White Mountains Community College Sexual Misconduct Policy

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Title IX
Reporting
Support Services

Investigations
Definitions

Questions? Contact:

Melissa LaPlante
Title IX Coordinator
Phone: 603-342-3086
Email: mlaplante@ccsnh.edu

Jeff Swayze
Student Assistance Program Counselor 
Phone: 603-342-3058
Email: jswayze@ccsnh.edu

Members of the WMCC community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from all forms of gender and sex-based discrimination, examples of which can include acts of sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. This policy applies to all students, staff, and faculty of WMCC regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. section 1681 is a federal civil rights law prohibiting the discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. Title IX states that:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. WMCC maintains a zero tolerance policy for gender-based sexual misconduct and sex-based discrimination. When an allegation of sexual misconduct is brought to the College’s attention, steps will be taken to address the effects of the alleged misconduct and prevent its recurrence, including the possibility of serious sanctions to ensure that such actions are never repeated.


WMCC Title IX Coordinator

If an individual would like to file a report of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking they should contact the Title IX Coordinator or the following designated staff for information and assistance:

Melissa LaPlante
Phone: 603-342-3086 
Email: mlaplante@ccsnh.edu

Inquiries may also be directed to the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) Title IX Coordinator:

Bill Thomas
Phone: 603-230-3516
Email: bthomas@ccsnh.edu
Mailing Address: 26 College Drive, Concord, NH 03301

Role and Responsibilities of the Title IX Coordinator

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for overseeing all policies, procedures and processes for Title IX. The Title IX coordinator will ensure the resolution of Title IX complaints, including educating the school community on how to file a complaint alleging a violation of Title IX, investigating complaints, and ensuring that complaints are resolved promptly and appropriately. They will identify and address any systemic patterns or problems that arise during the reviews of such complaints. The coordinator also is responsible for putting into place training and education programs that work to prevent sexual harassment and sexual violence in the college.

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Title IX Resource Guide (Apr. 2015)


Reporting Options


After an incident of sexual misconduct, the first priority for any individual should be personal safety and well-being. CCSNH encourages all individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct to seek assistance by contacting campus security, calling 911, contacting local law enforcement, and/or visiting a medical facility immediately after an incident of sexual misconduct. CCSNH encourages survivors to talk about what happened so they can receive the care and support they may need, and so CCSNH can take prompt action to respond to the issue. Reporting an incident of sexual misconduct to CCSNH does not obligate the individual to pursue campus judicial proceedings or criminal prosecution.

Institutional Complaint

An individual who has experienced sexual misconduct at CCSNH is not required, but is encouraged, to report the incident to campus authorities. To file a complaint of sexual misconduct, the individual should contact the college or system Title IX Coordinator, or other designated administrator. CCSNH encourages timely reporting of sexual misconduct, however there is no time limit for reporting, and CCSNH will respond to a report regardless of when or where the incident occurred. A third party or witness to sexual misconduct can also report. It is important to know that all CCSNH staff and faculty are required to inform the Title IX Coordinator of any notice of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.

Title IX Coordinator
Melissa LaPlante
Phone: 603-342-3086
Email: mlaplante@ccsnh.edu

Campus Security Officer
Roland Drapeau
Phone: 603-342-0312
Email: rdrapeau@ccsnh.edu
To report an incident online, click here.

Criminal Complaint

Sexual misconduct that may be criminal in nature can be reported to local law enforcement. If an individual reports sexual misconduct at their college, the college will inform the individual about the option to pursue criminal action for incidents of sexual misconduct that may also be crimes under New Hampshire law. If requested, CCSNH will assist the individual in making a criminal report and cooperate with law enforcement agencies to the extent permitted by law.

Littleton Police Department
Phone: 603-444-7711
Address: 2 Kittridge Lane, Littleton, NH

Berlin Police Department
Phone: 603-752-3131
Address: 135 Green Street, Berlin, NH

For all emergencies dial 9-1-1

 Anonymous Reporting

Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an act of sexual misconduct, without disclosing their name, identifying the perpetrator, or requesting any action. Depending on the extent of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, however, CCSNH’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited. To anonymously report an incident of sexual misconduct, please send a handwritten statement to the college or system Title IX Coordinator.  The Title IX Coordinator will receive the anonymous report and will determine any appropriate steps, including individual or community remedies as appropriate.

 Drug and Alcohol Amnesty Policy

CCSNH encourages reporting of sexual misconduct and seeks to remove any barriers to making a report. CCSNH recognizes that an individual who has been drinking or using drugs at the time of the incident may be hesitant to make a report because of potential consequences for their own conduct. To encourage reporting, an individual who makes a good faith report of sexual misconduct that was directed at them or another person will not be subject to disciplinary action by for a conduct or policy violation that is related to and revealed in the sexual misconduct report or investigation, unless CCSNH determines that the violation was serious and/or placed the health or safety of others at risk. Amnesty does not preclude or prevent action by police or other legal authorities. This amnesty provision shall also apply to student groups making a report of sexual misconduct.


Support Services

Confidential Support Services

If you are the victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action within the College disciplinary System or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. With your permission, the Campus Safety Director or a designee of can file a report on the details of the incident without revealing your identity. The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with your wish to keep the matter confidential, while taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. With such information, the College can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students, determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the college 7 community to potential danger. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in the annual crimes statistics for the institution.

RESPONSE to Sexual & Domestic Violence
Phone: 603-752-5679
Address: 55 Willow Street, Berlin, NH

The Support Center at Burch House
Phone: 1-800-774-0544 (24-hour crisis line)
Address: 260 Cottage St, Suite E, Littleton, NH

Medical Support Services

Call 911 if you are in immediate danger
The first thing to do is to get to a safe place. Contact a friend, family member, a crisis center or local law enforcement to ensure your safety. This does not mean that you have to “report” the details of the incident unless you choose to. This is about your being safe.

Get Medical Attention
It is extremely important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible, preferably within 72 hours, because depending on the nature of the assault you might be injured internally as well as externally. Prompt medical examinations can test for pregnancy, STDs, HIV, and venereal disease. A medical examination can also secure valuable evidence that could be used later if you wish to have the assailant prosecuted. The patient is in charge of this exam and every step of the medical/forensic examination is optional.  The choice to report and prosecute is yours, but physical evidence is difficult to collect unless you seek medical attention promptly. Sometimes your initial instincts to drink, bathe, brush your teeth, comb your hair, even change your clothes, while natural, will eliminate evidence.

A Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Kit, provided by the NH Attorney General’s Office, may be requested at no charge.  You do not need to provide proof of insurance to request the kit.  The Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Kit collects evidence that could be helpful if you decide to report the assault to the police within the following 60 days.  Kits can be completed in any NH Emergency Department without charge to the victim, even if the victim chooses not to proceed legally.

If you are thinking about completing a kit, note that you may choose to complete the kit anonymously. The kit will be referenced with an identification number and stored by the State for 3 months. At any time during this period, the victim can report the crime and the kit will be brought forward to the NH Crime Lab for analysis.

Note: Hospitals may alert a law enforcement agency of a reported sexual assault. A police officer may ask you to file a report, which you may decline to do.

Androscoggin Valley Hospital  (open 24 hours a day)
Phone: 603-752-2200
Address: 55 Page Hill Road, Berlin NH

Littleton Regional Hospital (open 24 hours a day)
Phone: 603-444-9000
Address: 600 St. Johnsbury Rd., Littleton, NH

New Hampshire Hospital Directory

Call the local crisis center (listed above) for support
Advocates from crisis centers are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to help survivors with any and all needs including seeking medical attention, reporting an assault and seeking emotional support. They can help support throughout the emergency rape crisis treatment and emergency medical services, as well as the coordination of accompanying the victim to the hospital, police, etc. as requested.

Institutional Support

To ensure the safety and well-being of a complainant pending investigation of sexual misconduct and the survivor in the aftermath of founded sexual misconduct, CCSNH can provide accommodations, such as the ability to move residence halls (if living on campus), change work schedules (if working on campus), alter academic schedules, withdraw from/retake a class without penalty, and access academic support (e.g., tutoring).  If the survivor chooses to file an institutional complaint prompting an investigation, interim accommodations can be put in place while an investigation is pending, including no contact orders and changing the complainant’s or respondent’s living arrangements or course schedule.

Interim measures and accommodations are available regardless of whether an individual chooses to report an incident to campus security or local law enforcement or pursue a complaint with the College. The CCSNH Title IX Coordinator or College Title IX Coordinator will determine whether interim measures and accommodations are reasonable and should be implemented, and, if so, will work to ensure that these measures and accommodations are implemented as soon as possible. To seek an interim measure or accommodation, students should contact their College Title IX Coordinator.

If an outside agency or court of law has put in place an order of protection, the order should be provided to the College Title IX Coordinator so that CCSNH may take appropriate measures consistent with the order.


Investigation Process


When a student reports being a victim of sexual misconduct by another student, the College will conduct an investigation and determine if CCSNH policies were violated. The sexual misconduct complaint is forwarded to the CCSNH Title IX Coordinator and the College Title IX Coordinator, who will identify the appropriate school official to complete an investigation (“Investigator). Depending on the circumstances, the College may impose interim protections and remedies (e.g. interim suspension, no contact order) during the College’s investigation of the sexual misconduct complaint.

At the conclusion of its investigation, the Investigator will forward findings to the CCSNH Title IX Coordinator and College Title IX Coordinator and the Judicial Body. After receiving the results of the investigation, the Judicial Body will determine whether or not to charge the responding student with a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, and communicate that decision in writing. If a student is charged with a violation, the next step will be to move forward with an initial hearing as set forth in the Student Judicial Process Investigation and Resolution by Judicial Body.. It is important to note that mediation is never appropriate in sexual misconduct cases.


Definitions


Sexual Misconduct encompasses a range of violating behaviors, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual, or has the effect of threatening, intimidating, or coercing a person at whom such conduct is directed.  All of these behaviors are prohibited at CCSNH.

Consent is an affirmative decision to engage in mutually acceptable sexual activity given by clear actions or words. It is an informed decision made freely, willingly, and actively by all parties. Consent is knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence or absence of resistance cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions may be reasonably understood to give permission regarding sexual activity.

Sexual Assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the other person. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities such as forced sexual intercourse (rape), forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.  Sexual assault can occur even when the victim knows their perpetrator, when the victim and perpetrator are married or in an intimate relationship, or when the victim and perpetrator are the same gender.

Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to the following acts:

  • Sexual Offense is any sexual act that is committed without the consent of the victim. A sexual offense shall include but not be limited to situations where the victim is unable to provide consent because he or she is less than 16, physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, mentally impaired or unconscious due to alcohol or drug consumption, whether or not the consumption was with the victim’s consent.
  • Rape is nonconsensual sexual intercourse perpetrated by coercion, intimidation, threat or physical force, either threatened or actual. Rape also occurs when the victim is incapable of giving legal consent because the victim is less than 16 years of age, mentally incapacitated or incompetent, physically helpless, including drug or alcohol consumption or asleep.
  • Acquaintance Rape, also known as “date rape,” is defined as sexual intercourse undertaken by a person known to the victim without consent. Acquaintance/Date Rape includes sexual intercourse that occurs through force, as a result of threats, physical restraint or physical violence with or without consent.

Relationship Violence, also known as dating violence, domestic violence or intimate partner violence, is any act committed by a person in an intimate relationship against the other member of the intimate relationship to exert power and control over the other partner. Relationship 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 someone. Relationship violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, sexual orientation, socio economic status, education, age, religion, etc. Relationship violence can occur between current or former intimate partners who have dated, lived together, have a child together, currently reside together on or off campus, or who are otherwise connected through a past or existing relationship.

Stalking is when one person engages in a course of conduct which is directed at a specific person and that course of conduct causes that person to be in fear of harm to themselves, their safety, their property, a member of their immediate family, or an acquaintance. Cyber stalking, also known as tech-facilitated stalking, is a form of stalking which can include, but is not limited to, phone, text, or social media platforms. Stalking may involve individuals who are known to one another or have an intimate or sexual relationship, or may involve individuals who are not known to one another.

Sexual Exploitation occurs when an individual takes nonconsensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another; for their own advantage or benefit; or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited; and that behavior does not otherwise constitute non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse or sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment is sex-based verbal or physical conduct that is severe pervasive and objectively offensive such that it unreasonably interferes with or deprives someone of educational access, benefits or opportunities.

Sexual harassment falls into two categories of behaviors or conditions:

  • Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive/persistent and patently/objectively offensive that it alters the conditions of education or employment, from both a subjective (the alleged survivor’s) and an objective (reasonable person’s) viewpoint.
  • Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment exists when there are unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action.

Retaliation is any adverse employment or educational action taken against a person because of the person’s participation in a complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct. At CCSNH, retaliation for reporting any sexual offense is prohibited.

Intimidation is an implied threat that menaces or causes reasonable fear in another person.