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Although Title IX is commonly associated with sex-based discrimination in athletics, the law is much broader.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that provides: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in all college programs and activities, including, but not limited to, admissions, recruiting, financial aid, academic programs, student services, counseling and guidance, discipline, class assignment, grading, recreation, athletics, housing, and employment.
Sexual harassment and sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. Title IX also prohibits retaliation against people for making or participating in complaints of sex discrimination. For more information about Title IX, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website.
It is the policy of Bluefield College to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) based on sex in the College's educational programs and activities. Title IX also prohibits retaliation for asserting or otherwise participating in claims of sex discrimination. Bluefield College has designated a Title IX Coordinator and Deputies to coordinate Bluefield's compliance with and response to inquiries concerning Title IX. A person may also file a complaint with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights regarding an alleged violation of Title IX by visiting the U.S. Department of Education's website or calling 1.800.421.3481.
Bluefield College strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual for reporting, providing information, exercising one’s rights or responsibilities, or otherwise being involved in the process of responding to, investigating, or addressing allegations of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. Therefore, any retaliation, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any such individual, undertaken or attempted either directly or by someone acting on behalf of another, will be addressed in the most serious way by Bluefield College, and individuals who engage in such actions are subject to discipline up to and including suspension or exclusion from the College, consistent with the disciplinary procedure. Anyone who is aware of possible retaliation or has other concerns regarding the response to a complaint of sexual misconduct should report such concerns to the Title IX Coordinator or to any Deputy Coordinator, who shall take appropriate actions to address such conduct in a prompt and equitable manner.
Membership in a college community carries with it the responsibility for mutual trust and respect and adherence to the standards of conduct established by the community. Standards for conduct at the College are set forth in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, Community Living Standards, and other policy documents. Accordingly, this statement sets forth the College's policy on student sexual misconduct as applicable to all Bluefield College students. For purposes of this policy, sexual misconduct includes non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, and stalking, each as more fully defined in this document under the Definitions Section.
Bluefield College prohibits sexual misconduct by students. As a recipient of federal funds, the College is required to comply with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities. Sexual misconduct, as defined in this policy, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. The College is obligated under Title IX to investigate reports of sexual misconduct, to take action to eliminate sexual harassment and sexual assault, prevent its reoccurrence and its adverse effects.
Complaints, as well as policy information, regarding equity in institutional academic and athletic affairs, and obligations under Title IX when dealing with pregnant and parenting students are addressed by the Human Resources office.
This policy addresses complaints of sexual misconduct where the accused is a student of Bluefield College. See Student Handbook and Community Living Standards for definition of a BC student.
This policy sets forth resources available to students, describes prohibited conduct, and establishes procedures for responding to reports and adjudicating complaints of sexual misconduct.
Complaints relating to sexual misconduct by a member of the College faculty or staff may be reported to the Office of Campus Safety and/or Human Resources. Please see College Guidelines on Sexual Harassment for details regarding the College’s policy directed at sexual harassment by employees on file in the HR office.
Anyone with a complaint involving sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence, or if you have questions about Bluefield College policies or procedures in these areas, please contact one of the Title IX Coordinators or Deputy Coordinators.
Please note that 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. For confidential resources, please contact a Confidential Counselor.
Bluefield’s designated Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators oversee Bluefield’s compliance with Title IX, including coordinating the investigation of and response to sex discrimination complaints, responding to inquiries concerning Title IX, tracking incidents and trends involving sexual misconduct, coordinating equity in athletics compliance, publicizing Bluefield’s policies, and providing training on preventing sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.
Because sexual misconduct may constitute both a violation of College policy and criminal activity, the College encourages persons to report alleged sexual misconduct promptly to Campus Safety or local law enforcement agencies. Criminal investigations may be useful in the gathering of relevant evidence, particularly forensic evidence. Because the standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, criminal investigations or reports are not determinative of whether sexual misconduct has occurred under the College’s policy. In other words, conduct may constitute sexual misconduct under the College policy even if it is not a crime or law enforcement agencies lack sufficient evidence of a crime and therefore decline to prosecute. The filing of a report of sexual misconduct with the College is independent of any criminal investigation or proceeding, and (except that the College’s investigation may be delayed temporarily while the criminal investigators are gathering evidence) the College will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal investigation or proceedings to commence its own investigation and take interim measures to protect the reporting party and the College community, if necessary.
This policy applies regardless of where the alleged sexual misconduct occurred (on or off campus).
BC students, faculty, and staff are responsible for knowing this policy and familiarizing themselves with its contents and provisions. Title IX Student Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Anti-Discrimination Policy – Approved: 01/26/2015
The College encourages students and others to report all incidents of sexual misconduct. The College is obligated under federal law to investigate reports of sexual misconduct, to take action to eliminate sexual harassment and sexual assault, prevent its re-occurrence and address its effects. The College reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to allegations of sexual misconduct in order to protect students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements and/or academic schedules, interim suspension of the accused student from campus pending a hearing, and issuing a “no contact order.” Upon a finding that sexual misconduct that creates a hostile environment has occurred, the College shall take reasonable steps to prevent its recurrence and to remedy the discriminatory effects on the victim(s) and others.
The following Bluefield College employees are deemed "responsible employees" under federal law and are obligated to report any information regarding sexual harassment or sexual violence to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators:
Before a complainant/student reveals any information to a responsible employee, the employee should ensure that the student understands the employee's reporting obligations – and, if the student wants to maintain confidentiality, direct the student to confidential resources. The employee should tell the student that the College will consider confidentiality requests, but cannot guarantee that the College will be able to honor it. The Title IX Coordinator, in conjunction with the Threat Assessment Team, will determine if the request for confidentiality will be honored after weighing that request against the College's obligation to provide a safe environment for all students.
Reports are to be made by contacting the Title IX Coordinator, a Deputy Coordinator, or the Campus Safety Investigator by phone, email, or in person. Title IX Coordinator will receive all reports made and, along with the Investigator, determine if the report involves behavior constituting any form of Title IX sexual discrimination and file the official complaint form for the incident as soon as it is received to facilitate the initial investigation prior to a Threat Assessment Team meeting.
A victim of sexual misconduct who does not want to pursue action within the College’s conduct system or the criminal justice system may still consider making an anonymous report to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators via the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Form. With such information, the Title IX Coordinators can keep an accurate record of sexual misconduct incidents involving students, determine where there are patterns, and address systemic issues. Please use this form to submit an anonymous report.
It is not the practice of the College to pursue disciplinary action against an accuser or witness for his or her improper use of alcohol or drugs (e.g., underage drinking), provided that such student is acting in good faith as a complainant or witness to the events of the alleged sexual misconduct.
The College's response to a report of possible violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy is based on multiple critical considerations, including:
In addition to resources and assistance provided to the complainant, responsive action taken by the College may include:
When a student reports sexual misconduct to any responsible employee and the Title IX Coordinator, he or she is informed of available support services including counseling, medical, victim advocacy, police, disciplinary, and other assistance offered on and off campus. If the complainant wants legal advice about criminal and/or civil charges, he/she is referred to the Office of Commonwealth's Attorney or the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. Bluefield College is a member of the Tazewell County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and maintains a cooperative working agreement and memorandum of understanding with the Commonwealth's Attorney, Clinch Valley Community Action, Tazewell County Victim Witness Assistance Program, Clinch Valley Medical Center, Tazewell Community Hospital, Tazewell County Sheriff's Office, Tazewell Police Department, Richlands Police Department, Bluefield (Virginia and West Virginia) Police Departments, Cedar Bluff Police Department, and Pocahontas Police Department. This agreement is on file in the Title IX Coordinator's office.
Bluefield College has an active agreement with Family Crisis Services through Clinch Valley Community Action as our local sexual assault services provider, and is also a member of CCRT, Coordinated Community Response Team, a multidisciplinary team of professionals and citizens who gather regularly to examine the response of community systems to victims and offenders of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking within the Tazewell County area.
Once a sexual misconduct report has been received by the Title IX Coordinator, the procedures listed below will be followed:
Because Bluefield College is concerned with the interests and welfare of both the complainant and of the campus community as a whole, the College may elect to address reported sexual misconduct on campus and/or through criminal processes off campus, even if the complainant elects not to pursue these options. Upon receipt of a report of possible sexual misconduct and prior to completion of investigation and/or disciplinary proceedings related to the report, the College may take interim action in efforts to prevent sexual misconduct, to remedy effects of the reported misconduct, and/or to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for the complainant and all students. Such interim action may impact the accused prior to completion of disciplinary proceedings.
Upon request from the complainant, the College will change academic schedules, living arrangements, transportation, and working situations for a complainant, when reasonable, available, and regardless of whether the complainant chooses to report the incident to Campus Safety or to a local Police Department. Options could include re-assignment to a different section of a course, work assignment, and/or on-campus residential facility. The College will endeavor to identify additional options to respond to the complainant's specific request and circumstances.
Once a sexual misconduct complaint has been filed and the Threat Assessment Team has forwarded the case to the disciplinary process, the following student misconduct disciplinary procedures apply.
The Vice President for Student Development or designee together with the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall determine the composition of the Disciplinary Council and will determine which administrator or board shall be authorized to hear each matter. The Vice President for Student Development or designee may develop procedures for the administration of the student conduct system and procedural rules for the Disciplinary Council Hearings that are not inconsistent with the provisions of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Decisions made by a Disciplinary Council shall be final, pending the normal appeal process.
All accusers and accused students are provided the following rights and responsibilities throughout the College student conduct process:
For information about disciplinary council hearings, please refer to the Disciplinary Program section of the Student Handbook.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline coordinates services and provides advocacy support for students (and their friends or family) who have experienced sexual assault, stalking, harassment, and/or intimate partner violence. Call 1.800.656.HOPE.
You may also confidentially contact Clinch Valley Sexual Assault Services at 276.988.5583.
The following advocacy resources (with reporting obligations) are available at Bluefield Colege.