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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Sexual Assault and/or Harassment
Q: Which College policy prohibits sexual assault?
A: Policy 03:22:00 Non-Discrimination Policy for Students and Policy 05:16:00 Non-Discrimination Policy for Employees explains the procedure relative to the orderly resolution of complaints of sexual or racial harassment at Platt College. Fair and prompt consideration shall be given to all complaints of harassment in accordance with the procedures set forth below. These procedures may be utilized by any employee, applicant for employment or student who believes he or she has been subjected to sexual or racial harassment
Q: What is sexual violence?
A: Sexual violence includes sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion. All such acts are forms of sexual harassment and covered under Title IX.
Q: How do I know if I’ve been sexually assaulted?
Generally, sexual assault is any unwanted, non-consensual sexual contact against any individual by another. Sexual assault can occur either forcibly (against a person's will) or when a person cannot give consent (under the age of consent, intoxicated, developmentally disabled, mentally/physically unable to consent, etc.). Sexual assault is a general term which covers a range of crimes, including rape. Sexual assault is defined by the State of Colorado.
Q: How do I know if I’ve been sexually harassed?
Platt College defines Sexual Harassment as a form of sex discrimination according to Policy 03:22:00 Non-Discrimination Policy for Students and Policy 05:16:00 Non-Discrimination Policy for Employees. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct is so frequent or severe that it explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or educational performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Q: What is a sexually hostile and intimidating work environment?
Behaviors that may contribute to a hostile environment include, but are not limited to:
- verbal, non-verbal, and physical sexual behaviors
- coerced sex
- sexual jokes and innuendoes
- remarks about a person's body
- turning discussions inappropriately to sexual topics
- whistling or cat calls
- looking a person up and down or staring in a sexually suggestive manner
- invading someone's personal space or blocking her/his path
- sexually explicit visuals such as pin-ups
- suggestions of sexual intimacy
- repeated requests for dates
- unwanted letters, electronic mail or other computer communications
- unwanted gifts
- touching, hugging, massaging, and other gestures or sounds that a reasonable person of the same sex as the recipient would find offensive
It is important to be aware that in many instances, the intentions of the accused may be regarded as irrelevant in determining whether her/his behaviors constitute sexual harassment; it is the effect of the behavior on the recipient that may define a hostile environment.
Q: What should I do if I think I’ve been sexually harassed or victimized?
Any current student, applicant for employment or current employee who believes he or she has been subjected to harassment at Platt College or who believes that he/she has observed harassment taking place shall present the complaint to the the Title IX Coordinator, Laura Kellogg who is responsible for compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI, or Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Q: Can I be sexually assaulted by my boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or acquaintance?
A: Yes. The definition is the same regardless of who the perpetrator is – if there was no consent, there is sexual assault.
Q: Are women the only victims of sexual harassment or sexual violence?
No, both females and males can be victims of sexual harassment and/or sexual violence.
Q: Is it possible to be sexually harassed/assaulted by someone of the same gender?
Yes. If you have been subjected to unwanted sexual contact or sexual harassment, your gender and the gender of the alleged perpetrator are irrelevant.
Q: If I think I’ve been victimized and I don’t feel safe, what can I do?
Find a safe place away from the assailant and call 911.
Q: What is the best way to prevent sexual harassment?
Know your rights. Members of our College community have the right to work and learn in an environment that is free from verbal or physical sexual conduct which might either interfere with an individual's performance, or create a work or educational climate that is hostile, intimidating, or offensive, whether that conduct originates with an instructor, a supervisor, or a peer.
Q: How can violence that happens during my relationship be sexual assault or sexual harassment?
A: Relationship violence may be sexual assault or sexual harassment under College policy when harm or abuse, or threats of harm or abuse, arising within or from the personal, intimate relationship (or previous relationship) meets the definition of sexual harassment: the conduct is unwelcome, sexual in nature, and so severe, persistent, or pervasive that a reasonable person would find that it altered their educational or work experience
Q: When does sexual assault violate the Sexual Harassment Policy?
A: Sexual assault is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment, according to Policy 03:22:00 Non-Discrimination Policy for Students and Policy 05:16:00 Non-Discrimination Policy for Employees may be defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one of the following criteria is met:
- submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the individual's employment or of the individual's status in a program, course or activity;
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions, a criterion for evaluation, or a basis for academic or other decisions affecting such individual; or
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or educational experience or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment.
Sexual harassment can take many forms, but most sexual harassment falls into three categories: verbal, visual, and physical.
Q: Is my report or complaint confidential?
A: A complainant may make a request for confidentiality/privacy at any point. This type of request means that the complainant does not want their identity known to the respondent and witnesses, or that the complainant wishes to withdraw a report. If at any point the complainant requests privacy, the College will make all reasonable attempts to comply with this request. In situations where a complainant requests privacy, the College’s ability to investigate and respond to the allegations may be limited. The College is required by Title IX to weigh the complainant’s request for confidentiality with the College’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment.
Q: What if I don’t want an investigation or disciplinary process to take place? Do I have a say as to whether the processes happen?
A: It is the obligation of the Title IX Coordinator to ensure that all reports of gender-based misconduct are investigated as required by Title IX. Therefore, the Coordinator will ask that an investigation occur to the extent of the information available.
Q: Can I just talk with someone about the policy and procedures without making a report?
A: Yes. Students may speak with administrators in hypotheticals so that they can learn about their options without explicitly making a complaint. Additionally, a student may contact the Academic Support and Career Services Coordinator to learn about available professional help (i.e., counselors, clergy, medical-care providers, and rape-crisis counselors) to learn more about the policy and procedures before making a formal report. However, as a general matter, any College employee informed of an allegation of gender-based misconduct against a student is expected to file a report with the Title IX Coordinator.
Q: Who can I talk to about this process while it is taking place?
A: Students are encouraged to seek appropriate support off-campus. Confidential on-campus referrals include counseling services, medical care providers, the Rape Crisis Support Center, and clergy members.
Q: What is a Title IX Coordinator?
A: The Federal Regulations accompanying Title IX state:
Each recipient of federal funds shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under this part, including any investigation of any complaint communicated to such recipient alleging its noncompliance. At Platt College, Michael Vigil, Financial Aid Officer serves as the Title IX Coordinator.
Michael Vigil, Financial Aid Officer
The President, Dr. Julie Basler, serves as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
Dr. Julie Basler, President
Please Note: Title IX Coordinators and Deputy Coordinators are not a confidential source of support. While they will address your complaint with sensitivity and will keep your information as private as possible, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
Q: How are Platt College students and employees notified of Title IX?
Students and employees are notified annually via email on October 1 or the next business day thereafter. Additionally, information regarding Title IX is public on the College's website.
Return to Civil Rights: Title IX