Dec 01, 2021  
2021-2022 Gaston College Student Handbook 
    
2021-2022 Gaston College Student Handbook

APPENDICES



Appendix A: 14-18.1 Academic Forgiveness Policy

Purposes

The Academic Forgiveness Policy allows Gaston College students who have experienced academic difficulty at Gaston College to have one opportunity to have grades below a ‘C’ excluded from the cumulative grade point average (GPA). Academic difficulty is defined as less than a 2.00 cumulative grade point average at Gaston College. This policy provides for raising the cumulative grade point average by excluding all grades of ‘D’ and/or ‘F’ earned prior to the date of eligibility for Academic Forgiveness. A student may be granted Academic Forgiveness only once.

Criteria for Applying for Academic Forgiveness

  • A student must have been out of school for at least three sequential semesters OR have changed his/her major.
  • Grades must reflect at least a 2.00 grade point average in at least 12 semester hours in the new major before a student is eligible to apply for Academic Forgiveness.

Procedures for Academic Forgiveness

  • Students who are interested in applying for Academic Forgiveness must obtain the Academic Forgiveness Petition and information from the Office of Records and Registration.
  • Once completed by the student, the Office of Records and Registration will review the petition to determine basic eligibility. Eligible petitions will be forwarded to the student’s divisional dean for review and a final decision.
  • The student’s divisional dean will act upon the petition and return it to the Office of Records and Registration.
  • If forgiveness is approved, the Office of Records and Registration will notify the student of the decision and include an updated student transcript, which will reflect the excluded grades.
  • The new GPA calculation on the updated student transcript will exclude all ‘D’ and/or ‘F’ grades. All other grades that are ‘A’, ‘B’, and/or ‘C’ will be included in the GPA calculation and will count toward graduation requirements unless other policies supersede this policy.
  • The student’s GPA will be calculated based upon the date of eligibility and all criteria being met. The excluded courses will remain on the student’s transcript but will not count toward program/graduation requirements or be calculated in the student’s grade point average. No courses are removed from the transcript. If Academic Forgiveness is approved, the excluded course grades will be preceded by an ‘E’ on the student’s transcript.
  • If forgiveness is denied, the Office of Records and Registration will notify the student with a letter of explanation.
  • Review and processing of Academic Forgiveness generally takes two to four weeks.

Exclusions and Limitations of Academic Forgiveness

  • Any credits for courses earned with a grade of ‘D’ are not retained.
  • Students who plan to transfer to another college or university should know that the receiving institution is not required to disregard the excluded course grades. Once approved, Academic Forgiveness cannot be reversed.
  • The minimum grade point average needed for admission for specific programs may or may not utilize the new grade point average.
  • Financial Aid policies regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress are still applicable. Students who receive any type of financial aid should contact the Office of Financial Aid prior to applying for Forgiveness.

Appendix B: Student Petition for Academic Forgiveness

Click here to view the Academic Forgiveness Policy  form.

Appendix C: Academic Dishonesty

In this section defining student violations of academic integrity: (a) “Intent” refers only to the intent to commit the dishonest action; (b) “Authorization” is legitimate only if given by the faculty member responsible for the evaluation of the student’s work.

CHEATING - Intentional use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids, devices or other assistance in any academic exercise. This definition includes unauthorized communication of information during an academic exercise.

Typical Examples: Copying from another student’s paper or receiving unauthorized assistance during a quiz, test or examination using books, notes or other devices (e. g., communication devices) when these are not authorized; procuring without authorization tests or examinations before the scheduled exercise (including discussion of the substance of examinations and tests when it is expected they will not be discussed); copying reports, laboratory work, computer programs or files and the like from other students; collaborating on laboratory work, computer work or online work without authorization and without indication of the nature and extent of the collaboration; having a substitute take an examination, do an assignment or do online work; receiving assistance in locating or using sources of information in an assignment where such assistance has been forbidden by the instructor.

FABRICATION AND FALSIFICATION - Intentional alteration or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.

Fabrication refers to the invention or counterfeiting of information; falsification refers to the alteration of information.

Typical Examples: (Fabrication) inventing or counterfeiting data, research results, information or procedures, inventing data or faking research procedures to make it appear that the results of one process are actually the results of several processes; counterfeiting a record of internship or practicum experiences; (Falsification) altering the record of data or experimental procedures or results; false citation of the source of information (e.g., reproducing a quotation from a book review while indicating that the quotation was obtained from the book itself); altering the record of or reporting false information about practicum or clinical experiences; altering grade reports or other academic records; submitting a false excuse for absence or tardiness in a scheduled academic exercise; altering a returned examination paper and seeking regrading.

Intentionally misleading a College official investigating a case of alleged academic dishonesty is also a form of fabrication and falsification.

MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS - The submission of substantial portions of the same academic work (including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization.

Typical Examples: Submitting the same paper for credit in two courses without instructor permission; making minor revisions in a credited paper or report (including oral presentations) and submitting it again as if it were new work. (Different aspects of the same work may receive separate credit; for example, a report in history may receive credit for its content in a history course and for the quality of presentation in a speech course.)

PLAGIARISM - Intentional presentation of the work of another as one’s own without proper acknowledgment of the source. The sole exception to the requirement of acknowledging sources is when the ideas or information are common knowledge.

Typical Examples: Submitting as one’s own the work of a “ghost writer” or commercial writing service; directly quoting from a source without citation; paraphrasing or summarizing another’s work without acknowledging the source; using facts, figures, graphs, charts or information without acknowledgment of the source. Plagiarism may occur orally and in writing. It may involve computer programs and files, research designs, distinctive figures of speech, ideas and images, or generally any information, which belongs to another.

COMPLICITY IN ACADEMIC DISHONESTY -Intentionally helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

Typical Examples: Intentionally allowing another to copy from one’s paper during an examination or test; intentionally distributing test questions or substantive information about the material to be tested before the scheduled exercise; collaborating on academic work knowing that the collaboration will not be reported; taking an examination or test for another student, or signing a false name on an academic exercise. This applies to traditional or online instruction. (Note: Collaboration and sharing information are characteristics of academic communities. These become violations when they involve dishonesty. Instructors should make expectations about collaborations clear to students. Students should seek clarification when in doubt.)

Appendix D: Drug-Free Campus Policy - Students

A. It is the policy of Gaston College to make an ongoing effort to maintain a drug-free educational environment by meeting the requirements of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) Amendments of 1989.

B. The misuse or abuse of drugs and/or alcohol pose serious health risks and result in various issues including unsatisfactory academic performance, poor decision making, absenteeism, injuries, interpersonal conflicts, and an increase in healthcare and healthcare costs. Additional risks or issues include: physical and mental impairment; emotional and psychological issues; short- and long-term physical health problems such as nausea, liver damage, and elevated blood pressure; negative effects on family, friends, and other students; and convictions for driving under the influence or while intoxicated.

C. Students are expected to arrive to campus free from the adverse effects of drugs and/or alcohol, including any adverse effects of illegal or legal controlled substances such as certain physician-prescribed medications.

D. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance, illicit drug, or alcohol by students is prohibited in or on the College premises; in vehicles owned, leased, or rented by the College; as part of any College activity; or at sites of off-campus activities of student groups recognized by the College.

E. The College encourages and supports treatment for drug- and/or alcohol-related issues by providing students with campus programming, short-term counseling for personal issues and concerns, and referrals to community resources. The College may require a student to successfully complete a drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation program sponsored by an approved private or governmental institution as a precondition to continued enrollment or re-enrollment at the College.

F. A student who arrives on College premises under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, unlawfully manufactures, distributes, dispenses, possesses, or uses a controlled substance, illicit drug, or alcohol, is convicted of a drug or alcohol offense, or violates any expectation as outlined in this or related policies and expectations regarding drugs and/or alcohol will be subject to Student Code of Conduct sanctions up to and including expulsion, termination of student employment, and referral for prosecution.

G. Per Policy 3-125, Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment or Misconduct, the College recognizes that individuals may be reluctant to report instances of sexual misconduct when their own actions are violations of College policy related to the use of drugs and alcohol. While the College does not condone violations of its Drug-Free Campus-Students Policy, as appropriate, it will consider extending immunity for alcohol or substance abuse violations as part of reporting instances of sexual misconduct.

H. Students employed by Gaston College (e.g., Work-Study, Work-Based Learning) are employees of the College and are also subject to Policy 3-131, Drug-Free Campus.

I. Gaston College follows Title IV Federal Financial Aid regulations as they relate to this policy.

J. Some Gaston College Health and Human Services programs require students to submit documentation of additional non-academic criteria such as, but not limited to, urine drug testing, as part of their program admissions requirements.

Effective: 9/18/17
Supersedes: 4/15/97

Information about Gaston College’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program (DAAPP) is available online at www.gaston.edu - click Student Resources - Consumer Information. Below is a chart of the NC State Law Drug Penalties and Health Risks. For information about Federal drug laws, visit the Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration website at https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/index.html.

NC STATE LAW DRUG PENALTIES AND HEALTH RISKS

SCHEDULE DRUGS PENALTY: POSSESSION
(maximum penalties)
PENALTY: SALE
AND/OR
MANUFACTURER
HEALTH RISKS
I Heroin, LSD, Peyote, Mescaline, Psilocybin, Methaqualone, PCP, MDA 24 months (Felony)

47 months (Felony)

Manufacture methamphetamine - 231 months (Felony)

Has a high potential for abuse.
Has no medical use.
Has a lack of accepted safety.
II Morphine, Demerol, Codeine, Percodan, Percocet, Fentanyl, Dilaudid, Secondal, Nembutal, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Anabolic Steroids

120 days and fine at court’s discretion (Misdemeanor) unless:

  • Exceeds 4 tablets of Hydromorphon
  • Exceeds 150 tablets, capsules, other dosage units or equivalent quantity
  • Any amount of Cocaine - 24 months (Felony)
47 months (Felony) Has a high potential for abuse.
Has accepted medical use with severe restrictions.
Abuse may lead to physical or psychological dependence.
III Certain Barbiturates in codeine containing medicine (Tylenol #3, Empirin #3, Tussinonex)

Less than 100 tablets: 120 days and fine (Misdemeanor)

More than 100 tablets: 24 months (Felony)

39 months (Felony) Has potential for abuse, but less than Schedule I or II substances.
Has an accepted medical use.
Abuse may lead to limited dependence.
IV Barbiturates, narcotics and stimulants (including Valium, Talwin, Librium, Darvon, Tranzene, Serax, Equanil, Ionamin

Less than 100 tablets: 120 days and fine (Misdemeanor)

More than 100 tablets: 24 months (Felony)

39 months (Felony) Has a low potential for abuse.
Has an accepted medical use.
Abuse may lead to limited dependence.
V Compounds with limited Codeine, such as Terpine Hydrate, Robitussin AC 60 days and $1000 fine (Misdemeanor) 39 months (Felony) Has a low potential for abuse.
Has an accepted medical use. Abuse may lead to limited dependence.
VI Marijuana, THC, Hashish, Hash Oil

Less than 1/2 oz.: 20 days and $200 fine (Misdemeanor)

More than 1/2 oz.: 120 days and fine at court’s discretion (Misdemeanor)

39 months (Felony) Has a low potential for abuse.
Has no accepted medical use.
Abuse may lead to limited dependence.

Revised June 2017

Appendix E: Communicable Disease Policy

The College is committed to assure, insofar as possible, that each student enjoys safe and healthful work and/or study conditions. To this end, the College offers the following information for students.

Persons infected or reasonably believed to be infected with communicable diseases shall not be excluded from enrollment or be restricted of access to the institution’s services or facilities unless medically based judgments in individual cases establish that exclusion or restriction is necessary to the welfare of the individual or other members of the institution.

Persons who know or have a reasonable basis for believing that they have an infectious/communicable disease which may pose a threat to others have an obligation to conduct themselves in accordance with such knowledge so as to protect themselves and others. Students should report such information to the Vice President of Student Affairs. All information will be kept confidential except to those persons as determined who have a need to know. These persons will be informed after the individual is advised that such action will be taken.                               

Students or Applicants Currently Infected:

A.  Any applicant or currently enrolled student in a health or related program who has tuberculosis, HIV, Hepatitis B infection, or other communicable diseases will be individually evaluated and all enrollment decisions concerning the individual shall be based upon a consideration of the following factors:

1.   The potential harm that the individual poses to other people

2.   The ability of the individual to accomplish the objectives of the course or curriculum

3.   Whether or not a reasonable accommodation can be made that will enable the individual to safely and efficiently accomplish the objectives and/or tasks of the course or curriculum in question without significantly exposing the individual or other persons to the risk of infection

B.  All students who have a communicable disease will be assessed as needed by a College approved physician(s) in keeping with the current standards, requirements, and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and in keeping with the provisions of this policy.

C.  The evaluation of an applicant or currently enrolled student with a known communicable disease will include a physician’s statement of the individual’s health status as it relates to the individual’s ability to adequately and safely accomplish the essential objectives of his/her course or curriculum.

D.  All students who are involved with nursing are required to adhere to universal precautions including the appropriate use of hand washing, protective barriers, and care in the use and disposal of needles and other sharp instruments.

The College will give the following instructions to nursing and allied health students as well as any student who is identified as positive for communicable diseases. These instructions are consistent with CDC Universal Guidelines used by affiliating agencies.

The student must be made aware by the College of the potential risks associated with patient care and the student will, at all times, follow recommendations regarding positive HIV/HBV or other infectious diseases for health care workers from the affiliating clinical agencies.

In each instance, a determination will be made as to an appropriate and limited release of the student’s infectious disease status to the student’s clinical instructor or Department Chair in order that performance may be adequately reviewed and supervised on an ongoing basis. When a student is known to be positive for HIV/ HBV or other infectious diseases, the student’s College approved physician and the Dean of the Health and Human Services Division will carefully evaluate whether or not someone in the clinical agency needs to be informed of the student’s positive infectious disease status. The student will be advised of this release of information.

In the event a patient is exposed to a student’s blood or body fluids, the student will immediately report the incident to the clinical instructor who will report the incident to the infection control nurse/site physician. The clinical instructor will complete an accident/incident report and send it to the Dean of the Health and Human Services Division and the Vice President of Student Affairs. This procedure of reporting applies to ALL students regardless of their HIV/HBV status.

Disclaimer:

The foregoing policy and procedures are based upon the latest information available to Gaston College and do not purport to be, or to include, all the latest or most definitive information available. Gaston College makes no such claim and offers no assurance that this is the case. Information in this area changes frequently, and students, employees, and any others affected by this policy or procedures are responsible for keeping themselves informed and taking any necessary precautions for their own safety and the safety of others relating to any communicable disease.

Appendix F: Title IX and Sexual Harassment Policy

A.  It is the policy of Gaston College to provide an inclusive, safe, and welcoming working and learning environment for all members of the College community. In accordance with applicable federal and state laws, administrative regulations, and College policy, the College prohibits discrimination in its education programs and activities based on sex. This Policy applies to conduct that occurs in a College Education Program or Activity located within the United States.

B.  Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex includes quid pro quo harassment; sexual harassment; and sexual assault, stalking, dating and domestic violence (collectively referred to as “sexual harassment”). At the time that a complaint is filed, the Complainant must be participating in (or attempting to participate in) an education program or activity of the College. An education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the College exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs.

C.  This policy applies to allegations and complaints of sexual harassment as defined herein. All other complaints of discrimination or misconduct that do not fall within the jurisdiction of Title IX may be made through other procedures.

D.  To respond to a notice of sexual harassment or allegations thereof, the College’s Title IX Coordinator (TIXC), Deputy Title IX Coordinator (DTIXC), or any College Official who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the institution, must have actual knowledge of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment, as defined by Title IX. Actual knowledge does not necessarily trigger the obligation to investigate, but may trigger the obligation to provide supportive measures. Actual knowledge is not met when the only person with actual knowledge is a Respondent.

E.  The College’s Title IX Coordinator(s) (TIXC) and/or Deputy Title IX Coordinator(s) (DTIXC) has oversight responsibility for handling Title IX and Sexual Harassment complaints under this policy.

PROCEDURE

A.  REPORTING AND SUPPORT SERVICES

  1. The filing of a formal, written complaint initiates the formal complaint process and is available to any person who is participating in (or attempting to participate in) a College educational program or activity.
  2. Any person wishing to make a report relating to Title IX and Sexual Harassment may do so by reporting the concern to the Title IX Coordinator (TIXC), Deputy Title IX Coordinator (DTIXC), or to any College Official who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the institution such as a supervisor, Dean, or administrator. A formal written complaint can be submitted in person, by mail, or by email.
  3. College Officials who receive information regarding a potential violation of this policy, are to report this information to the TIXC or DTIXC promptly. In some circumstances, there are individuals in positions such as licensed health-care professionals and professional counselors, who are not required, or statutorily prohibited, to report such information.
  4. Employee complaints or reports about sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, should be submitted to the TIXC, and student complaints or reports should be submitted to the DTIXC. The contact information for the TIXC and DTIXC are as follows:

Employee Reporting

Todd Baney, Title IX Coordinator

Vice President for Administrative Services/CHRO

Beam Administration Building

Gaston College

Office: 704.922.6485

baney.todd@gaston.edu

Student Reporting

Dr. Audrey Sherrill, Deputy Title IX Coordinator

Vice President for Student Affairs

Myers Center

Gaston College

Office: 704.922.6217

sherrill.audrey@gaston.edu

  1. Law Enforcement

The College complaint process is not a substitute for instituting legal action, and individuals may also choose to report sexual misconduct directly to local law enforcement agencies. If required or warranted by the nature of the allegations, the College may notify appropriate law enforcement authorities. The College’s investigation may be delayed temporarily while a criminal investigation gathers evidence. In the event of such a delay, the College will make available supportive measures when necessary. To file a report directly with local law enforcement agencies, individuals can dial 911. To file a report with Campus Police, or for assistance with filing a report, individuals may contact:

Gaston College Campus Police & Security Department

122 Comer Engineering Building

Gaston College

704.922.6480

    6. Amnesty

The College encourages reporting of incidents of prohibited conduct and seeks to remove any barriers to reporting. The College recognizes that an individual who has been drinking or using drugs at the time of an incident may be hesitant to make a report because of potential consequences for their own conduct. Individuals who report prohibited conduct or participate as witnesses will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions for personal consumption of alcohol and/or other substances; however, the College may initiate an educational discussion with individuals about their alcohol and/or drug use or may direct these individuals to services such as counseling for alcohol and/or drug use. Amnesty will not be extended for any violations of College policy other than alcohol/drug use. The use of alcohol, drugs, and/or legally prescribed medication does not justify or excuse behavior that constitutes prohibited conduct under this policy.

  1. Preserving Evidence

It is important that evidence of sexual assault be preserved, because it may be needed for prosecuting a criminal case. Victims and others should not alter the scene of an attack. The victim should not change clothes, bathe or shower, drink or eat anything, or brush his or her teeth before reporting the assault. Any items worn by the victim during the assault, but are not currently being worn, and any materials encountered during the assault (i.e., bed sheets, blankets, etc.) should be placed in a paper bag and brought along with the victim to a local hospital emergency department that has kits to collect and preserve evidence of sexual assault.

  1. Off-Campus Conduct

Conduct that occurs off-campus will be evaluated to determine whether the circumstances fall within the College’s jurisdiction under Title IX or should be referred to a different department or official within the College.

  1. Confidentiality

Except as compelled by law or as required to conduct a full and fair complaint proceeding in response to a formal complaint, the College will treat the information obtained or produced as part of the Title IX procedures as confidential. The College will keep confidential the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sex discrimination, including any individual who has made a report or filed a formal complaint of sexual harassment, any Complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetuator of sex discrimination, any Respondent, and any witness, except as may be permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), including the conduct of any investigation, hearing, or judicial proceedings arising thereunder.

  1. Availability of Counseling and Support Services

Counseling and other mental health services are available on campus and in the community. Students may use the Counseling Services department and may be able to seek help through the Student Outreach Services (SOS) program. Employees of the College may be able to seek help through the Employee Assistance Program. Local or community health agencies, and counselors and psychotherapists in private practice in the area can also provide needed services.

B.  COMPLAINT PROCEDURE AND BASIC REQUIREMENTS

  1. These procedures apply to all complaints regarding conduct that may constitute sexual harassment, including sexual assault, as defined in this policy. The College will respond promptly to a report of sexual harassment. All other complaints shall be addressed through other procedures.
  2. The College’s Title IX complaint process includes formal and informal procedures that encourage prompt resolution of complaints. In most cases, the Complainant’s submission of a formal, written complaint to the TIXC or DIXC will initiate the formal complaint process. However, the TIXC or DTIXC may also submit a formal complaint under the circumstances described below.
  3. The College’s complaint process shall adhere to the following principles:
    1. A person who has been accused of sexual harassment (Respondent) is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination of responsibility is made at the conclusion of the complaint process.
    2. All relevant evidence, including exculpatory and inculpatory evidence, will be evaluated.
    3. Credibility determinations may not be based on a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.
    4. The TIXC, DTIXC, Investigator(s), hearing officer/decision-maker(s), and persons involved with the informal resolution, and any other persons that play a significant role in the Title IX complaint process, shall not have a conflict of interest or bias for (or against) Complainants or Respondents generally or for (or against) an individual Complainant or Respondent.
    5. The time frames for concluding the complaint process shall be reasonably prompt, as set forth in more detail in the procedures below.
    6. The complaint process may be temporarily delayed, and limited extensions of time frames may be granted, for good cause. In such instances, written notice to the Complainant and the Respondent of the delay or extension and the reasons for the action will be provided. Good cause may include considerations such as the absence of a party, a party’s Advisor, or a witness; concurring law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodations of disabilities.
    7. Questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege will not be required, allowed, relied upon, or otherwise used. The College shall not consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the professional’s or paraprofessional’s capacity, or assisting in the capacity, and which are made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party, unless the College obtains that person’s voluntary, written consent to do so for a complaint under this section.
    8. No party shall be restricted from discussing the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.
    9. All parties participating in a hearing, investigative interview, or other meeting shall be provided with a written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all hearings, investigative interviews, or other meetings, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate.

C.  INITIAL INTAKE, RESPONSE, AND ASSESSMENT

  1. Upon receiving a report of conduct that could potentially be a violation of this policy, the TIXC or DTIXC will contact the Reporting party, and:
    1. Provide the person a copy of this policy
    2. Explain the process for filing a formal complaint
    3. Explain avenues for resolution, including informal and formal
    4. Explain the steps involved in an investigation and hearing under this policy
    5. Discuss confidentiality standards
    6. Refer to law enforcement, counseling, medical, academic or other resources, as appropriate
    7. Implement any supportive measures deemed appropriate
    8. Determine whether the alleged conduct, as described by the reporting party, falls within the scope of this policy and if so, initiate the investigation and resolution procedures accordingly
  1. If the reporting party (Complainant) requests that no further action be taken and/or that no formal complaint be pursued, the TIXC or DTIXC will inform the Complainant that retaliation is prohibited and that honoring the Complainant’s request may limit the College’s ability to fully respond to the matter.
  1. The TIXC or DTIXC may initiate the complaint process, even where the Complainant declines to file a formal complaint, if it is determined that the particular circumstances require the College to formally respond to and address the allegations. Circumstances to be considered include, among others, a pattern of alleged misconduct by a Respondent and whether the complaint has alleged use of violence, weapons, or other similar conduct. The TIXC or DTIXC will also consider the Complainant’s wishes with respect to supportive measures and desired response by the College. Where a report is made anonymously and the TIXC or DTIXC files the complaint, both the Complainant and Respondent will receive notice of the allegations with written details and identities of the parties, if known.
  1. The TIXC or DTIXC may consolidate formal complaints as to allegations of sexual harassment against more than one Respondent, or by more than one Complainant against one or more Respondents, or by one party against the other party, where the allegations of sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances.
     
  2. Dismissal of Complaint Prior to Resolution
    1. A formal complaint must be dismissed by the TIXC or DTIXC if the alleged conduct:
      1. does not constitute sexual harassment, as defined in this policy, even if proven;
      2. did not occur in the College’s educational program or activity; or
      3. did not occur against a person in the United States
    2. In addition, a complaint may be dismissed if:
      1. at any time during the investigation or hearing, a Complainant notifies the TIXC or DTIXC in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein;
      2. the Respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the recipient; or
      3. specific circumstances prevent the gathering of evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or any allegations therein.
    3. Upon dismissal of a formal complaint, the TIXC or DTIXC will send simultaneous, written notice of, and reason(s) for, the dismissal to the parties. Upon notification of dismissal of the complaint, the parties may appeal this interim status via email or mail a written appeal to the President within ten (10) business days of receiving official notice of the interim status. Appeals may not exceed seven (7) double-spaced pages on 8 ½ x 11 paper with one-inch margins and 11-point font. The President shall conduct a review of the record and issue a final written decision that describes the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result. The President’s decision is final.
    4. Dismissal of a complaint under this Title IX policy does not preclude a Complainant from pursuing a complaint through other appropriate campus procedures.

D.  FORMAL COMPLAINT

  1. Following the initial intake, response, and assessment step involving the reporting party, if it is determined that an alleged conduct falls within the scope of this policy, the investigation and resolution procedures will be initiated.
     
  2. The TIXC or DTIXC will send notification of the complaint to the Complainant and the Respondent (if known) with sufficient details to allow the parties to respond and prepare for initial interviews. The TIXC or DTIXC will send updated notices to both parties when additional details become available. The TIXC or DTIXC may choose to contact both parties just prior to sending the initial written notice to inform each that a notice is being sent. The initial notice should include, but is not limited to, the following:

a.  The Complainant’s allegations that potentially constitute sexual harassment, including sufficient details known at the time and with     
     sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview (including the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if 
     known, the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment under this policy, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if 
     known)
b.  A copy of this policy
c.  A statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding 
     responsibility is made at the conclusion of the complainant process
d.  A statement informing the parties that they have a right to have on Advisor of their choice to assist them throughout the proceedings 
     who may be (but is not required to be) an attorney
e.  A statement regarding possible informal resolution
f.   A statement that the parties that they have a right to inspect and review all evidence collected during the complaint process
g.  A statement that any party who knowingly makes false statements or submits false information during the complaint process will be 
     subject to disciplinary procedure 
h.  A statement regarding non-retaliation 
i.   A statement regarding confidentiality
j.   A statement regarding an investigation and hearing under this policy
k.  A statement about supportive measures that are already determined and being provided to the Complainant that would directly 
     affect the Respondent 
l.   A statement about available supportive measures
m. If decided, the name of the Investigator appointed to investigate the allegations; however, if not decided, a subsequent written 
     notice will need to be sent to both parties informing of the appointment​​

E.  INFORMAL RESOLUTION

  1. At any time after a formal written complaint is filed, but prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility, the College may offer the parties the opportunity for voluntary informal resolution, or any party may request the College facilitate an information resolution. Note: A student allegation of sexual harassment against a College employee is not eligible for informal resolution. 
     
  2. Upon request for informal resolution, the TIXC or DTIXC will review the facts and circumstances of the case to determine if informal resolution is appropriate to ensure that any proposed informal resolution is consistent with the College’s obligations to prevent and redress sexual harassment.
     
  3. If information resolution is agreed upon by both parties, the TIXC or DTIXC will designate an independent person (i.e., Facilitator) to facilitate the informal resolution process and provide both parties written notice of proceeding with an informal resolution, which will include the following information:

a.  the allegations contained in the formal complaint, including dates, location(s), and identities of the parties
b.  any agreed-upon resolution reached at the conclusion of the informal complaint process will preclude the parties from resuming a 
     formal complaint arising from the same allegations 
c.  the name of the designated Facilitator
d.  The potential outcomes resulting from participating in the formal resolution process
e.  notice that at any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and 
     resume the complaint process with respect to the formal complaint ​​

   4.  Informal resolution is voluntary. The Complainant and Respondent must provide written consent for informal resolution to take place.

   5.  Informal resolution concludes the matter only when all parties have signed a written agreement that confirms resolution of the allegations. 

a.  The resolution agreement must include a waiver of the parties’ right to have a formal hearing on the allegations that have been informally resolved. 
b.  Parties of prohibited from revoking or appealing a resolution agreement. Should the Respondent violate the terms of an informal resolution agreement, such violation will subject the Respondent to an investigation and the formal grievance process contained in this procedures. 
c.  If a resolution agreement is not reached, the College will continue with a formal investigation. 
 

F.  SUPPORTIVE MEASURES

  1. Supportive measures, as defined in this policy, will be based on the facts and circumstances of each situation. The TIXC or DTIXC is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures. 
     
  2. 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 the supportive measures.
     
  3. Supportive measures may include, but are not limited to, the following:

a.  counseling 
b.  extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments 
c.  modifications of work or class schedules 
d.  campus escort services 
e.  mutual restrictions on contact between the parties
f.   changes in working or housing locations
g.  leaves of absence 
h.  increased security or monitoring of certain areas of the campus
 

G.  INVESTIGATION

  1. If resolution of the allegations does not proceed through the informal process, the matter will proceed with an investigation and resoultion through the formal complaint processes.
  2. Parties and witnesses are expected to cooperate in the investigation process to the extent required by law and this policy.

  3. The TIXC or DTIXC is responsible for overseeing the prompt, equitable, and impartial investigation during the formal complaint process; however, extensions of timeframe for good cause are allowed, so long as written notice and the reason for the delay is provided to the parties. Good cause includes: The complexity and/or number of the allegations; The severity and extent of the alleged misconduct; The number of parties, witnesses, and other types of evidence involved; The availability of the parties, witnesses, and evidence; A request by a party to delay an investigation; The effect of a concurrent criminal investigation or proceeding; intervening holidays, College breaks, or other closures; good faith efforts to reach a resolution; or other unforeseen circumstances.

  4. The TIXC or DTIXC will assign an Investigator and share the Investigator’s name and contact information with the Complainant and the Respondent.

  5. Immediately after the identity of the person who will conduct the investigation is determined and communicated to the parties, the Investigator, the Complainant, or the Respondent may identify to the TIXC or DTIXC in writing any real or perceived conflict of interest. The TIXC or DTIXC will carefully consider such statements and will assign a different individual as Investigator if it is determined that a material conflict of interest exists.

  6. Investigations typically include interviews with the Complainant, the Respondent, and any witnesses, and the objective evaluation of any physical, documentary, or other evidence as appropriate and available. The College will give the Complainant and the Respondent written notice of any interview, meeting, or hearing at which a party is invited or expected to participate.

        a.  If, after a safety and risk analysis, the TIXC or DTIXC determines that the Respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other 
        individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment, the TIXC or DTIXC may recommend the Respondent be removed from the College’s programs or activities.
        In such instances, the Respondent will be provided with a written notice of the reasons for the removal. Nothing in this policy precludes the College from placing a non-  
        student employee Respondent on administrative leave during the pendency of the complaint process.
        b.  Upon notification of interim suspension (student) or interim administrative leave (employee), the party may appeal this interim status via email or mail a written appeal
        to the President within ten (10) business days of receiving official notice of the interim status.  Appeals may not exceed seven (7) double-spaced pages on 8 ½ x 11 paper
        with one-inch margins and 11-point font. The President shall conduct a review of the record and issue a final written decision that describes the result of the appeal and
        the rationale for the result. The President’s decision is final.

  7. Interviews conducted as part of an investigation under this Procedure may be recorded by the College. Recordings not authorized by the College are prohibited.

  8. Both parties have the right to be accompanied by an Advisor of their choosing during all stages of an investigation.

        a.  A party may elect to change Advisors during the process.
        b.  All Advisors are subject to the same rules:
                  1.  During the investigation, the Advisor’s role is limited to providing advice, guidance, and support to the Complainant or Respondent. An Advisor is not
                     permitted to act as a participant or advocate during the investigative process.

                  2.  Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them.

                  3.  Advisors are expected to refrain from interfering with investigations.

                  4.  Any Advisor who oversteps their role or interferes during an investigation process will be warned once. If the Advisor continues to disrupt or otherwise fails
                     to respect the limits of the Advisor role, the Advisor will be asked to leave. The Title IX Coordinator determines whether the Advisor may return or should be
                     replaced by a different Advisor.

                  5.  Note: Advisors must sign a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) release to receive information related to a Title IX matter.

  9. Prior to finalizing the Investigation Report, the Investigator will provide all parties an equal opportunity to review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the Formal Complaint, including evidence upon which the College does not intend to rely. The evidence will be provided in an electronic format or a hard copy. The parties may submit a written response to the evidence within 10 business days after receipt of the evidence. The investigator considers any responses received from the parties and conducts any further investigation necessary or appropriate.

  10. The Investigation Report shall fairly summarize the relevant evidence and must include the following items and information that is relevant to the allegations in the formal complaint:

        a.  the dates of the TIXC’s or DTIXC’s initial receipt of a report of alleged sexual harassment against the Complainant, intake meeting, and the filing of the formal complaint
        b.  a statement of the allegation(s), a description of the incident(s), the date(s) and time(s) (if known), and location of the alleged incident(s)
        c.  the names of all known witnesses to the alleged incident(s)
        d.  the dates that the Complainant, Respondent, and other witnesses were interviewed, along with summaries of the interviews
        e.  descriptions or summaries of any physical or documentary evidence that was obtained (e.g., text messages, emails, surveillance video footage, photographs)
        f.   any written statements of the Complainant, Respondent, or other witnesses
        g.  the response of College personnel and, if applicable, College-level officials, including any supportive measures taken with respect to the Complainant and Respondent

  11. The Investigator shall provide a draft of the investigative report to the TIXC or DTIXC for review before the report becomes final. An electronic or hard-copy version of the final investigative report will be provided to each party (and each party’s Advisor) concurrently.

H.  DETERMINATION HEARING

  1. At least 10 business days after the issuance of the Investigation Report, a Live Hearing will be conducted to determine outcome and resolution of the complaint. The parties and their Advisors, if any, will be notified of the date, time and location of the hearing.
     
  2. Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker
        a.  Within 5 business days of the release of the Investigation Report to the parties, or as soon as practicable thereafter, the TIXC or DTIXC will appoint a Hearing  
           Officer/Decision-Maker, who may be (but is not required to be) an individual not employed by the College, who will be responsible for conducting the Live Hearing and
           making findings regarding responsibility and, if applicable, recommend any necessary remedies and sanctions. The TIXC or DTIXC will provide a copy of the formal
           complaint and the Investigation Report, along with the parties’ written responses to the Investigative Report, to the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker.
        b.  Immediately after the identity of the person who will conduct the live hearing and act as the decision-maker is determined and communicated to the parties, the
           Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker, the complainant, or the respondent may identify to the TIXC or DTIXC in writing any real or perceived conflict of interest. The TIXC or
           DTIXC will carefully consider such statements and will assign a different individual as the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker if it is determined that a material conflict of
           interest exists.
  3. Submission of Witnesses Lists
    Within 5 business days after receipt of the notice of the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker, both parties may provide to the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker a list of witnesses, if any, that they propose to be called to testify, and a brief description of each proposed witness’s connection to and/or knowledge of the issues in dispute. Absent good cause, a party cannot include a witness on the party’s pre-hearing witness list unless the witness was identified during the investigation. The Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker reserves the right to call relevant witnesses who may not have been included on a party’s witness list.

  4. Notice of the Live Hearing
    The hearing shall be conducted promptly but no sooner than 10 business days after release of the Investigation Report. At least 10 business days prior to the Live Hearing date, the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker will provide a separate notice to the Complainant, Respondent, and any other witnesses whose testimony the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker deems relevant, requesting such individuals to appear at the hearing to determine responsibility. The notice shall set forth the date, time, and location for the individual’s requested presence. The Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker shall provide, in the notice to the parties, the names of the witnesses that the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker plans to call.

  5. Failure to Appear
    If any party fails to appear at the hearing if requested to do so, and such party was provided notice of the hearing as set forth above, then, absent extenuating circumstances, the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker will proceed to determine the resolution of the complaint. For a party who fails to appear, the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker will need to rely solely on the non- appearing party’s version of events based as per the formal complaint, prior statements, and/or the Investigative Report.

  6. Option for Virtual Presence
    Live hearings may be conducted with parties present in the same geographic location or, at the College’s discretion, any or all parties and witnesses may appear at the live hearing virtually, with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other. Either party may request not to be in the same room as the other party. If any party makes such a request, then both parties will be required to attend the hearing from a location or room different from where the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker is sitting. If the hearing is virtual, or there is a request for separate rooms at a physical location, the College will ensure that all participants are able to simultaneously see and hear the party or the witness answering questions. Instructions will be provided for accessibility prior to the hearing date.

  7. Recordings
    An audio or audio-visual recording will be created of the live hearing and will be made available for inspection and review at any party’s request.

  8. Advisors
    Both the Complainant and Respondent may be accompanied by an Advisor during the hearing. The Advisor’s role at the hearing shall consist of (1) providing private advice to the party he/she is supporting and (2) questioning the opposing party and other witnesses because the parties are not permitted to ask questions or cross-examine the other party or witnesses during the hearing. The Advisor can be anyone, including an attorney. A party may arrange for the party’s Advisor of choice to attend the hearing at the party’s own expense. Alternatively, the College will select and provide an Advisor to assist a party at the hearing to determine responsibility, without fee or charge, upon a request for an Advisor at least 5 business days prior to the date of the hearing. In either scenario, the Advisor may only participate in the hearing to the extent allowed under this policy.

  9. Evidentiary Matters and Procedure
    The parties, through their Advisors, shall have an equal opportunity to question the opposing party and other witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and present relevant evidence, including exculpatory and inculpatory evidence. Formal rules of evidence will not be observed during the hearing. The Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker will conduct the initial questioning of witnesses prior to the questioning by an Advisor. The Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker will make all determinations regarding the order of witnesses, relevancy of questions, and the evidence to be considered or excluded during the hearing and decision-making process. The Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker may, in his or her discretion, choose to call the Investigator for the purpose of providing an overview of the investigation and findings.

  10. Cross-Examination During the Live Hearing
    Each party’s Advisor is permitted to question the opposing party and the other witnesses, so long as the questions are relevant and not duplicative of the questions posed by the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker. The questions may include challenges to credibility. No other questioning or speaking participation by an Advisor will be allowed. A party may not examine a party or witness directly; rather, a party must utilize the services of an Advisor for the purpose of posing questions to another party or witness.

  11. Relevancy of Questions
    The Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker will make determinations regarding relevancy of questions before a party or witness answers. If a determination is made to exclude the question based on relevancy, the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker will provide an explanation of why the question was deemed irrelevant and excluded.

  12. Advisor Notification and Expectations
    A party should notify the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker at least 5 business days in advance of the hearing if the party will be accompanied by an Advisor. The Hearing Officer/Decision- Maker may disallow the attendance of any Advisor if, in the discretion of the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker, such person’s presence becomes disruptive or obstructive to the hearing or otherwise warrants removal. Advisors will not be permitted to badger or question the opposing party or any witness in an abusive or threatening manner. Absent accommodation for a disability, the parties may not be accompanied by any other individual during the hearing process except as set forth in this policy. College officials may seek advice from the College Attorney on questions of law, policy, and procedure at any time during the process.

  13. Prior Sexual Conduct
    Questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent.

  14. Refusal to Submit to Cross-Examination
    If a party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker must not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility; provided, however, that the Hearing Officer/Decision- Maker cannot draw an inference about the determination of responsibility based solely on a party’s or witness’s absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.

  15. Confidentiality and Disclosure
    To comply with FERPA and Title IX and to provide an orderly process for the presentation and consideration of relevant information without undue intimidation or pressure, the complaint process is not open to the general public.  Accordingly, documents prepared in anticipation of the hearing (including the formal complaint, investigative report, evidentiary materials, notices, and prehearing submissions), recordings of the hearing, and documents, testimony, or other information used at the hearing may not be disclosed outside of the hearing proceedings, except as may be required or authorized by law. Records with a legally  recognized privilege, such as medical treatment records, may not be used unless the individual or entity who holds the privilege waives the privilege. Any waiver must be written and made in advance of a hearing.

  16. Decision of the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker and Standard of Evidence
    Following the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker will determine whether the evidence establishes that it is more likely than not that the Respondent committed a violation of this policy. In other words, the standard of proof will be the preponderance of the evidence. This standard applies to complaints against both students and employees. Other standard Rules of Evidence do not apply in complaint hearings under these procedures. In reaching the determination, the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker will objectively and thoroughly evaluate all relevant evidence, and reach an independent decision, without deference to the Investigation Report.

I.  DETERMINATION APPEALS

            1. The Complainant or the Respondent may appeal for one of the following permissible grounds:                   
                   a.  a procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the decision;
                   b.  there is new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made and that could affect the                           outcome of the matter;
                   c.  the TIXC or DTIXC, Investigator(s), or Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents in general or                           against an individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome

            2.  Parties must submit via email or mail a written appeal to the President of the College within ten (10) business days of receiving official notice of the decision giving cause                for appeal. Appeals may not exceed seven (7) double-spaced pages on 8 ½ x 11 paper with one-inch margins and 11-point font. The President will also receive the
               written record for the case.

            3.  Failure to submit a timely and proper appeal will constitute a waiver of any appeal rights related to this matter.

            4.  The person making the appeal may, in writing, withdraw their appeal at any time, which will constitute a waiver of any future appeal rights related to this matter, and
               result in the determination being final.

            5.  For an appeal of Tier 1 Remedies/Sanctions, the President shall conduct a review of the record and issue a final written decision that describes the result of the appeal and
               the rationale for the result. The President’s decision is final.

            6.  For an appeal of Tier 2 Remedies/Sanctions, a Live Hearing will be scheduled before the President, with the President serving as the Hearing Officer/Decision-Maker. The
               hearing and appeal determination will follow the same procedures as set forth in this policy. The President’s determination may be appealed to the College’s Board of
               Trustees.

            7.  An Appeal to the Board of Trustees must be in writing and made through the President within ten (10) business days of receiving notice of the President’s appeal
               determination. Appeals may not exceed seven (7) double-spaced pages on 8 ½ x 11 paper with one-inch margins and 11-point font.

            8.  The President will forward the written appeal to the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and include the written record of the case, including the President’s appeal
               determination notice.

            9.  The Chair of the Board of Trustees will appoint a 3-member Board Panel to conduct a hearing of the appeal. The Chair of the Board of Trustees will also appoint one of the
               three members to be the Panel’s Chair.

           10.  The Live Hearing will be scheduled before the 3-member Board panel, and the members of the Board panel will serve as the Hearing Officer/Decision-Makers. The hearing
               appeal determination will follow the same procedures as set forth in this policy. The 3-member Board Panel’s decision is final.

J.  STATEMENTS OF PROHIBITION

            1.  Retaliation against any person participating in connection with a complaint under this policy is strictly prohibited.  Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form
               of intimidation, coercion, threats, punitive actions, reprisal (acts of vengeance) or harassment. Retaliation is a serious violation and should be reported immediately.
               Reports of retaliation will be addressed through this procedure and/or other applicable College procedures.

            2.  Willfully making a false report of sexual harassment or submitting false information as part of any proceedings is a violation of College policy and is a serious offense.
               Any person who makes or participates in making a false or frivolous report of sexual harassment, retaliation, or other misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action up
               to an including dismissal or expulsion.

K.  TRAINING

           1.  Title IX Coordinators/Deputy, Hearing Officer/Decision-Makers, Investigators, involved in any informal or formal resolution processes shall receive annual relevant training
              pursuant to this Policy and Procedures.

           2.  Each year, all students and employees will receive an electronic copy of this Policy sent to their College email address of record.

           3.  The College will also provide prevention and awareness training of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offenses (i.e., domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence,
              and stalking) and the information contained in the Policy and Procedures will be offered to students and employees.

L.  RECORDKEEPING

    The College maintains all records of Title IX proceedings and all materials used to train Title IX personnel for at least seven (7) years.

M.  DEFINITION OF TERMS

    The following definitions are not intended to operate as speech codes, promote content and viewpoint discrimination or suppress minority viewpoints in the academic setting.
    Because a student’s speech or expression may be deemed offensive by others, it does not mean it constitutes discrimination or harassment. Speech or expression should be
    viewed in its context and totality using the standard that the alleged victim subjectively views the conduct as discrimination or harassment and that the conduct is so objectively
    severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would agree that the conduct is discriminatory or harassing.

Actual Knowledge: notice of sexual harassment (including allegations of sexual harassment) to the College’s Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or any College Official who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the institution.

Advisor: a person who can assist and support a Complainant or Respondent in understanding and navigating the investigation process, including attending hearing and asking questions of the other party or witness on behalf of the Complainant or Respondent.

Complainant: an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment, as defined by Title IX.

Consent: explicit approval to engage in sexual activity demonstrated by clear actions or words. This decision must be made freely and actively by all participants. Non-verbal communication, silence, passivity or lack of active resistance does not imply consent. In addition, previous participation in sexual activity does not indicate current consent to participate and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent has not been obtained in situations where the individual is forced, pressured, manipulated or has reasonable fear that they will be injured if they do not submit to the act; is incapable of giving consent or is prevented from resisting due to physical or mental incapacity (including being under the influence of drugs or alcohol); or has a mental or physical disability which inhibits his/her ability to give consent to sexual activity.

Dating Violence: crimes of violence against a person with whom the person has or had a social relationship or a romantic or intimate relationship.

Days: Refers to working or business days, rather than calendar days, unless otherwise specified.

Decision-Maker: a person who conducts an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence and determines responsibility by applying the standard of evidence.  Makes decisions regarding process appeals.  

Domestic Violence: crimes of violence against a current or former spouse or intimate partner; a person with whom the student shares a child in common; a person with whom the student cohabitates or has cohabitated as a spouse or intimate partner; a person similarly situated to the student as a spouse under local domestic laws; or any person who is protected under local domestic laws of the jurisdiction.

Education Program or Activity: for purposes of these Procedures, this means any locations, events, or circumstances over which the College exercised substantial control over both the Respondent(s) and the context in which the alleged sexual harassment occurs.

Employee: a person who is hired and employed by the College to perform certain tasks in exchange for wages or a salary. Third-party vendors are not considered employees of the College as per this definition for Title IX purposes.

Formal Complaint: a document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a Respondent and requesting the College investigate the allegation(s). A Formal Complaint initiates a formal complaint process in which parties are entitled to due process protections.

Informal Resolution: a resolution reached regarding an allegation of sexual harassment without the filing of a Formal Complaint. Informal Resolution may include mediation, facilitated dialogue, conflict coaching, restorative justice, or other models of alternative dispute resolution. Informal Resolution cannot be used for a student’s allegation of sexual harassment against a College employee.

Investigator: a person responsible for conducting investigations into allegations involving allegations of sexual harassment under Title IX.

Party: The Complainant or Respondent.

Preponderance of the Evidence: A standard of proof where the conclusion is based on facts that are more likely true than not.

Respondent: an individual who has been reported to be the committer of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment, as defined by Title IX.

Retaliation: to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, participated, or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under these Procedures.

Sexual Assault: an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system.

Sexual Harassment: quid pro quo harassment; unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the College’s education program or activity, including conduct based on sex stereotyping; or any instance of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking. Quid pro quo harassment is a person having power or authority over another and conditioning an educational or employment benefit or service or access to receiving the educational or employment benefit or service upon a person’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.

Stalking: engaging in a course of conduct directed to a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.

Student: a person who has applied to the College or is currently enrolled in credit or non- credit courses offered by the College at any location or online.

Supportive Measures: individualized services reasonably available that are non-punitive, non- disciplinary, and not unreasonably burdensome to the other party that are designed to ensure equal educational access, protect safety, or deter sexual harassment. Examples of support measures are 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, leaves of absences, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the College, and other similar measures.

Title IX Coordinator and/or Deputy Title IX Coordinator:  a person(s) who is designated by the College to coordinate the College’s compliance with Title IX.

Witness: a person who may have knowledge of facts or circumstances concerning a claim of sexual harassment or misconduct under Title IX.

 

   Effective: 11/16/20

   Supersedes: 9/26/16

 

Additional Information on Sexual Harassment or Misconduct

Victim’s Rights

Persons who report incidents related to a sexual crime or related offenses have certain rights as follows:

  • Confidential on- and off-campus counseling.  See the following section for a listing of College and Community Resources.
  • Notify or not notify appropriate campus and/or local law enforcement authorities. If requested, the College will assist with notifying appropriate agencies and authorities.
  • When reasonably possible, a change in class assignment, a no-contact order, or a change in working environment to prevent unwanted contact or close proximity with the accused.
  • Have a person present for support during various College proceedings.
  • Notified of the outcome of an investigation and the procedures for appeal.
  • Not be retaliated against for filing a complaint of a sexual crime or related offense, including sexual harassment.

College and Community Resources

The following on- and off-campus counseling services are available to you. Gaston College does not endorse a particular community agency over another.

 

Counseling

Provider

Telephone

Gaston College Counseling and Career Development Center

704.922.6220  or 704.748.5209

Carolina Center for Counseling

704.861.2234

Family Services, Inc.

704.864.7704

Partners Behavior Health Management Referral Services

888.235.4673

Phoenix Counseling Center

704.842.6359

Piedmont Psychological Associates

704.861.0271

Crisis Lines

Provider

Telephone

Gaston/Lincoln County 24-hour Rape Crisis Hotline

704.864.0060

National Sexual Assault Hotline

1.800.656.HOPE (4673)

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1.800.799.SAFE (7233)

 

Appendix G: Electronic Resources Acceptable Use Policy

  1. It is the policy of Gaston College to provide users Electronic Resources to support administrative and academic activities and to outline the acceptable use of those resources.
  2. Scope & Responsibilities

    College Electronic Resources, whether owned or leased by the College, include, but are not limited to, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, printers, hard drives and other storage media, telephones, fax machines, copiers, cell phones, smart phones, cameras, video devices, smart boards, distance learning equipment, or any other electronic tools, communication apparatus, or other type of virtual electronic device that has the capability to connect either by cable or wirelessly, to a data, communication, or other similar network.  College Electronic Resources also include access to, and use of, College networks, Internet, Intranet, voicemail, email, or software, either while on campus or from an off-campus location via the Internet, Virtual Private Network (VPN), or by any other means.  This policy also covers personal electronic devices and resources that use College Electronic Resources.
    1. The College reserves the right to update or revise this policy or implement additional policies as needed or required. The College shall provide the College community notice of any updates or revisions, which shall be effective regardless if a user reads such notice. Users are responsible for staying informed of College policies regarding the use of Electronic Resources.
    2. Users are responsible for exercising good judgment regarding Electronic Resources and acceptable use of those resources in accordance with College policies, standards, and applicable laws as needed or required as technology changes. Inappropriate use exposes the College and the user to risks including virus attacks, data theft, compromise of network systems and services, and possible action by law enforcement or civil litigation.
  3. Acceptable Use

Access to and privileges of College Electronic Resources are managed by the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or designee. By accepting access to and privileges of College Electronic Resources, users agree to comply with the Electronic Resources “Rules for Acceptable Use.”

   D. Backing Up Data and Data Retrieval

Users are encouraged to back up data such as emails, calendar information, and other files deemed important. In the event that important data is lost, a user may request that Technology Services attempt to retrieve the lost information.

In order for a user to request that important information be retrieved, he or she must be authorized to have access to that information.

   E. Electronic Mail (Email) and Other Communication Activities

  1. Only Gaston College employees, students, and other persons who have been authorized by the College are permitted to use College Electronic Resources, including email systems.
  2. The use of any College Electronic Resources for email must be related to College business and academic activities. Incidental and occasional use of College Electronic Resources for personal reasons may occur when such use does not generate a direct cost to the College. For employees of the College, incidental and occasional use of College Electronic Resources for personal reasons also must not detract from the time necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities of their position with the College. All uses of College email and College Electronic Resources are subject to the provisions of this policy.
  3. The College will make a reasonable effort to maintain the integrity and effective operation of its Electronic Resources and email systems; however, users are advised that College Electronic Resources, including email systems, should not, in any way, be regarded as a secure method for communicating sensitive or confidential information. Further, the College cannot, and does not, ensure the privacy or confidentiality of a user’s emails that are created, transmitted, received, or stored.
  4. Although the College does not routinely monitor email activity, it may do so to the extent permitted by law, especially when it is deemed necessary.
  5. To the extent permitted by law, the College reserves the right to access and disclose the contents of a user’s email, or other use of College Electronic Resources, without the consent of the user. Access and review of employee email must be authorized by the President or the Vice President responsible for Technology Services.Access and review of student email, or other use of College Electronic Resources, must be authorized by the President, Vice President for Student Affairs, or the Vice President responsible for Technology Services. Access and review of email may be done when there is a legitimate reason to do so including, but not limited to:

a. As part of a College investigation.

b. When there are indications of misconduct or misuse of College Electronic Resources, including the email system.

c. When there are indications that College Electronic Resources have been used in a way that violates College policies and/or work rules.

d. When it is determined that the health and safety of others may be at risk.

e. When information is needed for College business, but is not more readily available by other means.

f. When there is a need to ensure the integrity of the College’s mission.

g. As part of responding to a legal matter or to fulfill any obligations to third parties.

   F. Reservation of Rights, Privacy, and Limits of Liability

  1. The College reserves the right to audit and monitor College Electronic Resources on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with this policy, including the right to monitor and inspect computerized files, resources, and/or computer support services, or to terminate privileges or service at any time, for any reason, with or without notice or user permission.
  2. The College makes no guarantees or representations, either explicit or implied, that user files and/or accounts are private or secure. All information, including email messages and files, that are created, sent, or retrieved using College Electronic Resources and technical resources, is the property of the College and should not be considered private or confidential. Users of College Electronic Resources have no expectations of the right of privacy, including any information or file transmitted or stored through the College’s computer, voicemail, email, telephone, or related systems.
  3. The College and its representatives are not liable for any damages and/or losses associated with the use of any of its Electronic Resources.
  4. The College reserves the right to limit the allocation of College Electronic Resources to users, including, but not limited to, bandwidth and disk space.

  G. Public Inspection and Archiving of Email

  1. Student email may constitute “education records” and may be subject to the provisions of FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974). The College may access, inspect, and disclose such records as permitted by FERPA.
  2. North Carolina law provides that emails sent by College employees may constitute “correspondence” and may be considered public records subject to public inspection under NC General Statutes 121 and 132.
  3. Electronic files, including email, that are considered to be public records are to be retained, archived, and/or disposed of in accordance with current guidelines established by the NC Department of Cultural Resources.

  H. Sanctions

Violations of this policy may result in the revocation of a user’s access to College Electronic Resources and privileges, and in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or expulsion, and/or criminal charges.

Effective: 7/1/16

Supersedes: 6/1/11

Electronic Resources Rules for Acceptable Use

In accordance with Policy 7-7, Electronic Resources Acceptable Use, the Rules for Acceptable Use are applicable to all “users” of College Electronic Resources and/or Other Electronic Resources, and “users” agree to comply with these rules per the policy and as stated in this document.    

A. College Electronic Resources, whether owned or leased by the College, include, but are not limited to, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, printers, hard drives and other storage media, telephones, fax machines, copiers, cell phones, smart phones, cameras, video devices, smart boards, distance learning equipment, or any other electronic tools, communication apparatus, or other type of virtual electronic device that has the capability to connect either by cable or wirelessly, to a data, communication, or other similar network.  College Electronic Resources also include access to, and use of, College networks, Internet, Intranet, voicemail, email, or software, either while on campus or from an off-campus location via the Internet, Virtual Private Network (VPN), or by any other means.  This policy also covers personal electronic devices and resources that use College Electronic Resources.

B. In accordance with Policy 7-7 Electronic Resources Acceptable Use, the following rules are applicable to all “users” of College Electronic Resources and/or Other Electronic Resources:

  1. IDs and passwords are to be kept secure at all times and not transferred to another user or individual. Revealing account passwords to others or allowing use of an assigned account by others is prohibited, including family and other household members when work is being done at home.
  2. Access to College Electronic Resources accounts are to be used only for the purpose for which they are assigned and are not to be used for commercial purposes, non-College related activities, or other personal business.
  3. Unless specifically designated, no campus computer should be used to conduct credit card (e-commerce) transactions.
  4. Most Electronic Resources, and specifically software, are protected by federal copyright law and are proprietary in nature. A user is responsible for complying with the licensing restrictions for any software used by Gaston College. Software piracy and unauthorized copying of software is not permitted.
  5. Proprietary information stored on, or transmitted by, College Computer Resources remains the property of Gaston College. Users are responsible for promptly reporting the theft, loss, or unauthorized disclosure of proprietary information.
  6. Users are advised that access to outside networks may result in encountering material that may be considered offensive in nature or content. The College is not responsible for the content of any outside network.
  7. Users are not to use systems and/or networks in an attempt to gain unauthorized access to remote systems for any reason.
  8. Users are not to make any deliberate attempt to damage and/or sabotage College Electronic Resources.
  9. Users are advised that access to outside networks may result in the introduction of malicious programs into the network or server such as viruses. The college is not responsible for loss or damage of data on personal devices brought on any of the college campuses. Users must indemnify the College for any damage that may occur to personally owned Electronic Resources.
  10. Users are not to damage College Electronic Resources by knowingly creating and spreading computer viruses, hacking, jailbreaking, and/or deleting, examining, copying, or modifying data files belonging to the College or other users. Users who access College Electronic Resources with a personally owned device are responsible for ensuring the security of their device such that they do not knowingly or unknowingly cause damage to College Electronic Resources.
  11. Users are not to engage in deceptive activity while using College Electronic Resources such as communications that impersonate another person or user, stealing another user’s login credentials, or using College Electronic Resources to gain unauthorized information of any kind.
  12. Intentional access to or dissemination of pornography by any user is prohibited unless such use is specific to work- or academic-related research or activity that is specifically approved by the appropriate supervisor. Special care must be taken when engaging in approved activities of this nature to ensure that these types of materials are not displayed for public view. This provision applies to any electronic communication distributed or sent within the College network or to other networks while using the College network.
  13. Users may not distribute or send unlawful communications of any kind, including but not limited to cyberstalking, threats of violence, obscenity, child pornography, or other illegal communications (as defined by law). This provision applies to any electronic communication distributed or sent within the College network or to other networks while using the College network.
  14. Only systems, devices, or files containing sensitive College data are required and permitted to utilize encryption to protect the data in the event of unauthorized physical access to the system, devices, or files. Passwords to these entities must be provided to Technology Services in a sealed envelope to be stored in a secure location. The CTO will specify the method for encryption and report to the Vice President for Finance, Operations, and Facilities on the implementation and security of the electronic certificates and key management system.
  15. Users are not to extend or share with the public or other users, the College Network beyond what has been configured and made available to the public by Technology Services. Users are not permitted to connect any network devices or systems (e.g., switches, routers, wireless access points, VPNs, cell phones, laptops, and firewalls) to the College Network without written approval from Technology Services.
  16. Users are expected to maintain confidentiality of information stored on College Electronic Resources as prescribed by College policy and/or applicable law
  17. Users must take special care not to open e-mail attachments received from unknown senders, which may contain computer viruses, malware, computer worms, or other destructive software. Users must examine all e-mail, texts, social media posts, and other forms of communications for suspicious links, attachments, and other indicators that the source may be suspicious. Users must contact Technology Services and report any suspicious communication.
  18. Under no circumstances is a user authorized to engage in any activity that is illegal under local, state, federal, or international law while utilizing College Electronic Resources.
  19. Users are not to violate the rights of any person or company protected by copyright, trade secret, patent or other intellectual property, or similar laws or regulations, including, but not limited to, the installation or distribution of software products that are not appropriately licensed for use by the College. Unauthorized copying of copyrighted material including, but not limited to, digitization and distribution of photographs from magazines, books, software or other copyrighted sources, copyrighted music, and the installation of any copyrighted software for which the College does not have an active license is strictly prohibited. Distribution of software licensed to the College outside of the College is strictly prohibited.
  20. Accessing data, a server, or an account for any purpose other than conducting College-related business, even if a user has authorized access, is prohibited.
  21. Preventing security breaches or disruptions of network communication is the responsibility of every user. Security breaches include, but are not limited to, accessing data of which the employee is not an intended recipient or logging into a server or account that the employee is not expressly authorized to access. For purposes of this section, “disruption” includes, but is not limited to, network sniffing, network scanning, ping floods, packet spoofing, denial of service, and forged routing information for malicious purposes.
  22. Software that is not licensed and managed by the College is not allowed to run on Computer Resources without explicit permission by Technology Services.
  23. Circumventing user authentication or security of any host, network, or account is not permitted.
  24. Using any program, script, command, or sending messages of any kind, with the intent to interfere with, or disable, another user’s use of College Electronic Resources, via any means, locally or via the Internet or Intranet, is prohibited.
  25. Users are not to send unsolicited email messages, including the sending of “junk mail” or other advertising material to individuals who did not specifically request such material (email spam).

Effective: 7/1/16

Supersedes: 6/1/11

Appendix H: Student Academic Complaint Procedure

Most academic matters generally will be left to the discretion of the faculty member. Instructors have the academic freedom to cover the material on the departmentally approved syllabus in a variety of ways. Some instructors may have primarily lecture formats while others may have class discussion/participation-driven formats. Some classes, by nature of the course, cover controversial topics. This does not mean the instructor personally espouses a particular point of view (lifestyle, religious affiliation, ethnic view, etc.).

Students must follow the procedure below concerning academic complaints. Academic complaints are defined as complaints regarding course design and content, teaching performance, and instructor conduct in the classroom/lab setting, excluding final grade complaints. No retaliation or adverse action will be taken against the student for filing the complaint.

  1. The student is encouraged to communicate directly with the instructor informally as soon as possible. Gaston College believes that professional and courteous communication is the most effective way to address issues and concerns. The simplest, quickest, and most satisfactory solutions may be accomplished at this level.
  2. If the complaint is not resolved between the student and instructor, or if there is good reason for the student not to speak directly with the faculty member, the student must complete the form 1A titled “Academic Complaint by Student.” This form must be submitted to the appropriate Department Chair no later than 30-calendar days after the alleged incident that led to the complaint. (If the academic complaint involves a Department Chair/Program Chair, the form must be submitted to the appropriate academic dean.) The form may be found in any academic division office or in the online version of the Student Handbook at www.gaston.edu.
  3. The department/program chair/dean will share the “Academic Complaint by Student” form with the faculty member (s) involved. The instructor should then complete Form 1B titled “Faculty Response to Academic Complaint by Student” and attach any supporting documentation. Form 1B should then be submitted to the department/program chair/dean within five (5) College business days of receipt of the complaint.
  4. The department/program chair/dean will review Form 1A “Academic Complaint by Student” and Form 1B “Faculty Response to Academic Complaint by Student,” along with any supporting documentation, before completing Form 1C “Department/Program Chair/Dean Academic Complaint Review.”
  5. In matters not involving the department/program chair, the Divisional Dean will review the sequence of events and all supporting documentation, including Forms 1A, 1B, and 1C. The Dean will make a final recommendation/resolution to the academic complaint and notify the student of the result in writing. In addition, the Dean will complete Form 1D “Dean Academic Student Complaint Review/Recommendation.”  
  6. If all of the proceeding contacts have been made and the dean’s decision does not resolve the issue to the student’s satisfaction, then the student may appeal the decision to the Vice President for Academic Affairs by submitting a request in writing within five (5) College business days of the Dean’s decision. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will contact the student requesting the appeal to acknowledge receipt of the appeal and discuss the timeline for the Academic Appeal Hearing Process. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will activate an Academic Complaint Appeals Committee to hear the student’s complaint. 

Appendix I: Student Academic Complaint Form

Click here to view the Academic Complaint  form.

Appendix J: Student Non-Academic Complaint Procedure

Background

Student non-academic complaints are those matters involving concerns about a College employee or process outside of the classroom/lab setting that may adversely affect the status, rights, or privileges of the student. This process does not cover matters where there is an established and defined appeal process or policy such as appeals regarding final grades, refunds, Student Code of Conduct, Title IX, accessibility/disability, and financial aid. Students are expected to follow the procedures outlined below to resolve issues or concerns that are part of a non-academic complaint. It is the responsibility of College employees to fulfill their roles in accordance with these procedures.

Procedure

  1. A student with non-academic concerns is encouraged to make an appointment to discuss the situation with the appropriate College employee. Gaston College believes that professional and courteous communication is the most effective way to address issues and concerns. The simplest, quickest, and most satisfactory solution may be accomplished at this level. If a student has difficulty in determining the sequence of supervisors, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs should be contacted for assistance.
  2. If the situation is not resolved at this level, the student is encouraged to make an appointment to discuss the situation with the first level supervisor, if applicable.
  3. A student seeking further recourse is encouraged to make an appointment with the next level supervisor/administrator to hear the complaint and determine an outcome.
  4. If all of the preceding contacts have been made and the student is not satisfied with the outcome and chooses to appeal, the process is as follows:
  1. A written appeal is submitted to the Vice President for Student Affairs stating the sequence of events leading to the appeal and any personal interpretations related to the complaint. This written appeal must be submitted no later than 30 calendar days after the alleged incident that led to the complaint.
  2. If the complaint is about a College employee, the Vice President for Student Affairs notifies the person against whom the complaint has been made. If the complaint is regarding a College process, the Vice President for Student Affairs notifies the appropriate person within the organization. The Vice President for Student Affairs activates a committee to hear the student’s appeal. Membership of the committee is as follows:

(1)  The Vice President for Student Affairs, or designee, who serves as the Chair of the Non-Academic Complaint Appeals Committee.

(2)  If a complaint involves a College staff member, the Director - Human Resources, or designee.

(3)  If the complaint involves a College faculty member, the appropriate divisional vice president.

(4)  A faculty member or staff member (faculty if complaint is against faculty, staff if complaint is against staff) appointed from the Appeals Committee Pool.

(5)  A faculty member or staff member (faculty if complaint is against faculty, staff if complaint is against staff) is selected by the President of the Student Government Association.

(6)  One additional person may be selected by the Vice President for Student Affairs, if needed, to ensure a balanced representation.

(7) If attorneys are present, they may advise their clients. They may not present the complaint or defend the complaint before the committee. They may address the committee only at the discretion of the Chair.

  1. A meeting of the Non-Academic Complaint Appeals Committee is scheduled by the Vice President for Student Affairs, or designee. This meeting will be scheduled as quickly as possible, but will depend on the schedules of all involved parties.
  1. Involved parties are provided the opportunity to present their case to the Committee during the hearing, or to submit a written statement about their case for the Committee to review in absentia.
  2. The committee examines the evidence related to the case and arrives at a recommended outcome using the preponderance of the evidence (a “more likely than not” standard of proof). The recommended outcome is submitted to the appropriate member of Executive Council for final review.
  3. Once a final decision is made, all involved parties are notified and the appeal process is complete.

Appendix K: Disability Grievance Procedure

Background and the Law

(Draft Revised May 2015)

The law requires institutions, such as Gaston College, to have a set of grievance procedures that incorporate appropriate due process standards and that provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging actions prohibited by Section 504, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 provide that qualified persons with disabilities cannot be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination by any service, program or activity of a postsecondary institution. In order to meet the needs of students with disabilities and fulfill its legal obligations under Section 504 and the ADA, the Counselor for Accessibility at Gaston College assists students with disabilities in accessing reasonable accommodations through the College’s accommodations process.

Procedures for Filing a Complaint

If any student believes that he/she has been discriminated against because of a disability by any Gaston College employee, he/she has the right to seek review of such concerns. Students have the option of pursuing either an informal complaint or a formal grievance. If a student opts to pursue an informal complaint, he/she may later pursue a formal grievance if not satisfied with the resolution of the informal process. Additionally, at any point in the complaint process, students may file a complaint of discrimination with the Office of Civil Rights listed below. Although this is not required by law, the Office of Civil Rights encourages students to first follow the institution’s grievance procedures.

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-1475
202.453.6020; 1.800.421.3481
FAX: 202.453.6021; TTY: 800.877.8339
E-mail: OCR@ed.gov
Web: http://www.ed.gov/ocr/

Informal Procedures for Resolving a Complaint

Prior to initiating a formal grievance as outlined in this procedure, it is strongly recommended and expected that the student first discuss his/her concerns with the person against whom the complaint is being made. Students should discuss the complaint with the Counselor for Accessibility or the Director of Student Success and Retention; they are available to provide assistance and guidance. If the circumstances of the complaint prevent the student from having this discussion, or if the complaint is not resolved within five business days, the student should discuss the complaint with immediate and other supervisors involved.

Formal Grievance Procedures

The formal grievance is advised when the informal procedure has not brought about a satisfactory conclusion to a concern or complaint about a College policy or procedure or a state or federal law.

All formal grievances from students should be directed to the Vice President for Student Affairs at Gaston College and should be filed within 30 days of the incident. Due to the urgency of many issues, every effort will be made to come to a resolution as soon as possible. Formal complaint forms are available from the Counselor for Accessibility and online at gaston.edu. The location of the Vice President’s office and phone number are: Gaston College, Highway 321 South, Dallas, NC 28034, 704.922.6217.

All formal grievances should include the following:

  • The exact nature of the complaint and how the student feels his/her rights have been denied and the person(s) they believe are responsible;
  • The date, time and place of the incident (s);
  • The names of witnesses or persons who have knowledge of the incident;
  • Copies of any available written documentation or evidence;
  • Actions that could be taken to correct the violation.

The Vice President for Student Affairs in consultation with the Vice President for Academic Affairs (or their designees) will investigate the complaint within seven (7) business days to determine whether or not College policy has been followed. If College policy has not been followed, the vice presidents will take steps to correct policy violations and to address the consequences that may have resulted.

If the Vice Presidents determine a hearing is warranted as a part of the investigation, they shall conduct such hearing providing full due process to the grieving party. The grieving party has the right to have legal counsel, faculty, staff or another student present to act as his/her representative or advocate. The student must provide the name of the representative or advocate three (3) days prior to the hearing. The person believed to be responsible for the complaint will be provided a copy of the formal complaint.

The Vice Presidents shall reach a decision within five (five) business days of the review. The student and other appropriate parties will be sent a written copy of the findings and the decision upon completion of the investigation. The decision shall include a summary of the complaint, the decision, a statement of the student’s right to appeal, and instructions regarding the appeal process.

Appeal

A student who believes that a formal grievance has not been resolved to his or her satisfaction after a written finding is completed may appeal the outcome to the President of the College within 10 business days of receiving the written finding from the Vice Presidents. All appeals shall be made in writing and signed by the student. The President shall make a determination on the appeal and promptly inform the student in writing of that determination. The decision of the President is final.

Retaliation

A student who makes use of the grievance procedures shall not be retaliated against.

Appendix L: Tobacco-Free Campus Policy

A. Gaston College is committed to providing a healthy, safe, comfortable, and productive environment for its students, employees, and visitors.

B. Smoking and the use of any tobacco products is prohibited on College property and at College events. College property includes any College buildings, facilities, vehicles, and outside grounds owned and/or leased by the College. College events include any lectures, conferences, meetings, and social/cultural events held by the College.

C. Smoking is defined as the use or possession of a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, or any other lighted tobacco product, or the use of an electronic inhaler that employs a mechanical heating element, battery, electronic circuit, or similar device to heat a liquid nicotine solution or other product (e.g., vapor cartridge), such as an electronic cigarette, cigar, or pipe.

D. Other tobacco products include those that may be chewed, consumed, or used in any other form including, but not limited to, chewing tobacco, loose leaf, pellets, plugs, twist, pastes, dipping, pouches, dissolvable, and nasal/dry snuff.

E. The success of this tobacco-free policy depends on the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of tobacco users and non-tobacco users. All students, employees, and visitors are responsible for adhering to this policy.

F. For visitors, enforcement of this policy is the responsibility of the person(s) coordinating the visit.

Effective: 7/1/16

Supersedes: 3/1/14

Appendix M: Gaston College Crime Statistics

GASTON COLLEGE CRIME STATISTICS CALENDAR YEARS
2016-2018

Crime
/Year
Dallas
Campus
Adjacent
Public
Property
Lincoln
Campus
Adjacent
Public
Property
Kimbrell
Campus
Adjacent
Public
Property
Non-Campus
Property
TOTAL
Murder / Non-Negligent Manslaughter
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sex Offenses, Forcible
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sex Offenses, Non-Forcible
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Robbery
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Aggravated Assault
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Burglary
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Vehicle Theft
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Arson
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Negligent Manslaughter
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking (including Cyberstalking)
Crime
/Year
Dallas Campus Adjacent
Public
Property
Lincoln Campus Adjacent
Public
Property
Kimbrell Campus Adjacent
Public
Property
Non-Campus Property TOTAL
Dating Violence
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Domestic Violence
2018 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Stalking
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other Referrals
Crime
/Year
Dallas
Campus
Adjacent
Public
Property
Lincoln
Campus
Adjacent
Public
Property
Kimbrell
Campus
Adjacent
Public
Property
Non-Campus
Property
TOTAL
Liquor Law Violations
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Drug Law Violations
2018 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 3
2017 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2016 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 5
Weapon Law Violations            
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Hate Crimes
Crime
/Year
Dallas
Campus
Adjacent
Public
Property
Lincoln
Campus
Adjacent
Public
Property
Kimbrell
Campus
Adjacent
Public
Property
Non-Campus
Property
TOTAL
Simple Assault
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Larceny-Theft
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Intimidation
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Vandalism/Damage of Property
2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Appendix N: Unlawful Discrimination and Harassment Policy

A.  It is the policy of Gaston College to provide a working and learning environment that is free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. In accordance with federal and state laws, administrative regulations, and College policy, the College prohibits and does not practice or condone discrimination and harassment in its activities, services and programs based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, age, or veterans’ status.

B.  For matters related to Title IX and Sexual Harassment, see policy 3-125 Title IX and Sexual Harassment, and for matters related to requesting accommodations, see Policy 3-3 Americans with Disabilities (ADA) and Reasonable job Accommodation(s).

PROCEDURE

      A.  REPORTING

    1.  Reports of unlawful discrimination and harassment should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources (Employees), the Student Affairs Division (Students), or a  
        College official such as a supervisor or dean.

    2.  In order to enable the College to respond effectively and to proactively stop instances of unlawful discrimination and harassment, employees and students receiving
       information regarding a potential violation of this policy, should report this information to the Student Affairs Division, Office of Human Resources, or a College official.

    3.  To make a report directly to the Office of Human Resources or Student Affairs Division:

Employee Reporting
Michele Avendano
Director - Human Resources
Beam Administration Building
Gaston College
Office: 704.922.2266
avendano.michele@gaston.edu

Student Reporting
Dr. Audrey Sherrill
Vice President for Student Affairs
Myers Center
Gaston College
Office: 704.922.6217
sherrill.audrey@gaston.edu

B.  RESOLUTION

        1.  Employee matters will be handled in accordance with Policy 3-137 Workplace Conflict and Complaint Resolution.

        2.  Student matters will be handled in accordance with Student Non-Academic Complaint Procedure published in the appendices of the Student Handbook, except in
           matters related to a disability grievance. Those grievances will follow the Disability Grievance Procedure in the Student Handbook.

        3.  For reports involving students and employees, the respective College divisions and/or offices will partner to resolve the matter.

 

Effective: 11/16/20

Supersedes: First Issue