For the purposes of this Policy, the following definitions shall be applicable:
“Actual knowledge” means notice of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator or any official of the College who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the College. The mere ability or obligation to report sexual harassment or to inform a student about how to report sexual harassment, or having been trained to do so, does not qualify an individual as one who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the College. Imputation of knowledge based solely on vicarious liability or constructive notice is insufficient to constitute actual knowledge. This standard is not met when the only official of the College with actual knowledge is the Respondent. “Notice” as used here includes, but is not limited to, a report of sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator.
An “Advisor” is person of a party’s choosing who may be present at any meeting or proceeding to assist the party through the grievance process, and who may inspect and review evidence. The person may, but is not required to be, an attorney. The Advisor is responsible for conducting any cross-examination at a hearing, but otherwise may provide only non-disruptive assistance to the party who selected them. If a party does not have an Advisor at a live hearing, an Advisor will be provided to the party without any cost for the sole purpose of providing non-disruptive assistance and conducting cross examination at the live hearing. Non-disruptive assistance shall mean, during investigative meetings and interviews, an advisor may speak to the party or engage in non-verbal communication with the party (i.e., pass notes), but shall not speak on behalf of the party. The College reserves the right to remove an Advisor who is disruptive and will postpone such meeting or proceeding to allow for another Advisor’s participation.
An “Appellate Officer” is a person who trained and authorized by the Title IX Coordinator or designee to conduct a review of a decision made regarding an emergency removal, dismissal of a complaint, or decision reached by a Decision Maker. The Appeal Officer will not be the same person as the Decision Maker who made a determination of responsibility or dismissal, the Investigator(s) or the College’s Title IX Coordinator.
A “Complainant” is an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Sexual Harassment under this Policy.
Confidentiality of the Process
The identity of the individual who made a report or a complaint, any Complainant, Respondent, and any witnesses, except as may be permitted law or regulation, or to carry out the purpose of the Title IX Regulations, including the conduct of any investigation, hearing or proceeding that arises hereunder shall remain confidential. The College will maintain as confidential any Supportive Measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College to provide Supportive Measures.
“Consent” means an informed, affirmative, conscious, voluntary, and mutual agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain clear and affirmative responses at each stage of sexual involvement. Each person involved in the sexual activity must willingly engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not imply consent. Silence does not imply consent. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent cannot be obtained through unreasonable pressure or emotional manipulation to persuade another to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be withdrawn or revoked, so long as the withdrawal or revocation is clearly communicated.
A person who is incapacitated cannot consent. A person incapacitated by alcohol and/or drugs, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, may not give consent. Incapacitation due to alcohol or drugs is more severe than mere impairment or intoxication; context clues indicating incapacity may include slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol on the breath, shaky equilibrium, vomiting, unusual behavior or unconsciousness. Context clues alone, however, do not necessarily indicate incapacitation.
Persons unable to consent due to incapacitation also include, but are not limited to: persons under sixteen (16) years of age; persons intellectually incapable of understanding the implications and consequences of the act or actions in question; and persons who are physically helpless, such as a person who is asleep, blacked out, involuntarily physically restrained, unconscious, or, for any other reason, unable to communicate consent.
Whether a person has taken advantage of a position of influence over a Complainant may be a factor in determining consent. A position of influence includes, but is not limited to, positions in which a person has supervisory or disciplinary authority.
A person who has been coerced into sexual activity has not consented to participate in that activity. Conduct can be considered coercive when a person makes it clear that they do not want to engage in sexual behavior, or they do not want to go beyond a certain point of sexual activity.
A person who is the object of actual or threatened force is not required to physically, verbally or otherwise resist the aggressor, and the lack of such resistance cannot be used as the sole indicator of consent.
A day shall mean a calendar day, unless otherwise specified. In the event that good cause prevents the grievance process from being concluded in the time frames provided for in this Policy, the College will notify the parties of the need for additional time and best efforts will be made to complete the process as expeditiously as possible.in this Policy
A “Decision Maker” is an individual who is trained and authorized to preside over the live hearing. Decision Makers shall determine the relevance of proposed questions at hearings, and issue written determinations of responsibility that include all findings, conclusions, sanctions/discipline, and remedies.
Education Program or Activity
“Education Program or Activity” includes all operations at the College, including events or circumstances at or in which the College maintains substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the alleged sexual harassment occurs. The Education Program includes (1) operations on property owned or controlled by the College, including networks, digital platforms, social media accounts, and computer hardware or software owned or operated by, or used by the College; and (2) off-campus incidents in which the College exercised substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the alleged conduct occurred.
“Evidence” is relevant information presented to establish whether a fact is more or less true. The type and extent of evidence available in a given instance will differ based upon the facts surrounding the incident, but evidence shall include the parties’ own statements and the statements of witnesses. Evidence may be inculpatory or exculpatory. All information or evidence protected under a legally recognized privilege (e.g., the attorney-client privilege, the doctor-patient privilege) shall be excluded from consideration unless the privilege holder has waived the privilege in writing to the Title IX Coordinator.
Further, pursuant to Title IX and the Massachusetts Rape Shield Law (Mass. G.L. c. 233, § 21B), the Respondent or their Advisor is prohibited from questioning the Complainant’s alleged prior sexual behavior or alleged sexual reputation, unless (1) such evidence is offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, or (2) the questions and evidence relate to specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent, and are offered to prove consent. Outside of these exceptions, such information is not considered relevant.
A “Formal Complaint” is a document filed by a Complainant, or signed by the Title IX Coordinator, alleging Sexual Harassment against a Respondent, and which requests that the College investigate the allegation.
An “Investigator” is a trained, impartial fact finder charged with investigating alleged violations of this Policy through methods including, but not limited to, interviewing the parties involved and witnesses, collecting and reviewing statements from witnesses and other relevant evidence, and providing an unbiased investigative report summarizing the relevant evidence based upon the investigation’s findings.
Preponderance of the Evidence
A “Preponderance of the Evidence” is the standard utilized by a Decision Maker in reviewing allegations of a formal complaint. Pursuant to this standard, the Decision Maker must determine, based upon the available information and evidence, whether it is “more likely than not” that the conduct in question occurred by the Respondent and, therefore, that this Policy was violated.
A “Respondent” is an individual whom a Complainant has alleged to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Sexual Harassment.
“Retaliation” is conduct that intimidates, threatens, coerces, or discriminates against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or this Policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under Title IX or this Policy.
Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or this Policy, constitute Retaliation.
The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute Retaliation. Charging an individual with a violation of another policy, including a code of conduct violation, for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this Policy does not constitute retaliation; however, a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement in bad faith.
“Sexual Harassment” is conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following conditions: (1) An employee of the College conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the College on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; (2) 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 College’s education program or activity; or (3) “sexual assault” as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), “domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8) or “stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).
(a) “Sexual Assault,” as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), is any offense classified as a forcible or non-forcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and includes attempts to commit any of these acts. Sexual Assault includes: (i) “Rape,” which is defined as 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 (or attempts to commit the same), and which includes any gender of victim or Respondent; (ii) “Fondling,” which is defined as the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances in which the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age and/or because of temporary or permanent mental incapacity; (iii) “Statutory Rape,” which is defined as sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent, which is 16 years old in Massachusetts; (iv) “Incest,” which is defined as the non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
(b) “Dating Violence,” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), is any act of violence or threatened violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based upon consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship, (ii) the type of relationship, and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. “Dating Violence” includes, but is not limited to, sexual, emotional or physical abuse, or the threat of such abuse.
(c) “Domestic Violence,” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against a victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
(d) “Stalking,” as defined in 12291(a)(30), is conduct directed (directly, indirectly, through a third party or other means) at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to— (A) fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this Policy, the behaviors must be directly related to that person’s sex.
“Supportive Measures” means non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate and reasonably available, and without fee or charge, to the Complainant or the Respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Supportive Measures may include, but are not limited to, counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, restrictions regarding areas of campus, leaves of absence, statutorily provided leave to employees, and other similar measures. The College shall keep confidential any Supportive Measures provided to either the Complainant or the Respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College to provide Supportive Measures. The Title IX Coordinator shall be responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of Supportive Measures.
Title IX Coordinator
“Title IX Coordinator” is the designated administrator at the College responsible for the coordinated efforts to comply with the Title IX Regulations and the administration of this Policy.