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Legislation

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Title VI

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities that receive federal funding. “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.” Title IX is a powerful tool that helps Colleges and universities address campus violence, respond effectively to the needs of victims of sexual misconduct or violence, and provide a safe and positive learning environment for all students. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include:

  • gender-based discrimination
  • stalking
  • voyeurism
  • exhibitionism
  • verbal or physical sexuality-based threats or abuse
  • intimate partner violence
  • rape or sexual assault

Title IX protects all students from sex-based discrimination, regardless of their real or perceived sex, gender identity and/or gender expression.

Title IX College Requirements:

Take proactive and immediate action to ensure that there is no sex discrimination on campus. Immediate action is required to address sexual harassment, discrimination or violence on campus to prevent it from further affecting students. If the College knows or reasonably should know about discrimination, harassment or violence that is creating a “hostile environment” for any student, action must be taken to eliminate it, remedy negative impacts, and prevent it from happening again. Colleges may not discourage Complainants from continuing their education, e.g. “take time off” or drop them from a class.

Have an established procedure for handling complaints of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence. A Title IX Coordinator must be designated who manages complaints. If a student files a complaint, the College must promptly investigate it, whether or not it has been reported it to law enforcement. The College cannot wait for the conclusion of a criminal proceeding and should finish its own investigation within a semester’s time. The outcome of a complaint is determined by the preponderance of the evidence standard. Complainants and the accused both get written copies of the outcome, and they both have the right to file an appeal.

Take immediate action to ensure that victims can continue their education without sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence. The College must provide for reasonable changes in housing, class or sports schedule, campus job, or other campus activities to provide an education free from ongoing sex discrimination, harassment or violence. This can be done before or after a final decision is made regarding a student complaint. These changes should not over-burden Complainants or negatively impact their learning experience; instead, Colleges can require the accused to change class schedules, activities, etc., to ensure that the hostile educational environment does not continue.

Refrain from retaliating against someone filing a complaint. The victim must be safe from retaliatory harassment or behavior. Any retaliation can and should be reported in a formal Title IX complaint to the U.S. Department of Education because it is the student’s right to be free from a hostile educational environment. In addition, Colleges can prohibit contact or make other accommodations to ensure that the accused or other individuals do not retaliate for any complaint.

Issue a no contact directive under Title IX when necessary to ensure safety and prevent the accused student from approaching or interacting with the victim. This is not an official court-ordered restraining order. However, the College can assist students obtain such an order if the student chooses to pursue it.

Pay the costs of certain accommodations that may be necessary for victims to continue their education free from sexual harassment, discrimination or violence. Such resources may include counseling, tutoring, or housing.

Clery Act

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, Sierra College publishes and distributes an annual security report. The report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on-campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Sierra College; and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning sexual assault, and other matters.

You may obtain a copy of the report by contacting the Campus Parking and Security Services Office or by accessing the website at www.sierracollege.edu/security. Public information regarding sex offenders may be obtained by accessing the Megan’s Law website at www.meganslaw.ca.gov.

VAWA

The Violence against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) provides regulations that address and prohibit acts of violence such as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, and it clarifies the rights of victims. Colleges are required to:

  • Report campus crime statistics beyond the crime categories that the Clery Act already mandates, to include domestic violence, date violence and stalking, as well as crimes motivated by gender identity or national origin.
  • Provide comprehensive educational prevention and awareness programs on sexual harassment, discrimination and sexual violence for incoming students and new employees, in addition to ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students, faculty and employees.
  • Provide annual training for investigators and hearing officers who investigate and review complaints.

In addition, both Title IX and VAWA legislation allows Colleges to assist the victim and the accused with:

  • An investigation
  • Counseling and medical services
  • Choosing a support person to accompany them throughout proceeding
  • Allowing the victim and the accused to attend different classes
  • Academic support services

Consent Law

In 2014, The State of California enacted Senate Bill 967 setting the standard of affirmative consent for all Colleges and universities. Affirmative consent means “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity” and is “the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity.”

Affirmative consent explained: http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/19633/

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