Office of Student AffairsTitle IX
In accordance with 1972 re-authorization of the Higher Education Act, Title IX stipulates that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Title IX requires all schools receiving federal financial assistance to take reasonable steps to create a safe, nondiscriminatory learning environment. Lake Erie College is committed to providing a campus climate that promotes respect and concern for every individual who studies, works and/or lives on campus. Any form of harassment, gender discrimination, assault, sexual violence (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, dating violence and stalking).
Upon receipt of a report of sexual violence or gender discrimination, Lake Erie College will conduct an investigation and, where appropriate, adjudicate alleged student violations through the Title IX Investigation Process, including taking immediate action to end the discrimination, remedy its effects, and prevent its future recurrence. The Office of Student Life and the Office of Human Resources will jointly investigate reports involving both students and employees. An action taken against students or employees, as a result of the investigation, is separate from any criminal or civil proceeding.
Lake Erie College prohibits individuals from retaliating against a person who reports an act of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, dating violence, or stalking. The College further prohibits individuals from retaliating against anyone providing assistance with such a complaint or participating in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a complaint. Retaliation includes threats, intimidation, reprisals, and/or adverse actions related to employment or education.
FILING A REPORT
Any member of the College community (student, faculty, staff, volunteer or contractor), guest or visitor who believes that they have been the recipient of sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, or some other form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX and wishes to make a complaint should contact the Title IX Coordinator in person, by email, or by phone.
DUTY TO REPORT
Most College employees receiving reports of a potential violation of this policy are responsible employees with a mandatory duty to report and are therefore expected to promptly contact the Title IX Coordinator, within one (1) business day of becoming aware of a report or incident. Only employees acting in their professional role and with a legal obligation to maintain confidentiality, such as counselors, doctors, nurses acting at the direction of a doctor, and clergy acting in those roles, are expected to maintain confidentiality consistent with their professional and legal obligations; those individuals are exempt from the reporting requirement.
All reports and complaints will be treated with the maximum possible privacy. Subject to the College’s obligation to take action regarding violations, a reasonable effort will be made to maintain the privacy of those initiating a complaint or report of a possible violation. In all cases, Lake Erie College directs and expects all personnel involved in resolution to be discreet during proceedings. Information about a report is limited to those parties who have a legitimate need to know. Parties involved are advised to maintain discretion and not engage in public discussion of the case. The President’s Office will be kept apprised of the context and progress of all investigations unless a conflict exists. The Security Office has an obligation to report to the Painesville Police Department any reported felony crimes, sexual assaults, or any serious physical injury to people. The College will give consideration to the reporting party with respect to how a possible violation is pursued, but the College reserves the right, when necessary to protect the community and the College, to investigate and pursue a resolution when the reporting party chooses not to initiate or participate in a formal complaint.
No person shall make an allegation that one knows to be untrue or knowingly provide false information during the course of an investigation. Making a false complaint or giving false information is a violation of the Lake Erie College Code of Conduct and may be a basis for conduct sanctioning, including expulsion or termination. Evidence of false complaints or false information shall be referred by the Title IX Coordinator to the appropriate office for investigation.
Dr. John Spiesman
Painesville Police Department
911 or 440-350-5434
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
Sexual Misconduct Policies
Lake Erie College is committed to providing a campus climate that promotes respect and concern for every individual who studies, works and/or lives on campus. Any form of harassment, gender discrimination, assault, sexual violence (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, dating violence and stalking) is prohibited and regarded as a serious matter. Sexual misconduct often exploits a relationship between individuals of unequal power and authority (for example, the relationship between an employee and a supervisor or between a student and a teacher), but may also occur between social and professional peers. Sexual misconduct may involve the behavior of a person of either gender against a person of the opposite or same gender. Sanctions for sexual misconduct range from warnings and mandatory education about sexual misconduct issues to dismissal or termination, depending on the seriousness and frequency of the behavior.
Sexual Misconduct Offenses include, but are not limited to:
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome, sex or gender‐based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent and/or pervasive. When these behaviors have the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational programs and/or activities, or fulfill their work responsibilities, it is in violation of this policy. Sexual harassment can be based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.
Specific examples of sexual and sex-based harassment may include: requests for sexual favors; unwanted physical contact (touching, pinching or brushing the body); verbal harassment (sexual innuendos, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, threats); non-verbal conduct, such as a display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, leering, whistling, or obscene gestures; acts of physical aggression, intimidation, hostility, threats or unequal treatment based on sex (even if not sexual in a nature).
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact
Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon a person that is without consent and/or by force. Examples include, but are not limited to: Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse
Any sexual penetration however slight, with any object, by a person upon a person that is without consent and/or by force. Examples include, but are not limited to: Vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
Occurs when an individual 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 other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: Invasion of sexual privacy; prostituting another individual; non‐consensual video or audio‐taping of sexual activity; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as allowing others to hide in proximity to witness sexual activity); engaging in voyeurism; knowingly exposing another unaware individual an STD or HIV; exposing one’s genitals in non‐consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals.
Intimate Partner Violence
Intimate Partner Violence, also known as Dating Violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of romantic or intimate nature and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the length of the relationship; the type of relationship; and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. The abuse can take a variety of forms such as isolation, displaying a self-destructive behavior, physical, sexual, psychological or emotional and economic abuse.
Repetitive, menacing pursuit, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the College community. Stalking may take many forms, including, but not limited to, persistent calling, texting, direct messaging, posting on a social networking site, monitoring behavior, taking pictures or physical stalking.
Quid Pro Quo
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a person having power or authority over another when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, living environment or participation in a College activity.
Consent is 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.
Consent to any one form of sexual activity does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
Previous relationships or prior consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts. o NOTE: There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non‐consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non‐consensual, but nonconsensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.
In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age.
Sexual activity with someone who 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 policy.
Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force can also include threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent.
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 that sex is not wanted, want it to stop, or do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction).
This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results alcohol or drug use, mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the ingesting of “rape drugs”. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances is a violation of this policy. • Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this policy.
The sexual orientation and/or gender identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity is not relevant to allegations under this policy.
Following a report of sexual misconduct, Lake Erie College may provide interim measures, such as changes to academic, living, transportation or working circumstances. Interim measures might include, but not limited to: informing the reporting party(ies) of how to request changes to the above circumstances, providing awareness of financial aid services on leave of absences and loan repayment, or establishing a non‐contact restriction between the reporting and responding parties. These are meant as examples and may not be applicable to every case of a sexual misconduct complaint. Interim measures may or may not remain in effect after the resolution of a complaint.
When a sexual misconduct report is made, the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate administrator will determine the most prudent means of resolution. Prior to the formal investigation of a complaint, a review by the Title IX Coordinator and/or other appropriate administrators (i.e. V.P. Student Affairs, Director of Student Life, Director of Security, Director of Human Resources etc.) will take place promptly to determine:
If the potential health and safety of members of the College community exists which warrants immediate Institutional action (i.e. campus warnings, notification of law enforcement, restrictions of contact with persons or campus property, etc.)
If the report, as presented, would constitute a violation of College Policy
The desire of the complainant for the College to fully investigate (when no ongoing threat is perceived to exist)
Any extenuating circumstances affecting the responding party which could impact an investigation
The most prudent means of resolution (i.e. student conduct hearing, administrative review, application of interim measures, etc.) will be identified
When it is determined that the claims in an allegation rise to the level of potential policy violation(s) and evidence (including the accounts of reporting party and witnesses) is available, an investigation, administrative review or Student Conduct hearing will occur.
When an administrative review or a Student Conduct hearing is used, rationale will be articulated to all involved parties.
If the respondent is a student, the matter will be referred to the Director of Student Life/or designee who will coordinate response.
Reports against or involving employees will be coordinated by the Director of Human Resources or Title IX Coordinator.
Lake Erie College does not process allegations of sexual misconduct through mediation.
All forms of resolution will use a standard of preponderance (more likely than not) to determine whether or not policy has indeed been violated. All forms of resolution will be conducted and any sanctions will be imposed by properly trained individuals without any demonstrable conflict of interest or bias against parties involved.
During any formal investigation or Conduct proceeding, both the reporting and responding party will have equal opportunities to have others present, including an advisor of their choice (said persons may not represent the party or actively participate in proceeding).
Throughout any proceedings, both the reporting and responding party shall receive timely notice of meetings at which one or the other or both may be present and shall receive equal access to information that will be used in informal and formal meetings and hearings.
Redacted copies of statements and reports will be available for review by reporting and responding parties
Notice will be given to all parties when information is given to the Student Conduct Panel
Hearings will take place in person, in which any involved party’s advisor is permitted to ask another party all relevant questions and follow-up questions. This will take at a live hearing, directly, orally and in real time.
A student involved cannot serve as own advisor and cannot ask any questions to another party involved. The College may provide a student an advisor if one is not present at the hearing.
After any formal proceeding concludes, the reporting and responding parties shall receive written (may be electronic) notification of the proceeding’s results (“Notice of Outcome”) and any available appeals process. At the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, notification may be presented at separate, in person meetings with the complainant and respondent scheduled as closely together as possible.
Lake Erie College strives to maintain an atmosphere that is conducive to learning and to the development of mature and responsible students, as well as to protect the rights and sensibilities of each community member. To that end, the conduct process has been reviewed by students and changes have been made to create a consistent, fair and positive environment. This process will be reviewed yearly to ensure a positive environment in which students can live, learn and be engaged in the College experience.
Consists of one student (must be at least sophomore standing), one faculty member, one staff member. These individuals will volunteer and must adhere to strict guidelines in order to remain Judicial Board members. Alternates will be in place in case one of these individuals is not available or if there is a conflict of interest.Director of Student Life
Receives all Incident Reports involving students and will adjudicate Level 1, 2 and 3 policy violations for all students. The Director of Student Life will process a Judicial Board referral for anything Level 2 or Level 3, if deemed necessary. This person also schedules and chairs Judicial Board hearings as appropriate.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Reviews all actions, sanctions and handles all written appeals of the Judicial Board.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Will be consulted if incident involves the Academic performance or status of involved student(s).
Will only listen to an appeal after all other options have been exhausted.
*Substitution for the above roles may be necessary depending on availability and will be determined on a case by case basis.
Each disciplinary incident will be recorded and kept in a permanent disciplinary file in the Student Life Office. Access to the file will be restricted and only granted to the student (with proper identification); appropriate College Officials in accordance with FERPA; Law Enforcement and related bodies conducting reference or background checking. Please note Transfer Evaluation Forms typically require this information and will be given to another institution for the purpose with the proper signature of the student.
Judicial Board Process
A Judicial Board is formed when a student is accused of a level 3 offense or if the Director of Student Life or designee deems that a Judicial Board is necessary. A Judicial Board will be formed as the discretion of the Student Life Office based upon the accusations toward a member of the student body.
One student (when applicable), one faculty member and/or one staff member or a combination of faculty and staff; and the Director of Student Life (or a designee) who will serve as the secretary and judicial board chaor. The director of Student life is a non-voting member and will handle all communicate from the judicial board to the students involved. Hearings may be visually and audio recorded.
The Director of Student Life/ or designee schedules a hearing involving the accused student(s), witness(es) and the Judicial Board within five working days after receiving the Incident Report.
The accused student, witnesses and members of the Judicial Board receive communication (may be electronic) that will list the date, time and location of the judicial hearing 48 hours prior to the hearing.
On the day of the Judicial Board hearing, accused student and witnesses will receive an introduction where they will be refreshed on the Judicial Board process and sign the Honesty Statement.
All students involved reserve the right to meet with the Judicial Board. Meetings may take place individually or in a group.
The Chair of the Judicial Board reads the charges to the accused student.
Student enters a plea for each charge (“in violation” or “not in violation”).
Board members ask the student involved questions.
The accused student answers questions and makes a closing statement, then leaves the room.
Board members deliberate directly after the hearing in order to render a decision. The judicial decision will be determined by majority vote (2 votes minimum).
The Board renders a written decision to the Director of Student Life/ or designee. The decision must contain rationale.
The Director of Student Life/ or designee follows-up with a formal sanction letter within two business days.
The accused student has the opportunity to appeal the Judicial Board decision by submitting a written appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs within 10 business days of receipt of the sanctions letter. Students are only permitted to appeal based on improper judicial procedures or if new evidence has been discovered that is relevant to the case.
The Judicial Board process can be revised and amended if a student is accusing a fellow student of a violation of the Code of Conduct. At that point both the accuser and the accused will have the opportunity to speak with the Judicial Board to provide statements. Witnesses will also be called, when applicable.
A student may appeal a judicial sanction or judicial board decision based on if new information is founded or if information was not originally presented during the judicial hearing. The written appeal can be directed to the Vice President for Student Affairs within 10 business days of the original decision; or if new information regarding the case has been presented the student has 10 business days to bring that information to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Vice President for Student Affairs may assemble a judicial committee to review the appeal and the original case and make a determination.
If a student does not wish to go to a Judicial Board hearing, s/he may complete a Hearing Waiver with the Director of Student Life/ or designee. Through this process, the student would take full responsibility for all charges that were levied and would receive the standard sanctions.
The following is a comprehensive, but not all-inclusive, list of Student Code of Conduct policy violations that will be handled by the Director of Student Life/ or designee. NOTE - Lake Erie College students will be adjudicated for any violations committed by their guests.
1-2 alcohol offenses
Minor vandalism (under $50)
Discourtesy to faculty/staff
Receipt and sale of stolen goods
Traffic and vehicle regulations
Fire safety - candles, incense, items hanging from sprinkler
Unauthorized use of an alarmed door
Level 1 appeal process – accused student has the opportunity to appeal by submitting a written appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs no later than 24 hours after receiving the judicial sanction letter. Students are only permitted to appeal based on improper judicial process or if new evidence has been discovered that is relevant to the case.
The director may forward the following policy violations to the Judicial Board.
3 alcohol offenses
Possession or personal use of small amount of marijuana, paraphernalia - 1st offense-small amount = pipe, blunt, joint, anything less than a dime bag
Major vandalism (over $50)
Fire safety - tampering with fire equipment
Sexual harassment, obscene conduct
Any combination of 2+ Level 1 violations
Level 2 appeal process – accused student has the opportunity to appeal by submitting a written appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs no later than 24 hours after receiving the judicial sanction letter with the exception of if the violation was reviewed by a judicial board, in which a student would have 10 business days to submit a written appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Students are only permitted to appeal based on improper judicial process or if new evidence has been discovered that is relevant to the case.
The director may forward the following policy violations to the Judicial Board.
4+ alcohol offenses
Possession or personal use of a small amount of marijuana, paraphernalia - 2nd offense
Possession or personal use of a large amount of marijuana - 1st offense
Intent/attempt to sell marijuana.
Possession, personal use or sale of any illegal drugs other than marijuana.
Major vandalism - 2nd offense
Setting a fire
Any level 1 sanctions repeated 3 times
Any level 2 sanctions repeated 2 times.
*Please refer to policies and procedures regarding sexual assault stated previously
Level 3 appeal process – accused student has the opportunity to appeal by submitting a written appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs no later than 24 hours after receiving the judicial sanction letter with the exception of if the violation was reviewed by a judicial board, in which a student would have 10 business days to submit a written appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Students are only permitted to appeal based on improper judicial process or if new evidence has been discovered that is relevant to the case.
General sanctions used in response to Conduct violations. Any sanction can be used in combination with one another and may limit a student’s participation in extracurricular activities; housing status or status as a student at Lake Erie College. All available information will be considered at the time of rendering a decision and the best interest of the student(s) and College Community will be at the center of the decision.
In order to promote consistency in the judicial process at Lake Erie College, this section specifies minimum sanctions for the individual code. A student may receive more than the minimum sanction depending on the nature of the incident and severity of the violation at any time. The Presidential Interim Suspension may be used as a minimum sanction for any of these violations if deemed necessary by the President of the College or his designee. For more information about an individual offense, please review the “Prohibitive Behavior” section.
Student is required to schedule, attend, and pay for an alcohol or drug assessment. This may be available through the on campus Student Success Center or through Lake-Geauga Center (440.255.0678) located in Mentor. The Director of Residence Life, or designee will monitor completion of this task.
Denial of Access
Student would not be permitted to enter specific college buildings or to attend college events/activities.
First level sanction generally used for minor policy violations.
Limits a student’s ability to participate in campus events (on or off campus). Advisors and coaches will be informed if one of their students receives this sanction.
A requirement for a student to complete in order to learn from his/her behaviors. Appropriate College Employee will monitor completion of these tasks in conjunction with Director of Residence life or Dean of Students.
This is used in response to a serious violation of the Code of Conduct where the welfare of the Campus Community has been compromised and/or is in danger. A recommendation for expulsion will be made by the senior hearing officer) to the appropriate Vice President and the President of the College.
Letter to Parents/Guardians
Alcohol, drug or assault situations.
Presidential Interim Suspension
Reserved for severe violations that directly impact the welfare of the campus community. This is used at the discretion of the College President or his designee.
Removal from College Housing
Generally used for multiple policy violations and severe policy violations. Further sanctions would lead to Suspension or Expulsion from the college.
Student is responsible for paying any fines associated with policy violations (alcohol, drugs, etc) as well as paying to repair any damages caused by vandalism. These are posted directly to student accounts.
Restriction of Privileges
Student could lose the ability to host overnight guests, participate in extracurricular activities; attendance at College events/activities etc.
Generally used for a combination of a second and third-time offense of policy violations. A recommendation for suspension will be made by the Dean of Students (or senior hearing officer) to the appropriate Vice President and the President of the College.