Complaint Reporting and Resolution Procedures
- Individuals who believe they have experienced or witnessed harassment are encouraged to bring forward a complaint under the procedures for investigating complaints of harassment to the Sinclair Title IX Coordinator.
- Individuals who believe they have experienced sexual harassment or assault is encouraged to seek medical treatment in order to preserve evidence and receive treatment for injuries, preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and other health services. Prompt medical attention will also increase the possibility that evidence can be preserved and collected in a manner that will assist in the prosecution of a criminal case or used to support the issuance of a protective order.
- The College will endeavor to resolve all Title IX complaints or reports promptly. The investigation and resolution (including appeal) of all complaints or reports will generally be completed within 60 days. Extenuating circumstances, including the complexity and severity of a complaint, may exist that require the complaint process to extend beyond 60 calendar days. In general, a complainant and respondent can expect to receive periodic updates about the status of the review or investigation. If the investigation and resolution exceed this time frame, the College will notify all parties of the need for additional time and best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner.
- Any faculty member or employee accused of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is entitled to any due process which may be provided by other College policies or handbooks or applicable contracts or law. Any student accused of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is entitled to due process in accordance with the College’s Student Code of Conduct or other applicable policies or handbooks. (A student who is also a student worker will be subject to the procedures applicable to students and not to any procedures applicable to College employees.)
- Once a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct has been made, the individual taking the complaint must gather important and relevant facts from the complainant. If the Sinclair Title IX Coordinator is not the recipient of the complaint, the individual taking the complaint should immediately contact the Sinclair Title IX Coordinator for guidance and assistance. In any event, the Sinclair Title IX Coordinator must be notified of the complaint within 24 hours or as soon as possible after the complaint is made.
- The Sinclair Title IX Coordinator is responsible for conducting or overseeing a timely and thorough investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. One or more other College employees or outside parties may be assigned to assist with and/or conduct the investigation.
- The investigation must include a meeting with the complainant, and discussions with any witnesses to the incident. The investigator will also meet with the respondent to discuss the incident and provide him/her with an opportunity to respond. No questioning regarding the complainant’s prior sexual conduct with anyone other than the respondent will be allowed.
- To determine whether a particular act or course of conduct constitutes sexual harassment under this policy, the alleged behavior will be evaluated by considering the totality of the particular circumstances, including the nature, frequency, intensity, location, context, and duration of the questioned behavior. Although repeated incidents generally create a stronger claim of harassment, a serious incident, even if isolated, may be sufficient.
- The proper exercise of academic freedom by a faculty member (see, Faculty Handbook, Section 8.2, Academic Freedom) is not restricted by the College's prohibition against harassment. However, conduct that would otherwise constitute a violation of this policy will not be exempt from review, discipline, or other action merely because it occurs in a classroom or other academic setting.
- The investigator will prepare a written report and complete record of all relevant issues, findings, and evidence. If the investigator is someone other than the Sinclair Title IX Coordinator, this report and record shall be forwarded to the Sinclair Title IX Coordinator.
- At the conclusion of the investigation, and where applicable, upon receipt of the written report and record from another investigator, the Sinclair Title IX Coordinator will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to conclude that sexual harassment or sexual misconduct occurred. In order for the investigator to determine that sexual harassment or sexual misconduct occurred, the determination must be supported by a preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance of the evidence means that it is more likely than not to have occurred. The Sinclair Title IX Coordinator will prepare a written report of the determination.
- When sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is determined to have occurred, steps will be taken to ensure that the behavior is stopped promptly, the effects, if any, are remedied, and that reoccurrence is prevented, whenever possible. Appropriate corrective action for the Respondent includes, but is not limited to, a requirement that he or she obtain counseling or complete other restorative activities or written reprimand, suspension, or other disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion. Corrective action against the Respondent will be carried out in accordance with applicable College policies, handbooks, code of conduct, or contract. A complainant will be informed of the corrective action and/or discipline taken against the Respondent.
- A complainant may have rights under other College policies or handbooks, to participate in a disciplinary hearing and/or appeal involving a respondent who has been determined to have engaged in sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. The Sinclair Title IX Coordinator will inform the complainant of any such rights.
If a complainant is dissatisfied with a determination by the Sinclair Title IX Coordinator that sexual harassment or sexual misconduct has not occurred,
If a complainant is dissatisfied with the corrective action or discipline imposed on a respondent who was determined by the Title IX Coordinator to have engaged in sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, and the complainant does not have the right to participate in a disciplinary hearing and/or appeal involving the respondent, the following process applies:
- The complainant may submit a request for review to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, if the complainant is a student, and to the Vice President for Organizational Development if the complainant is an employee. The request for review must be in writing and set forth reasons why the Sinclair Title IX Coordinator’s determination or the decision regarding corrective action or discipline should be modified or overturned. The request for review may not present new evidence or testimony. The request for review must be submitted within ten (10) days after the complainant is provided with notice of the Sinclair Title IX Coordinator’s decision or the corrective action/disciplinary decision.
- A copy of the request for review will be provided to the Respondent, who may submit response within (10) days.
- If either of the Vice Presidents has a conflict of interest in the matter, he or she may designate another Vice President to conduct the review.
- The Vice President conducting the review shall summarize in writing his or her conclusions in response to a request for review and submit them to the Sinclair Title IX Coordinator, the College administrator who made the decision regarding the corrective action or disciplinary action imposed on the respondent, the complainant, and respondent. The administrator may thereafter take such action as he or she deems appropriate.