexual Assault Resources Coordinated through Title IX Office
If you are a victim of Sexual Assault, please remember that you are not alone, and we are here to help. Useful information on what to do after a sexual assault can be found here: https://rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-recovery/tips-for-after-an-attack
Key points include:
- Find a safe place to go or call 911 if you are in immediate danger or seriously injured. Emotional support from friends, trusted staff, faculty, or one of the agencies listed below can help you get through this difficult time.
- Seek Medical Attention – Even if you choose not to file a report, it is important to seek immediate medical attention to identify and treat injuries. To help with the investigation, it is recommended that you do not bathe or change before getting help. If you have changed, bring the clothing you were wearing with you.
- Report the Assault – ACHS encourages victims to file a complaint with the college and/or report to the police so that you may receive assistance, resources, and support to help you through this difficult time. If you choose not to file a report, resources are provided below so you may speak with someone anonymously.
- Seek Counseling – Whether you choose to report an incident or not, consider seeking counseling to receive additional support. If you are in need of a referral, the resources provided below can help connect you with a counselor. If you are unsure about filing a report, a counselor can help you understand the process and provide information, resources, and support to help you to make an informed decision.
- Legal Remedy – If you believe that you may at any time choose to pursue a legal remedy related to the assault, please go to a hospital and request that the hospital perform a rape-related medical exam, and if you are an Oregon resident, you can specifically request an Oregon State Police SAFE Kit. Agency recommendations vary, but physical evidence is most effectively obtained within 48 to 72 hours of a sexual assault. Oregon law allows a hospital to provide the SAFE exam free of charge, and you may apply for funding through the Sexual Prevention and Response Office.
- If you are planning to have a medical examination, please preserve all physical evidence of the assault. The recommended process is that victims do not bathe, shower, douche, brush teeth, or eat or drink. Also, do not wash or throw away any articles of clothing worn during the assault.
- Support – When ACHS receives a report of sexual assault, the Complainant will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator who will serve as a resource person to the Complainant to identify, explain, and navigate the Complainant’s reporting options and the available support services. This can include referrals to counseling, educational support, pastoral care, medical treatment, and information about the College investigation and legal processes.
Additional Resources for Victims
Local Resources (Portland, Oregon - Multnomah County)
Portland Women’s Crisis Line* – Provides 24 hour resources and support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. http://pwcl.org/ Crisis Line 503-235-5333 or toll-free 888-235-533
Bradley Angle* – Offers domestic violence survivors options for safe shelter. http://bradleyangle.org/ 24-hour crisis line: 503-281-2442
All Clergy are required to maintain confidentiality.
Gateway Center* – Provides services and information for domestic violence victims. http://www.portlandoregon.gov/gatewaycenter/52837, 10305 E Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97216, 503-988-6400
Raphael House* – Is a domestic violence agency serving individuals and families of all backgrounds, cultures, ages and sexual orientations. http://raphaelhouse.com/, 503-222-6222.
The Survivor Project* – Advocating for intersex and transgender survivors of domestic and sexual violence. http://www.survivorproject.org/ 503.288.3191
Hospitals with Sexual Assault Forensic Exams
OHSU Emergency Room – (503)494-8311, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239
Legacy Emanuel Emergency Room – (503)413-2200, 2801 N. Gantenbein, Portland, OR 97227
Providence Portland Emergency Room – (503)215-1111, 4805 N.E. Glisan Street, Portland, OR 97213
Police Service in City of Portland
Emergency response – 9-1-1
Non-Emergency Response – 503-823-3333
Portland Police Detectives – Sexual Assault Detail 503-823-0400
RAIN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)* – Provides victims of sexual assault with information, resources, an online hotline and the following 24/7 toll-free hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) https://rainn.org/
National Center for Victims of Crime* – Provides help and resources for victims of crime, including a link for victims to find local assistance. http://www.victimsofcrime.org/
National Domestic Violence Hotline* - Provides 24/7 support to anyone seeking information or resources about domestic violence through their toll-free hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE. http://www.ndvh.org/
Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project* – National domestic violence hotline for gay men, located in Boston, MA. Crisis line offers emotional support, safety planning, crisis counseling, referrals, and emergency housing. 800.832.1901
The Clery Center - Provides a list of referrals for sexual and rape by state that can be found here: http://clerycenter.org/referrals-sexual-assault-and-rape-state
Male Survivor – Provides links to resources, services, and support. www.malesurvivor.org or 1.800.738.4181
*All resources with an asterisk are confidential resources.
Prevention and Education
Intervention: ACHS expects all community members to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of sexual misconduct. Taking action may include direct intervention, calling law enforcement, or seeking assistance from a person in authority. Members of the ACHS community who intervene to prevent or stop sexual misconduct will be supported by the College and protected from retaliation.
Sexual Assault Education: The Title IX Coordinator has been designated as the central repository for all campus based education and prevention programming materials, information, policies and procedures. ACHS has designed and implemented Title IX training for staff and for students, and such training is mandatory for each ACHS community member. ACHS is committed to ensuring appropriate training for its Title IX Coordinator, its Deputy Title IX Coordinator(s), and all other involved in responding to, investigating, or adjudicating sexual misconduct.
Mandatory Training: All students must complete the Sexual Misconduct and Crime Prevention module within their first month of classes. All ACHS staff and faculty must complete similar annual training to assure that all staff and faculty are aware of ACHS’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, the procedure for handling complaints, and to help prevent sexual misconduct before it negatively impacts the ACHS community.
Distribution of Sexual Assault Policy and Procedures: This policy will be published each year in the appropriate ACHS publications, the ACHS Catalog, and ACHS’s website.
IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION
Title IX Coordinator
Tracey Abell, Chief Operating Officer
5005 S. Macadam Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97239