EFFECTIVE: May 9, 2012
REVISED: July 11, 2013
REVISED: October 1, 2014
REVISED: January 20, 2015
REVISED: September 23, 2016
REPEALED: August 12, 2020
REFERENCES: Board Policy (BP) 3-120 Affirmative Action/Anti-Discrimination; BP 4-120 Prohibition of Discrimination or Harassment; System President’s Procedure (SP) 3-120a and SP 4-120a Sexual Misconduct; SP 3-50b and SP 4-31a Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process
/ Joe Garcia /
Joseph A. Garcia, Chancellor
This procedure applies to the Community Colleges within the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and the System Office.
Allegations that an individual has engaged in any of these prohibited behaviors will be investigated under System President’s Procedure (SP) 3-50b, Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process (if the accused is a CCCS employee, authorized volunteer, guest, or visitor), or SP 4-31a, Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation process (if the accused is a student).
The System and College communities have the right to be free from sexual violence. All members of the System and College communities are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. CCCS believes in a zero tolerance policy for sex/gender-based misconduct. When an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, and a respondent is found to have violated this procedure, serious sanctions will be implemented to reasonably ensure that such actions are never repeated. This procedure has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated.
This procedure is intended to define the System and College’s expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated.
When both the complainant and respondent are CCCS employees, authorized volunteers, guests and/or visitors, the System and Colleges will comply with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When a complainant and/or respondent is a student, the System and Colleges will comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). For all individuals who this procedure applies to, the System and Colleges will adhere to their obligations under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013.
ADA, Title VI and Title VII/Equal Opportunity Coordinator(s) (EO Coordinator) is the employee designated by the System or College President to oversee all civil rights complaints, including sexual misconduct, when employees are both the complainant and the respondent. The President may also designate a “Deputy” EO Coordinator.
The EO Coordinator’s responsibilities include, but need not be limited to:
Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
Complainant is a person who has been subjected to alleged sexual misconduct and/or related retaliation. For purposed of this procedure, a complainant can be a CCCS employee, student, authorized volunteer, guest, or visitor.
Consent must be clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity. Also, in order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age. Further, consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.
Disciplinary Authority is the individual with authority, or delegated authority, to impose discipline upon a respondent.
Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcomes resistance or produces consent.
Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent. Incapacitation could result from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the ingestion of rape drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including, but not limited to Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another person is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at http://www.911rape.org/.
Sexual activity with someone whom one should know to be—or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be—mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation of this procedure.
Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this procedure.
Jurisdiction applies to behaviors that take place on the campus, at System or College sponsored events, and may also apply off-campus and to actions online when the Title IX/EO Coordinator determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial System or College interest. A substantial System or College interest is defined to include:
Any online postings or other electronic communication by students, including but not limited to cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, and/or cyber-harassment, occurring completely outside of the System or College’s control (e.g., not on System or College networks, websites or between System or College email accounts) will only be subject to this procedure when those online behaviors can be shown to cause a substantial on-campus disruption. Otherwise, such communications are considered speech protected by the First Amendment.
Off-campus discriminatory or harassing speech by employees may be regulated by the System or College only when such speech is made in an employee’s official or work-related capacity.
Offensive conduct that does not rise to the level of discrimination or harassment may not result in the imposition of discipline under the System President’s Procedures, but will be addressed through civil confrontation, remedial actions, education and/or effective conflict resolution mechanisms.
Respondent is a person whose alleged conduct is the subject of a complaint. For purposes of this procedure, a respondent can be a CCCS employee, authorized volunteer, guest, visitor, or student.
Title IX Coordinator is the employee designated by the System and the College President to oversee all civil rights complaints, including sexual misconduct, when students are complainants and/or respondents. The Title IX Coordinator’s responsibilities include, but need not be limited to:
Sexual Misconduct Offenses include, but are not limited to:
Sexual Harassment may be the result of a hostile environment, quid pro quo, and/or retaliation.
A hostile environment exists when a person is subjected to sex- or gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to alter the conditions of a person’s employment and/or unreasonably interfere with a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the System or College’s educational program and/or activities, from both a subjective and objective viewpoint.
The determination of whether conduct constitutes prohibited harassment can be based on the following circumstances:
Quid pro quo sexual harassment exists when a person engages in unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, and submission to or rejection of such conduct is used in determining educational and/or employment decisions.
Retaliatory sexual harassment is any adverse employment or educational action taken against a person because of the person’s perceived participation in a complaint or investigation of sexual misconduct.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is:
Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, genitals, mouth or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is:
Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.
Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
Other forms of sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to, the following, when the act is based on a person’s actual or perceived sex or gender:
The System President delegates to each College President the responsibility to ensure procedures for the effective investigation and remediation of prohibited conduct is implemented at their College. The System President will be responsible to ensure such procedures are implemented at the System office.
While a particular interaction must be offensive to both a reasonable person and to the complainant to be defined as harassment, CCCS employees and other persons of authority should be sensitive to questions about mutuality of consent that may be raised and to the conflict of interests that are inherent in personal relationships that result from professional and educational interactions. Harassment is particularly damaging when it exploits the educational dependence and trust between students and faculty/staff. When the authority and power inherent in faculty/staff relationships with students, whether overtly, implicitly, or through misinterpretation, is abused in any way, there is potentially great damage to the individual student, to the accused individual, and to the climate of the institution.
It is the policy of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education that none of its employees or its Board members shall engage in any activity or relationship that places them in a conflict of interest between their official activities and any other interest or obligation. Conflict of interest requires all employees to disqualify themselves from participating in a decision when a personal interest is present; therefore, SP 3-70a, Conflict of Interest-Relationships, requires all employees involved in an amorous relationship to excuse themselves from any authority or evaluative role with respect to the other person. Please refer to SP 3-70a for more information and disclosure requirements. https://www.cccs.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SP3-70a.pdf
The College engages in comprehensive educational programming to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Educational programming consists of primary prevention and awareness programs for all incoming students and new employees and ongoing awareness and prevention campaigns for students and faculty that:
If any person who reports an incident of sexual misconduct or any person who testifies, assists or participates in a proceeding, investigation or hearing relating to such allegation of sexual misconduct, feels they are being subjected to retaliatory acts may report such incidences to the EO or Title IX Coordinator.
It is a violation of this procedure to engage in retaliatory acts against any person who reports an incident of sexual misconduct, or any person who testifies, assists or participates in a proceeding, investigation or hearing relating to such allegation of sexual misconduct. Such act will be subject to discipline, up to and including expulsion for students, termination for CCCS employees, and dismissal for authorized volunteers, guests or visitors.
This procedure defines and prohibits sexual misconduct. If statutory provisions, regulatory guidance, or court interpretations change or conflict with this procedure, the procedure can be deemed amended as of the time of the decision, ruling or legislative enactment to assure continued compliance.
CCCS reserves the right to change any provision or requirement of this procedure at any time and the change shall become effective immediately.