Student Handbook 2020-2021

Walsh

Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Notice of Nondiscrimination

Walsh strives to maintain an environment free of discrimination and harassment. Walsh prohibits discrimination or harassment based on any protected status on the basis of such legally protected characteristics as a person’s race, color, religion, gender, age, height, weight, national origin, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability. Walsh complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination, including, but not limited, to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, as amended by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967, Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and Michigan’s Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act.

The following person is designated to handle inquiries and reports regarding nondiscrimination and Title IX compliance:

BETH BARNES

Vice President, Chief Human Resources & Administrative Officer

3838 Livernois Road

Troy, MI 48083

bbarnes@walshcollege.edu or 248-823-1239

Title IX Policy Statement

Walsh does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education programs or activities it operates and complies with Title IX’s non-discrimination requirements. Walsh views all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking and sexual or gender-based harassment, as reprehensible and therefore prohibited in connection with any Walsh related activity. Sex discrimination is unacceptable conduct; it undermines the integrity of the employment/learning relationship, debilitates morale, and interferes with the work productivity of the organization and its learning environment.

All staff, faculty, and students have a responsibility to maintain high standards of integrity, impartiality and conduct, both personal and official, thereby ensuring proper performance of Walsh’s business and the maintenance of public trust. Sex discrimination violates those standards. Therefore, violations of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, as determined appropriate by Walsh.

Walsh will strive to take prompt and appropriate action to eliminate sex discrimination within its operations, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects. Walsh conducts ongoing prevention, awareness, and training programs for employees and students to facilitate the goals of this policy.

To Whom Does the Policy Apply?

This policy is applicable to students, employees and third parties. Third parties include all contractors, vendors, visitors, guests or any other third parties.

Definitions

Complainant means an individual who reports an alleged violation of this policy. Respondent means an individual against whom a report has been made or complaint filed alleging a violation of this policy.

Discrimination

Walsh does not discriminate against students, employees, applicants for admission or employment, or those seeking access to programs, on the basis of such legally protected characteristics as a person’s race, color, religion, gender, age, height, weight, national origin, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability. Such discrimination is unlawful.

Sexual Harassment and Gender-Based Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. It is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors or other unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature when one of the conditions outlined below are present:

  1. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a person’s employment, academic standing, or participation in any Walsh programs and/or activities, or is used as the basis for Walsh decisions affecting the individual (often referred to as “quid pro quo” harassment).
  2. Such conduct creates a hostile environment. A “hostile environment” exists when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefitting from Walsh’s education or employment programs and/or activities. Conduct must be deemed severe, persistent, or pervasive from both a subjective and an objective perspective.

Gender-based harassment is a form of sex discrimination. It includes harassment based on actual or perceived gender or sexual orientation, which may include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal, non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature, when the conditions described in (1) and (2) above are present.

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Influencing, offering to influence, or threatening the career, pay or job of another person or the educational program of a student in exchange for sexual favors
  • Deliberate or repeated offensive comments, gestures, physical contact of a sexual or suggestive nature, or creation of hostile work, work-related or instructional environment

By way of further illustration, and not by way of limitation, any employee, student, faculty member, or professional development instructor who uses implicit or explicit sexual behavior to control, influence, affect the career, pay, or job of any employee or student, or to affect the instructional experience of any student is engaging in sexual harassment.

Any employee, student, faculty, or professional development instructor who makes deliberate or repeated offensive verbal comments, gestures, or physical contact of a sexual or suggestive nature in the work, work-related, or educational environment is also engaging in sexual harassment. For purposes of this section, the term “student” includes any person enrolled in an academic or non-credit course at Walsh.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct is a broad term that encompasses sexual assault, including sexual contact and rape.

Sexual misconduct is also referred to as sexual violence.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a touching of a sexual nature, including the following: vaginal or anal intercourse; anal, oral or vaginal penetration with an object; oral-genital contact; or other sexual contact that occurs without consent (defined below).

  • Consent is a voluntary, willful and unambiguous agreement to engage in a particular sexual activity.
  • Consent cannot be obtained through coercion or force. Coercion is conduct, including intimidation and express or implied threats of immediate or future physical, emotional, reputational, financial, or other harm to the complainant or others, that would reasonably place an individual in fear and that is used to compel into sexual activity.
  • Consent can be withdrawn by any party at any point. Consent to one sexual activity does not mean consent is granted for other sexual activities. Once consent is withdrawn, the sexual activity must stop immediately.
  • In determining whether consent was freely sought and given, the issue is whether the respondent knew, or reasonably should have known, that the activity in question was not consensual or that the complainant was unable to consent due to incapacitation.
  • An incapacitated person cannot consent to sexual activity. A person who is incapacitated is unable, either temporarily or permanently, to give consent due to sleep, unconsciousness or lack of awareness that sexual activity is taking place. A person may be incapacitated as a result of the consumption of alcohol or drugs or due to a temporary or permanent physical or mental health condition.

Sexual contact is a form of sexual assault that includes: intentional touching of the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, whether clothed or unclothed, or intentionally touching another with any of these body parts; or making an individual touch another person or themselves with or on any of these body parts.

Rape is a form of sexual assault that includes: non-consensual penetration, however slight, of the genital opening, anus or mouth of a person with any body part or object; or non-consensual use of the sex organ of a person to penetrate, however slight, the genital opening, anus or mouth of another person.

Stalking

Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct toward another person under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury to themselves or to others, or experience substantial emotional distress. Stalking usually involves individuals who are known to one another or who have a current or previous relationship, but the respondent may also be a stranger.

“Course of conduct” means two or more acts, including but not limited to acts in which a person directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about another person, or interferes with another person’s property. “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish.

Stalking may include “cyber-stalking” or “cyber-bullying,” in which the respondent uses electronic media, such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other devices or forms of contact in the course of conduct.

Relationship Violence

Relationship violence, also referred to as intimate partner violence, dating violence, domestic violence, is any act of violence or pattern of emotionally or financially abusive behavior that one person uses against a current or former partner in a sexual, dating, spousal, domestic or other intimate relationship to gain or maintain power and control over another.

The determination of whether any conduct constitutes relationship violence is whether the conduct is so severe, pervasive or persistent as to significantly interfere with an individual’s ability to learn and/or work or cause substantial emotional distress, when judged both objectively (meaning that a “reasonable person” would find the behavior to be emotionally abusive) and subjectively (meaning the impacted individual felt the behavior was emotionally abusive).

Relationship violence may include any form of prohibited conduct under this policy (i.e., sexual misconduct or stalking); physical assault; or a pattern of abusive behavior. Intimate partner violence can be a single act or a pattern of behavior within a relationship.

Reporting Complaints

Walsh strongly encourages the reporting of sex discrimination incidents. However, Walsh encourages every person who may have experienced harm to get the support and information he or she needs, regardless of whether he or she wishes to report an incident to Walsh.

Walsh’s Title IX webpage www.walshcollege.edu/title-IX provides a link to a complaint form. A person reporting an incident under this policy may submit an official complaint form or report the incident or concern verbally or in writing to the following:

  1. A Title IX Coordinator
  2. The appropriate department chairperson, if the complaint is against a faculty member or instructor
  3. The chief academic officer, if the complaint is against a faculty department chairperson
  4. The president of Walsh, if the complaint is against the chief academic officer or some other officer of Walsh
  5. Any member of the Board of Trustees, if the complaint is against the president of Walsh or a member of the Board of Trustees
  6. The chief academic officer, if the complaint occurs in connection with a non-credit course or seminar
  7. Walsh’s human resources office, if the complaint is against a staff or faculty member, a third party, or if the person reporting is uncertain

Complaints and reports submitted per this policy and received by Walsh alleging violations of this policy will be sent to the appropriate Title IX Coordinator as promptly as possible.

Timeframe for Reporting

Complaints or reports of incidents should be submitted within one hundred eighty (180) days of the last act that the complainant believes was a violation of this policy. Walsh may investigate older allegations or investigate in the absence of a written complaint on a case by case basis, in the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator.

Investigation Process

Walsh will make every effort to resolve complaints under this policy and conduct investigations as promptly as possible. All investigations will be conducted in an impartial, fair, prompt and unbiased manner. The following complaint resolution procedure will be utilized for all Walsh investigations under this policy.

Initial Steps

An initial interview will be conducted between the complainant and the Title IX Coordinator (or another Walsh official, if appropriate), during which the investigation process and the options of informal resolution and formal investigation will be discussed. If the Title IX Coordinator decides that further action is required, an investigator will be designated and the investigation procedures outlined below will be followed. The investigator may be a Title IX Coordinator, an employee of Walsh or a neutral third-party investigator. The Title IX Coordinator will determine at this initial stage whether to issue interim protective measures to the complainant, and may issue such measures at any time during, as well as after, the investigation process.

Informal Resolution

If the complainant wishes to seek informal resolution, prompt notification of the complaint will be provided to the respondent and informal proceedings will begin. The investigator will attempt to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution. If a resolution is reached, a written record of the resolution shall be documented and maintained in accordance with applicable Walsh recordkeeping policies and the matter shall be considered closed. If a resolution has not been reached, further investigation will be undertaken if determined to be necessary. It is voluntary whether a complainant engages in the informal resolution process. The complainant may request that the matter proceed directly to the Formal Investigation stage. The complainant and respondent are expected to be respectful and keep the matter as confidential as possible during the process of an informal resolution.

Formal Investigation

At the start of a formal investigation, both the complainant and respondent will simultaneously receive written notice that an investigation has been initiated. The notice of investigation will include a description of the complaint, the potential policy violations at issue, the name and contact information of the assigned investigator and a copy of this policy. The formal investigation will entail interviewing the parties and relevant witnesses, and reviewing written statements, documents, records and other potential evidence. The complainant and respondent shall have equal opportunities to present relevant witnesses and evidence in connection with the investigation. The preponderance of the evidence (i.e., more likely than not) is the applicable standard for demonstrating facts and reaching conclusions in an investigation conducted under this policy. All parties (complainant, respondent, witnesses, and support persons) are expected to be respectful and keep the matter as confidential as possible during the process of a formal investigation.

Investigation Outcome

When the formal investigation is completed, the investigator will prepare an Investigation Report. The Investigation Report will contain (1) the complainant’s allegations of violations; (2) the respondent’s reply; (3) relevant information provided by witnesses, documents, or other information obtained during the investigation; (4) a description of the investigation process; (5) analysis of evidence and findings of fact on each element of the complaint; and (6) any recommendation(s) considered pertinent to the disposition of the complaint.

The Title IX Officer will review the Investigation Report and determine if further investigation is needed. If the Title IX Coordinator has served as the investigator, an appropriate Walsh officer will make this determination. Once the Investigation Report is determined to be final, copies will be provided to the complainant, respondent, human resources (for employees and third parties) and the chief academic officer (for students and faculty). Additional Walsh officers will receive the final Investigation Report as determined appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator, with sensitivity to the privacy concerns of the parties.

The Title IX Coordinator will meet to discuss the Investigation Report with the appropriate Walsh officials to make a decision on the merits of the complaint, namely with human resources for employees and third parties and the chief academic officer for students and faculty. The decision as to the outcome of the investigation shall be made as soon as possible after this meeting. Both the complainant and respondent will simultaneously receive written notice of the investigation outcome. The notice of investigation outcome will include the findings as to whether there has been a policy violation, the rationale, sanctions or remedial measures (if any) and appeals information.

Sanctions or Remedial Measure for Policy Violations

If a policy violation is found, sanctions and/or remedial measures will be ordered by the Title IX Coordinator, based on meeting and discussion with human resources for employees and third parties and the chief academic officer for students and faculty. Remedial measures and sanctions will be determined on a case by case basis after a consideration of all relevant evidence. For students, sanctions might include: warning; probation; restitution; educational program; disenrollment from a course; deferred suspension; suspension; withholding, delaying, or revoking the conferral of a degree; and/or expulsion. For employees, sanctions might include: warning; change of work location; restitution; educational program; progressive discipline; suspension; demotion; and/or termination. Remedial measures will be aimed at eliminating the misconduct, preventing its recurrence and remedying its effects. Walsh’s ability to take appropriate action against a third party will be determined by the nature of the relationship of the third party to Walsh. Unless appealed as described below, the Title IX Coordinator’s decision shall be final.

Appeal Process

Any complainant or respondent who is not satisfied with an investigation outcome may file an appeal with Walsh’s President via written letter or email no later than 30 calendar days after the date of the notice of investigation outcome. The appeal should be in writing and must be based only on one or more of the following appeal issues:

  1. The investigation outcome is unsupported by the evidence, based on the preponderance of the evidence standard;
  2. Prejudicial procedural errors impacted the investigation outcome; or
  3. New evidence, not available at the time of the investigation that would substantially change the outcome of the findings, is now available.

Walsh’s President shall: provide prompt written acknowledgement of the receipt of the appeal to the appealing party via email to the appealing party’s Walsh email address; and notify the non-appealing party of the appeal via email to the non-appealing party’s Walsh email address. If a party does not have a Walsh email address, the address information supplied to Walsh will be used.

Walsh’s President’s review will not involve a new investigation and will not consider evidence that was not introduced during the investigation, unless the new evidence was not available at the time of the investigation process and the appealing party provides a reasonable explanation for the lack of such availability. Walsh’s President’s determination shall be final.

Walsh’s President shall respond to the appealing party no later than 30 calendar days after receipt of the written appeal.

General Requirements

Retaliation: Retaliation (e.g., adverse action or consequences) against any complainant or individuals cooperating in any investigation is prohibited and will not be tolerated. A person who believes that he or she has been subject to retaliation may file a complaint under this policy.

False Complaints: Any individual who knowingly files a false complaint under this policy, or who knowingly provides false information to or intentionally misleads the investigator, may be subject to disciplinary action, as determined appropriate by Walsh. Such disciplinary action shall not be deemed to be retaliation.

Confidentiality: Walsh will make every reasonable effort to maintain confidentiality and privacy of all parties involved to the extent allowable in accordance with state and federal laws. Title IX Coordinators are not a confidential source of support. While they will address a complaint or report with sensitivity and will keep your information as private as possible, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Please see Walsh’s Title IX webpage www.walshcollege.edu/title-IX for confidential resources.

Advisor: Throughout an informal resolution or formal investigation, the complainant and respondent have the right to be assisted by an advisor of their choice. The advisor may be any person, including an attorney, who is not otherwise a party or witness in the investigation. The advisor may accompany the complainant or respondent to any meeting with the investigator, however the advisor may not speak on behalf of the complainant or respondent or otherwise actively participate in any meeting.