|Sexual Misconduct and Discrimination Policy
||Interim Approval by Executive Order
|President Dr. Divine
|August 14, 2020
Atixa 2020 One Policy, Two Procedures Model
Use and Adaptation of This Model with Citation to Atixa Is Permitted
Through a Limited License to Casper College
All Other Rights Reserved.
- Advisor is a person chosen by a party or appointed by the institution to accompany the party to meetings related to the resolution process, to advise the party on that process, and to conduct cross-examination for the party at the hearing, if any.
- College Appointed Advisor is an advisor assigned to each party, trained by the institution who serves as a resource as needed.
- Complainant is an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute harassment or discrimination based on a protected class; or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.
- Complaint (formal) is a document submitted or signed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX coordinator alleging harassment or discrimination based on a protected class or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity against a Respondent and requesting that the recipient investigate the allegation.
- Confidential Resource is an employee who is not a mandated reporter of notice of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation (irrespective of Clery Act Campus Security Authority status).
- Day is a business day when the Recipient is in normal operation.
- Directly Related Evidence is evidence connected to the complaint, but is neither inculpatory (tending to prove a violation) nor exculpatory (tending to disprove a violation) and will not be relied upon by the investigation report.
- Education program or activity is locations, events, or circumstances where Casper College exercises substantial control over both the Complainant and Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment or discrimination occurs.
- Final Determination: A conclusion by preponderance of evidence about whether the alleged conduct did or did not violate policy.
- Finding: A conclusion by preponderance of the evidence that the conduct did or did not occur as alleged (as in a “finding of fact”).
- Formal Grievance Process is “Process A,” a method of formal resolution designated by the recipient to address conduct that falls within the policies included below, and which complies with the requirements of the Title IX regulations (34 CFR §106.45).
- Grievance Process Pool includes any investigators, hearing officers, appeal officers, and advisors who may perform any or all of these roles, though not at the same time or with respect to the same case.
- Hearing Decision-maker refers to those who have decision-making and sanctioning authority within the Recipient’s formal grievance process.
- Investigator is the person or persons charged by Casper College with gathering facts about an alleged violation of this Policy, assessing relevance and credibility, synthesizing the evidence, and compiling this information into an investigation report and file of directly related evidence.
- Mandated Reporter is an employee of the Recipient who is obligated by policy to share knowledge, notice, and/or reports of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation with the Title IX coordinator and/or their supervisor.
- Notice is that an employee, student, or third-party informs the Title IX coordinator or other official with authority of the alleged occurrence of harassing, discriminatory, and/or retaliatory conduct.
- Official with Authority (OWA) is an employee of the Recipient explicitly vested with the responsibility to implement corrective measures for harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation on behalf of the Recipient.
- Parties include the Complainants and Respondents, collectively.
- Process A is the Formal Grievance Process detailed below and defined above.
- Process B is a complaint of Sexual Misconduct or Discrimination did not meet the requirements under Title IX but will be processed through the Student Code of Conduct or Human Resources.
- Recipient is a postsecondary education program, Casper College, is a recipient of federal funding
- Relevant Evidence is evidence that tends to prove or disprove an issue in the complaint.
- Remedies are post-finding actions directed to the Complainant and/or the community as mechanisms to address safety, prevent recurrence, and restore access to the Recipient’s educational program.
- Respondent is an individual who has been alleged to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute harassment or discrimination based on a protected class or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.
- Resolution is the result of an informal or Formal Grievance Process.
- Sanction is a consequence imposed by the Recipient on a Respondent who is found to have violated this policy.
- Sexual Harassment is the umbrella category including the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence and domestic violence. See Section 17.b. for greater detail.
- Student any individual who has accepted an offer of admission, or who is registered or enrolled for credit or non-credit bearing coursework, and who maintains an ongoing relationship with Casper College.
- Title IX Coordinator is at least one official designated by Casper College to ensure compliance with Title IX and the college’s Title IX program. References to the coordinator throughout this policy may also encompass a designee of the coordinator for specific tasks.
- Title IX Team refers to the Title IX coordinator, any deputy coordinators, and any Grievance Process pool member.
Rationale for Policy
Casper College is committed to providing a workplace and educational environment, and other benefits, programs, and activities that are free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. To ensure compliance with federal and state civil rights laws and regulations, and to affirm its commitment to promoting the goals of fairness and equity in all aspects of the educational program or activity, Casper College has developed internal policies and procedures that provide a prompt, fair, and impartial process for those involved in an allegation of discrimination or harassment on the basis of protected class status, and for allegations of retaliation.
Casper College values and upholds the equal dignity of all members of its community and strives to balance the rights of the parties in the grievance process during what is often a difficult time for all those involved.
The core purpose of this policy is the prohibition of all forms of discrimination. Sometimes, discrimination involves exclusion from or different treatment in activities, such as admission, athletics, or employment. Other times, discrimination takes the form of harassment or, in the case of sex-based discrimination, can encompass sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, sexual exploitation, dating violence or domestic violence. When an alleged violation of this anti-discrimination policy is reported, the allegations are subject to resolution using Casper College’s “Process” as determined by the Title IX coordinator, and as detailed below.
When the Respondent is a college community member, a grievance process may be available regardless of the status of the Complainant, who may or may not be a college community member. This community includes, but is not limited to, students, student organizations, faculty, administrators, staff, and third parties such as guests, visitors, volunteers, invitees, and campers. The procedures below may be applied to incidents, to patterns, and/or to the campus climate, all of which may be addressed and investigated in accordance with this policy.
Casper College is an equal opportunity institution and as such, does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law in admission or access to or treatment or employment in its educational programs or activities. Direct inquiries or complaints concerning Title IV, Title IX, and Section 504 to Linda Toohey, associate vice president for student services, at 125 College Dr., Casper, WY 82601, 307-268-2667, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 1244 Speer Blvd., Ste. 310, Denver, CO 80204-3582, 303-844-5695 or TDD 303-844-3417.
Title IX Coordinator
Linda Toohey serves as the Title IX coordinator and ADA/504 coordinator and oversees implementation of the disability compliance. Rhonda Franzen (deputy coordinator), director of Human Resources oversees implementation of Casper College’s Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity plan. The Title IX coordinator has the primary responsibility for coordinating Casper College efforts related to the intake, investigation, resolution, and implementation of supportive measures to stop, remediate, and prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation prohibited under this policy.
Independence and Conflict-of-Interest
The Title IX coordinator manages the Title IX Team and acts with independence and authority free from bias and conflicts of interest. The Title IX coordinator oversees all resolutions under this policy and these procedures. The Title IX Team members are trained to ensure they are not biased for or against any party in a specific case, or for or against Complainants and/or Respondents, generally.
To raise any concern involving bias or conflict of interest by the Title IX coordinator, contact the director of Human Resources at 307-268-2025. Concerns of bias or a potential conflict of interest by any other Title IX Team member should be raised with the Title IX coordinator. Reports of misconduct or discrimination committed by the Title IX coordinator should be reported to the director of Human Resources at 307-268-2025. Reports of misconduct or discrimination committed by any other Title IX Team member should be reported to the Title IX coordinator.
Administrative Contact Information
Complaints or notice of alleged policy violations, or inquiries about or concerns regarding this policy and procedures, may be made internally to:
Title IX Coordinator
Gateway Center, Room 412
Title IX Team:
- Rhonda Franzen (Deputy Coordinator), Director of Human Resources
- Corey Peacock (Deputy Coordinator), Director of Student Life
- Rachel Chadderdon, Center for Excellence Training and Grants Compliance Coordinator
- Chelse DePaolo- Lara, Adult Learning Center Director
- Shannon Eskam, Director of Financial Aid
- Terri House, Assistant Director of Financial Services
- Heather Owens, Student Success Advisor
- Michael Deal, Institutional Researcher
- Michael Moline, Physical Education Instructor
- Mindy Walden, Nurse Educator
- Jason Eggemeyer, Engineering Technology and Design Instructor
Casper College has determined that the following administrators are officials with authority to address and correct harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. In addition to the Title IX Team members listed above, these officials with authority listed below may also accept notice or complaints on behalf of the college.
- Executive Dean
- Program Director
- Department Director
Casper College has classified all employees as mandated reporters of any knowledge they have that a community member is experiencing harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.
Inquiries may be made externally to:
Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline #: 800-421-3481, Facsimile: 202-453-6012, TDD#: 877-521-2172
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Civil Rights
1244 Speer Blvd., Ste. 310
Denver, CO 80204-3582
For complaints involving employees: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Denver Field Office
303 E. 17th Ave, Ste. 410
Denver, CO 80203
Notice/Complaints of Discrimination, Harassment, and/or Retaliation
Notice or complaints of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation may be made using any of the following options:
a. File a complaint with, or give verbal notice to, the Title IX coordinator, deputy or officials with authority (see list above). Such a report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours by using the telephone number or email address, or by mail to the office address, listed for the Title IX coordinator or any other official listed.
b. Report online, using the reporting form posted at https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?CasperCollege&layout_id=8. Anonymous reports are accepted but can give rise to a need to investigate. The Recipient tries to provide supportive measures to all Complainants, which is impossible with an anonymous report. Because reporting carries no obligation to initiate a formal response, and as the Recipient respects Complainant requests to dismiss complaints unless there is a compelling threat to health and/or safety, the Complainant is largely in control and should not fear a loss of privacy by making a report that allows the Recipient to discuss and/or provide supportive measures.
c. Reports can be made to Campus Security 24 hours a day, any day of the week at 307-268-2688.
A Formal Complaint means a document submitted or signed by the Complainant or signed by the Title IX coordinator alleging a policy violation by a Respondent and requesting that Casper College investigate the allegations. A complaint may be filed with the Title IX coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information in the section immediately above, or as described in this section. As used in this paragraph, the phrase “document filed by a Complainant” means a document or electronic submission (such as by electronic mail or through an online portal provided for this purpose by the college) that contains the Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the Complainant is the person filing the complaint, and requests that the college investigate the allegations.
If notice is submitted in a form that does not meet this standard, the Title IX coordinator will contact the Complainant to ensure that it is filed correctly.
Casper College will offer and implement appropriate and reasonable supportive measures to the parties upon notice of alleged harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation.
Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the parties to restore or preserve access to the Recipient’s education program or activity, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the Recipient’s educational environment, and/or deter harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation.
The Title IX coordinator promptly makes supportive measures available to the parties upon receiving notice or a complaint. At the time that supportive measures are offered, the coordinator will inform the Complainant, in writing, that they may file a formal complaint with the college either at that time or in the future, if they have not done so already. The Title IX coordinator works with the Complainant to ensure that their wishes are taken into account with respect to the supportive measures that are planned and implemented.
The college will maintain the privacy of the supportive measures, provided that privacy does not impair the college’s ability to provide the supportive measures. Casper College will act to ensure as minimal an academic/occupational impact on the parties as possible. The Recipient will implement measures in a way that does not unreasonably burden the other party.
These actions may include, but are not limited to:
- Referral to counseling, medical, and/or other healthcare services
- Referral to the Employee Assistance Program
- Referral to community-based service providers
- Visa and immigration assistance
- Student financial aid counseling
- Education to the institutional community or community subgroups
- Altering campus housing assignments
- Altering work arrangements for employees or student-employees
- Safety planning
- Providing campus safety escorts
- Providing transportation accommodations
- Implementing contact limitations between the parties
- Academic support, extensions of deadlines, or other course/program-related adjustments
- Trespass, Persona Non Grata (PNG),
- Timely warnings
- Class schedule modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
- Any other actions deemed appropriate by the Title IX coordinator
Violations of no contact orders will be referred to appropriate student or employee conduct processes for enforcement.
Casper College can act to remove a student Respondent entirely or partially from its education program or activities on an emergency basis when an individualized safety and risk analysis has determined that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual justifies removal. The Title IX coordinator performs this risk analysis in conjunction with the CC Care Team using its standard objective violence risk assessment procedures. Emergency removal needs vice-president of Student Services approval.
In all cases in which an emergency removal is imposed, the student will be given notice of the action and the option to request to meet with the Title IX coordinator prior to such action/removal being imposed, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible, to show cause why the action/removal should not be implemented or should be modified. This meeting is not a hearing on the merits of the allegations, but rather is an administrative process intended to determine solely whether the emergency removal is appropriate. When this meeting is not requested within 24 hours, objections to the emergency removal will be deemed waived. A Complainant and their advisor may be permitted to participate in this meeting if the Title IX coordinator determines it is equitable to do so. This section applies to any restrictions that a coach or athletic administrator may place on a student-athlete arising from allegations related to Title IX. There is no appeal process for emergency removal decisions.
A Respondent may be accompanied by an advisor of their choice when meeting with the Title IX coordinator for the show cause meeting. The Respondent will be given access to a written summary of the basis for the emergency removal prior to the meeting to allow for adequate preparation.
The Title IX coordinator has sole discretion under this policy to implement or stay an emergency removal and to determine the conditions and duration. Violation of an emergency removal under this policy will be grounds for discipline, which may include expulsion.
Casper College will implement the least restrictive emergency actions possible in light of the circumstances and safety concerns. As determined by the Title IX coordinator, these actions could include, but are not limited to, removing a student from a residence hall, temporarily re-assigning an employee, restricting a student’s or employee’s access to or use of facilities or equipment, allowing a student to withdraw or take grades of incomplete without financial penalty, authorizing an administrative leave, and suspending a student’s participation in extracurricular activities, student employment, student organizational leadership, or intercollegiate/intramural athletics. At the discretion of the Title IX coordinator, alternative coursework options may be pursued to ensure as minimal an academic impact as possible on the parties.
The Title IX coordinator will collaborate with Human Resources in cases involving employees. Where the Respondent is an employee, existing provisions for interim action are applicable.
Casper College will promptly act on all allegations once the college has received notice or a formal complaint. Complaints can take 60-90 business days to resolve, typically. There are always exceptions and extenuating circumstances that can cause a resolution to take longer, but the college will avoid all undue delays within its control.
Any time the general timeframes for resolution outlined in the college procedures will be delayed, the college will provide written notice to the parties of the delay, the cause of the delay, and an estimate of the anticipated additional time that will be needed because of the delay.
Casper College will make every effort to preserve the privacy of reports. The college will not share the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation or any Complainant, individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, Respondent, or witness, except as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g, FERPA regulations, 34 CFR part 99 or as required by law or to carry out the purposes of 34 CFR Part 106, including the conducting of any investigation, hearing, or grievance proceeding arising under these policies and procedures. The college reserves the right to determine which college officials have a legitimate educational interest in being informed about incidents that fall within this policy, pursuant to FERPA.
Only a small group of officials who need to know will typically be told about the complaint, including but not limited to: Division of Student Services, Campus Security, and the CC Care Team. Information will be shared as necessary with investigators, hearing panel members/ decision-makers, witnesses, and the parties. The circle of people with this knowledge will be kept as tight as possible to preserve the parties’ rights and privacy.
The college may contact parents/guardians to inform them of situations in which there is a significant and articulable health and/or safety risk, but will usually consult with the student first before doing so.
Confidentiality and mandated reporting are addressed more specifically below.
Jurisdiction of Casper College
This policy applies to the education program and activities of the college, to conduct that takes place on the campus or on property owned or controlled by the college at college-sponsored events, or in buildings owned or controlled by college’s recognized student organizations. The Respondent must be a Casper College community member in order for its policies to apply.
This policy can be applicable to the effects of off-campus misconduct that effectively deprive someone of access to the college’s educational programs. The recipient may extend jurisdiction to off-campus or to online conduct when the Title IX coordinator determines that the conduct affects a substantial college interest.
Regardless of where the conduct occurred, the college will address notice and complaints to determine whether the conduct occurred in the context of its employment or educational program or activity or has continuing effects on campus or in an off-campus sponsored program or activity. A substantial college interest includes:
a. Any action that constitutes a criminal offense as defined by law. This includes, but is not limited to, single or repeat violations of any local, state, or federal law.
b. Any situation in which it is determined that the Respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual.
c. Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property, or achievements of oneself or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder.
d. Any situation that is detrimental to the educational interests or mission of the college.
If the Respondent is unknown or is not a college community member, the Title IX coordinator will assist the Complainant in identifying appropriate campus and local resources and support options. When criminal conduct is alleged, the Title IX coordinator will assist the Complainant in contacting local or campus law enforcement if the person would like to file a police report. Further, even when the Respondent is not a college community member, supportive measures, remedies, and resources may be accessible to the Complainant by contacting the Title IX coordinator.
In addition, the college may take other actions as appropriate to protect the Complainant against third parties, such as barring individuals from college property and events.
All vendors serving the college through third-party contracts are subject to the policies and procedures of their employers or to these policies and procedures to which their employer has agreed to be bound by their contracts.
When the Respondent is enrolled in or employed by another institution, the Title IX coordinator can assist the Complainant in liaising with the appropriate individual at that institution, as it may be possible to allege violations through that institution’s policies (University of Wyoming at Casper, University of North Dakota or other affiliated institutions).
Similarly, the Title IX coordinator may be able to assist and support a student or employee Complainant who experiences discrimination in an externship, study abroad program, or other environment external to the college where sexual harassment or nondiscrimination policies and procedures of the facilitating or host organization may give recourse to the Complainant.
Time Limits on Reporting
There is no time limitation on providing notice/complaints to the Title IX coordinator. However, the ability to investigate, respond, and provide remedies may be more limited or impossible if the Respondent is no longer subject to the college’s jurisdiction or significant time has passed.
Acting on notice/complaints significantly affected by the passage of time, including, but not limited to, the rescission or revision of policy is at the discretion of the Title IX coordinator, who may document allegations for future reference, offer supportive measures and remedies, or engage in informal or formal action, as appropriate. When notice/complaint is affected by significant time delay, the college will typically apply the policy in place at the time of the alleged misconduct and the procedures in place at the time of notice/complaint.
Online Harassment and Misconduct
Casper College policies are written and interpreted broadly to include online manifestations of any of the behaviors prohibited below, when those behaviors occur in or have an effect on the college’s education program and activities or use college networks, technology, or equipment. Although Casper College may not control websites, social media, and other venues in which harassing communications are made, when such communications are reported to college, it will engage in a variety of means to address and mitigate the effects.
Community members are encouraged to be good digital citizens and to refrain from online misconduct, such as feeding anonymous gossip sites, sharing inappropriate content via social media, unwelcome sexual or sex-based messaging, distributing or threatening to distribute revenge pornography, breaches of privacy, or otherwise using the ease of transmission or anonymity of the internet or other technology to harm another college community member.
Public recipients is any online posting or other electronic communication by students, including cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, cyber-harassment, etc., occurring completely outside of the college’s control (e.g., not on the college networks, websites, or between college email accounts) will only be subject to this policy when such online conduct can be shown to cause a substantial in-program disruption or infringement on the rights of others.
Otherwise, such communications are considered speech protected by the First Amendment. The college will provide supportive measures for Complainants, but protected speech cannot legally be subjected to discipline.
Off-campus harassing speech by employees, whether online or in person, may be regulated by the Recipient only when such speech is made in an employee’s official or work-related capacity.
Policy on Nondiscrimination
Casper College adheres to all federal and state civil rights laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination in public institutions of higher education. Casper College does not discriminate against any employee, applicant for employment, student, or applicant for admission on the basis of:
- Hearing status
- Personal appearance
- Political affiliation
- Source of income
- Place of business
- National origin (including ancestry)
- Citizenship status,
- Physical or mental disability (including perceived disability)
- Marital status
- Family responsibilities
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Gender expression
- Veteran or military status (including disabled veteran, recently separated veteran, active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran, and Armed Forces Service Medal veteran)
- Predisposing genetic characteristics
- Domestic violence victim status
- Or any other protected category under applicable local, state, or federal law, including protections for those opposing discrimination or participating in any grievance process on campus, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or other human rights agencies.
This policy covers nondiscrimination in both employment and access to educational opportunities. Therefore, any Casper College community member whose acts deny, deprive, or limit the educational or employment or residential or social access, benefits, or opportunities of any college community member, guest, or visitor on the basis of that person’s actual or perceived membership in the protected classes listed above is in violation of the college policy on nondiscrimination.
When brought to the attention of the college, the college will promptly and fairly address and remedy any such discrimination according to the Sexual Misconduct and Discrimination grievance process.
Policy on Disability Discrimination and Accommodation
Casper College is committed to full compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified persons with disabilities, and other federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to individuals with disabilities. Under the ADA and its amendments, a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The ADA protects individuals who have a record of a substantially limiting impairment or who are regarded as disabled by the college, regardless of whether they currently have a disability. A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, walking, or caring for oneself.
The Title IX coordinator has been designated as college’s ADA/504 coordinator responsible for overseeing efforts to comply with these disability laws, including responding to grievances and conducting investigations of any allegation of noncompliance or discrimination based on disability. Grievances related to disability status or accommodations will be addressed using the following procedures. For details relating to disability accommodations in the college’s resolution process, outlined in the Student Handbook under Student Grievances.
Students with Disabilities
Casper College is committed to providing qualified students with disabilities with reasonable accommodations and support needed to ensure equal access to the academic programs, facilities, and activities of the college.
All accommodations are made on an individualized basis. A student requesting any accommodation should first contact the Disability Services counselor at 307-268-2557, who coordinates services for students with disabilities. The Disability Services counselor reviews documentation provided by the student and, in consultation with the student, determines which accommodations are appropriate for the student’s particular needs and academic programs in accordance with Casper College applicable policies.
Employees with Disabilities
Pursuant to the ADA, Casper College will provide reasonable accommodations to all qualified employees with known disabilities when their disability affects the performance of their essential job functions, except when doing so would be unduly disruptive or would result in undue hardship to the college.
An employee with a disability is responsible for submitting a request for an accommodation to the Human Resources Office and providing necessary documentation. Human Resources will work with the employee’s supervisor to identify which essential functions of the position are affected by the employee’s disability and what reasonable accommodations could enable the employee to perform those duties in accordance with Casper College applicable policies.
Policy on Discriminatory Harassment
Students, staff, administrators, and faculty are entitled to an employment and educational environment that is free of discriminatory harassment. Casper College’s harassment policy is not meant to inhibit or prohibit educational content or discussions inside or outside of the classroom that include germane but controversial or sensitive subject matters protected by academic freedom.
The sections below describe the specific forms of legally prohibited harassment that are also prohibited under Casper College policy. When speech or conduct is protected by academic freedom or the First Amendment, it will not be considered a violation of college policy, though supportive measures will be offered to those affected. All policies encompass actual or attempted offenses.
Discriminatory harassment constitutes a form of discrimination that is prohibited by Casper College policy. Discriminatory harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct by any member or group of the community based on actual or perceived membership in a class protected by policy or law. Casper College does not tolerate discriminatory harassment of any employee, student, visitor, or guest. Casper College will act to remedy all forms of harassment when reported, whether the harassment rises to the level of creating a hostile environment.
A “hostile environment” is one that unreasonably interferes with, limits, or effectively denies an individual’s educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities. This discriminatory effect results from harassing verbal, written, graphic, or physical conduct that is severe or pervasive and objectively offensive. When discriminatory harassment rises to the level of creating a hostile environment, Casper College may impose sanctions on the Respondent through application of the Sexual Misconduct and Discrimination grievance process below.
The Recipient reserves the right to address offensive conduct or harassment that
- does not rise to the level of creating a hostile environment, or
- is of a generic nature and not based on a protected status. Addressing such conduct will not result in the imposition of discipline under Recipient policy, but may be addressed through respectful conversation, remedial actions, education, effective alternate resolution, or other informal resolution mechanisms.
For assistance with alternate resolution and other informal resolution techniques and approaches, employees should contact the director of Human Resources, and students should contact the associate director of Student Services.
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the State of Wyoming regard sexual harassment, a specific form of discriminatory harassment, as an unlawful discriminatory practice. Casper College has adopted the following definition of sexual harassment to address the unique environment of an academic community.
Acts of sexual harassment may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity of those involved. Sexual harassment, as an umbrella category, includes the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and is defined as:
Conduct on the basis of sex/gender or that is sexual that satisfies one or more of the following:
1. Quid Pro Quo
a. an employee of the receipient,
b. conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the recipient,
c. on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
2. Sexual Harassment
a. unwelcome conduct,
b. determined by a reasonable person,
c. to be so severe, and
d. pervasive, and,
e. objectively offensive,
f. that it effectively denies a person equal access to the college’s education program or activity.
3. Sexual assault, defined as
a. Sex Offenses, Forcible
i. Any sexual act directed against another person,
ii. without the consent of the Complainant,
iii. including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent.
b. Sex Offenses, Non-forcible
- Non-forcible sexual intercourse,
- between persons who are related to each other,
- within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by Wyoming law.
ii. Statutory Rape
- Non-forcible sexual intercourse,
- with a person who is under the statutory age of consent of 17
4. Dating Violence, defined as
b. on the basis of sex,
c. committed by a person,
d. who is in or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant.
i. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the Complainant’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition:
- Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
- Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
5. Domestic Violence, defined as
b. on the basis of sex,
c. committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant,
d. by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, or
e. by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, or
f. by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of Wyoming or
g. by any other person against an adult or youth Complainant who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Wyoming.
*To categorize an incident as Domestic Violence, the relationship between the Respondent and the Complainant must be more than just two people living together as roommates. The people cohabitating must be current or former spouses or have an intimate relationship.
6. Stalking, defined as
a. engaging in a course of conduct,
b. on the basis of sex,
c. directed at a specific person, that
i. would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety, or
ii. the safety of others; or
iii. Suffer substantial emotional distress.
iv. For the purposes of this definition:
- Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the Respondent directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
- Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the Complainant.
- Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Casper College reserves the right to impose any level of sanction, ranging from a reprimand up to and including suspension or expulsion/termination, for any offense under this policy.
Force, Coercion, Consent, and Incapacitation
As used in the offenses above, the following definitions and understandings apply:
- Force is the use of physical violence or physical imposition to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats), and coercion that is intended to overcome resistance or produce consent (e.g., “Have sex with me or I’ll hit you,” “Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”).
Sexual activity that is forced is, by definition, non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not necessarily forced. Silence or the absence of resistance alone is not consent. Consent is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. While resistance is not required or necessary, it is a clear demonstration of non-consent.
- Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive conduct differs from seductive conduct based on factors such as the type or extent of the pressure used to obtain consent. When someone makes clear that he or she do not want to engage in certain sexual activity, 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.
- Consent is knowing, and voluntary, and clear permission by word or action to engage in sexual activity.
Individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways. Therefore, it is the responsibility of each party to determine that the other has consented before engaging in the activity.
If consent is not clearly provided prior to engaging in the activity, consent may be ratified by word or action at some point during the interaction or thereafter, but clear communication from the outset is strongly encouraged.
For consent to be valid there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual consented to that specific sexual conduct. Reasonable reciprocation can be implied. For example, if someone kisses you, you can kiss him or her back (if you want to) without the need to explicitly obtain his or her consent to being kissed.
Consent can be withdrawn once given, as long as the withdrawal is reasonably and clearly communicated. If consent is withdrawn, that sexual activity should cease.
Consent to some sexual contact (e.g. kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (e.g. intercourse). A current or previous intimate relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent.
Proof of consent or non-consent is not a burden placed on either party involved in an incident. Instead, the burden remains on the college to determine whether its policy has been violated. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar, previous patterns that may be evidenced.
Consent in relationships must also be considered in context. When parties consent to BDSM (bondage, discipline/dominance, submission/sadism, and masochism) or other forms of kink, non-consent may be shown by the use of a safe word. Resistance, force, violence, or even saying “no” may be part of the kink and thus consensual, so the evaluation of communication in kink situations should be guided by reasonableness, rather than strict adherence to policy that assumes non-kink relationships as a default.
- Incapacitation is when a person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious, for any reason, including by alcohol or other drugs. As stated above, a Respondent violates this policy if they engage in sexual activity with someone who is incapable of giving consent.
It is a defense to a sexual assault policy violation that the Respondent neither knew nor should have known the Complainant to be physically or mentally incapacitated. “Should have known” is an objective, reasonable person standard that assumes that a reasonable person is both sober and exercising sound judgment.
- Incapacitation occurs when someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing/informed consent (e.g., to understand the who, what, when, where, why, or how of their sexual interaction). Incapacitation is determined through consideration of all relevant indicators of an individual’s state and is not synonymous with intoxication, impairment, blackout, or being drunk.
This policy covers a person whose incapacity results from a temporary or permanent physical or mental health condition, involuntary physical restraint, or the consumption of incapacitating drugs.
Other Civil Rights Offenses
In addition to the forms of sexual harassment described above, which are covered by Title IX, the college prohibits the following offenses as forms of discrimination that may be within or outside of Title IX when the act is based upon the Complainant’s actual or perceived membership in a protected class.
- Sexual exploitation defined as taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own benefit or for the benefit of anyone other than the person being exploited, and that conduct does not otherwise constitute sexual harassment under this policy. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual voyeurism, such as observing or allowing others to observe a person undressing or using the bathroom or engaging in sexual acts, without the consent of the person being observed
- Invasion of sexual privacy.
- Taking pictures, video, or audio recording of another in a sexual act, or in any other sexually-related activity when there is a reasonable expectation of privacy during the activity, without the consent of all involved in the activity, or exceeding the boundaries of consent, such as allowing another person to hide in a closet and observe sexual activity, or disseminating sexual pictures without the photographed person’s consent, including the making or posting of revenge pornography
- Prostituting another person
- Engaging in sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI), without informing the other person of the infection
- Causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person (through alcohol, drugs, or any other means) for the purpose of compromising that person’s ability to give consent to sexual activity, or for the purpose of making that person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity
- Misappropriation of another person’s identity on apps, websites, or other venues designed for dating or sexual connections
- Forcing a person to take an action against that person’s will by threatening to show, post, or share information, video, audio, or an image that depicts the person’s nudity or sexual activity
- Knowingly soliciting a minor for sexual activity
- Engaging in sex trafficking
- Creation, possession, or dissemination or child pornography
- Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
- Discrimination defined as actions that deprive, limit, or deny other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities;
- Intimidation defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;
- Hazing defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the college community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity, as defined further in the Student Code of Conduct;
- Bullying defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control, or diminish another person, physically and/or mentally that is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the First Amendment.
Violation of any other college policies may constitute a Civil Rights Offense when a violation is motivated by actual or perceived membership in a protected class, and the result is a discriminatory limitation or denial of employment or educational access, benefits, or opportunities. Sanctions for the above-listed Civil Rights Offenses range from reprimand through expulsion/termination.
Protected activity under this policy includes reporting an incident that may implicate this policy, participating in the grievance process, supporting a Complainant or Respondent, assisting in providing information relevant to an investigation, and/or acting in good faith to oppose conduct that constitutes a violation of this policy.
Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX coordinator and will be promptly investigated. Casper College will take all appropriate and available steps to protect individuals who fear that they may be subjected to retaliation.
Casper College and any college community member are prohibited from taking or attempting to take materially adverse action by intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy and procedure.
Respondents who are the subject of a formal complaint under this policy and process may be charged with the applicable violations of policy under the student code of conduct or employee discipline process. These charges are separate from the policies under this process, and adjudication for these charges will typically take place following the resolution of the complaint under the Sexual Misconduct and Discrimination Policy. Filing a complaint under the Student Code of Conduct or employee discipline could be considered retaliatory if those charges could be applicable under the Sexual Assault and Discrimination Policy, when the charges are made for the purpose of interfering with or circumventing any right or privilege provided afforded within the Sexual Misconduct and Discrimination Policy that is not provided by any other process. Therefore, Casper College vets all complaints carefully to ensure this does not happen, and to assure that complaints are tracked to the appropriate process. The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation.
Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this policy and procedure does not constitute retaliation, if a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party has made a materially false statement in bad faith.
All Casper College employees (faculty, staff, and administrators) are expected to report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment to appropriate officials immediately, though there are some limited exceptions. To make informed choices, it is important to be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements when consulting campus resources. On campus, some resources may maintain confidentiality and are not required to report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment. They may offer options and resources without any obligation to inform an outside agency or campus official unless a Complainant has requested the information be shared.
If a Complainant expects formal action in response to their allegations, reporting to any mandated reporter can connect them with resources to report crimes and policy violations, and these employees will immediately pass reports to the Title IX coordinator, and/or police, if desired by the Complainant, who will take action when an incident is reported to them.
The following sections describe the reporting options at Casper College for a Complainant or third party, including parents/guardians when appropriate.
If a Complainant would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, the Complainant may speak with:
- On-campus licensed professional counselors and Wellness Center staff
- On-campus health service providers and Wellness Center staff
- Off-campus (non-employees):
Licensed professional counselors and other medical providers
Local rape crisis counselors
Domestic violence resources
Local or state assistance agencies
All of the above-listed individuals will maintain confidentiality when acting under the scope of their licensure, professional ethics, and/or professional credentials, except in extreme cases of immediacy of threat or danger or abuse of a minor/elder/individual with a disability, or when required to disclose by law or court order.
Campus counselors and the Employee Assistance Program are available to help free of charge and may be consulted on an emergency basis during normal business hours.
Employees who are confidential and who receive reports within the scope of their confidential roles will timely submit anonymous statistical information for Clery Act purposes unless they believe it would be harmful to their client.
The college will investigate an anonymous notice to the extent possible to assess the underlying allegations and to determine if supportive measures or remedies can be provided. However, anonymous notice typically limits the Recipient’s ability to investigate, respond, and provide remedies, depending on what information is shared.
Mandated Reporters and Formal Notice/Complaints
All Casper College employees (including student employees), with the exception of those who are designated as confidential resources, are mandated reporters and must promptly share with the Title IX coordinator all known details of a report made to them in the course of their employment. Employees must promptly share all details of behaviors under this policy that they observe or have knowledge of, even if not reported to them by a Complainant or third party.
Complainants may want to carefully consider whether they share personally identifiable details with non-confidential mandated reporters, as those details must be shared with the Title IX coordinator. Generally, disclosures in climate surveys, classroom writing assignments or discussions, human subjects research, or at events such as “Take Back the Night” marches or speak-outs do not provide notice that must be reported to the coordinator by employees, unless the Complainant clearly indicates that they desire a report to be made or a seek a specific response from the college. Supportive measures may be offered as the result of such disclosures without formal college action.
Failure of a mandated reporter, as described above in this section, to report an incident of harassment or discrimination of which they become aware is a violation of college policy and can be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply.
Though this may seem obvious, when a mandated reporter is engaged in harassment or other violations of this policy, they still have a duty to report their own misconduct, though the college is technically not on notice when a harasser is also a mandated reporter unless the harasser reports himself or herself.
Finally, it is important to clarify that a mandated reporter who is himself or herself a target of harassment or other misconduct under this policy is not required to report their own experience, though they are, of course, encouraged to do so.
When a Complainant Does Not Wish to Proceed
If a Complainant does not wish for their name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not want a formal complaint to be pursued, they may make such a request to the Title IX coordinator, who will evaluate that request in light of the duty to ensure the safety of the campus and to comply with state or federal law. The Title IX coordinator has ultimate discretion over whether the college proceeds when the Complainant does not wish to do so, and the Title IX coordinator may sign a formal complaint to initiate a grievance process upon completion of an appropriate violence risk assessment. The Title IX coordinator’s decision should be based on results of the violence risk assessment that show a compelling risk to health and/or safety that requires the college to pursue formal action to protect the community.
A compelling risk to health and/or safety may result from evidence of patterns of misconduct, predatory conduct, threats, abuse of minors, use of weapons, and/or violence. Recipients may be compelled to act on alleged employee misconduct irrespective of a Complainant’s wishes.
The Title IX coordinator must consider the effect that non-participation by the Complainant may have on the availability of evidence and the college’s ability to pursue a Formal Grievance Process fairly and effectively.
When the Title IX coordinator executes the written complaint, they do not become the Complainant. The Complainant is the individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute a violation of this policy.
When the college proceeds, the Complainant (or their advisor) may have as much or as little involvement in the process as they wish. The Complainant retains all rights of a Complainant under this policy irrespective of their level of participation. Typically, when the Complainant chooses not to participate, the advisor may be appointed as proxy for the Complainant throughout the process, acting to ensure and protect the Complainant’s rights, though this does not extend to the provision of evidence or testimony.
Note that the college’s ability to remedy and respond to notice may be limited if the Complainant does not want the college to proceed with an investigation and/or grievance process. The goal is to provide the Complainant with as much control over the process as possible, while balancing the college’s obligation to protect its community.
In cases in which the Complainant requests confidentiality/no formal action and the circumstances allow the college to honor that request, the college will offer informal resolution options (see below), supportive measures, and remedies to the Complainant and the community, but will not otherwise pursue formal action. If the Complainant elects to take no action, they can change that decision if they decide to pursue a formal complaint later. Upon making a formal complaint, a Complainant has the right and can expect the college to take allegations seriously and to have the incidents investigated and properly resolved through these procedures. Please consider that delays may cause limitations on access to evidence or present issues with respect to the status of the parties.
Federal Timely Warning Obligations
Parties reporting sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking should be aware that under the Clery Act, Casper College must issue timely warnings for incidents reported to them that pose a serious or continuing threat of bodily harm or danger to campus community members. The college will ensure that a Complainant’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the potential danger.
False Allegations and Evidence
Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations under this policy are a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. This does not include allegations that are made in good faith but are ultimately shown to be erroneous or do not result in a policy violation determination. Additionally, witnesses and parties knowingly providing false evidence, tampering with or destroying evidence, or deliberately misleading an official conducting an investigation can be subject to discipline under college policy and/or Student Code of Conduct.
Amnesty for Complainants and Witnesses
The college community encourages the reporting of misconduct and crimes by Complainants and witnesses. Sometimes, Complainants or witnesses are hesitant to report to college officials or participate in grievance processes because they fear that they themselves may be in violation of certain policies, such as underage drinking or use of illicit drugs at the time of the incident. Respondents may hesitate to be forthcoming during the process for the same reasons.
It is in the best interests of the college community that Complainants choose to report misconduct to college officials, that witnesses come forward to share what they know, and that all parties be forthcoming during the process. To encourage reporting and participation in the process, Casper College maintains a policy of offering parties and witnesses amnesty from minor policy violations, such as underage consumption of alcohol or the use of illicit drugs, related to the incident.
Amnesty does not apply to more serious allegations such as physical abuse of another or illicit drug distribution. The decision not to offer amnesty is based on neither sex nor gender, but on the fact that collateral misconduct is typically addressed for all students within a progressive discipline system, and the rationale for amnesty, the incentive to report serious misconduct, is rarely applicable to Respondent with respect to a Complainant.
Students sometimes are hesitant to assist others for fear that they may get in trouble themselves (e.g., an underage student who has been drinking or using marijuana might hesitate to help take an individual who has experienced sexual assault to the Campus Security. The college maintains a policy of amnesty for students who offer help to others in need. Although policy violations cannot be overlooked, the Recipient may provide purely educational options with no official disciplinary finding, rather than punitive sanctions, to those who offer their assistance to others in need.
Employees sometimes are hesitant to report harassment or discrimination they have experienced for fear that they may get in trouble themselves. For example, an employee who has violated the consensual relationship policy and is then assaulted in the course of that relationship might hesitate to report the incident to Recipient officials. The Recipient may, at its discretion, offer employee Complainants amnesty from such policy violations (typically minor policy violations) related to the incident. Amnesty may be granted to Respondents and witnesses on a case-by-case basis.
Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations
Certain campus officials, those deemed campus security authorities, have a duty to report the following for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act):
a. All primary crimes, which include homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
b. Hate crimes, which include any bias-motivated primary crime and any bias motivated larceny or theft, simple assault, intimidation, or destruction/damage/vandalism of property.
c. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) based crimes, which include sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
d. Arrests and referrals for disciplinary action for weapons-related law violations, liquor-related law violations, and drug abuse-related law violations.
All personally identifiable information is kept private, but statistical information must be shared with Campus Security regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus or in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the Annual Security Report and daily campus crime log.
Campus Security Authorities include student affairs/student conduct staff, Campus Security, local police, coaches, athletic directors, residence life staff, student activities staff, human resources staff, advisors to student organizations, and other official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities.
Preservation of Evidence
The preservation of evidence in incidents of sexual assault is critical to potential criminal prosecution and to obtaining restraining orders, and particularly time-sensitive. The college will inform the Complainant of the importance of preserving evidence by taking the following actions:
a. Seek forensic medical assistance at the Wyoming Medical Center, ideally within 120 hours of the incident (sooner is better)
b. Avoid showering, bathing, washing hands or face, or douching, if possible, but evidence may still be collected even if you do.
c. Try not to urinate.
d. If oral sexual contact took place, refrain from smoking, eating, drinking, or brushing teeth.
e. If clothes are changed, place soiled clothes in a paper bag (plastic destroys evidence).
f. Seeking medical treatment can be essential even if it is not for the purposes of collecting forensic evidence.
During the initial meeting between the Complainant and the Title IX coordinator, the importance of taking these actions will be reiterated, if timely.
Interim Resolution Process for Alleged Violations of the Policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination (Known As Process “A”)
Casper College will act on any formal or informal notice/complaint of violation of the policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination (“the policy”) that is received by the Title IX coordinator or any other official with authority by applying these procedures, known as “Process A.”
The procedures below apply to all allegations of harassment or discrimination on the basis of protected class status involving students, staff, administrators, or faculty members. A set of technical dismissal requirements within the Title IX regulations may apply as described below, but when a technical dismissal under the Title IX allegations is required, any remaining allegations will proceed using these same grievance procedures, clarifying which policies above are applicable. Although the effect of the Title IX regulations can be confusing, these grievance procedures apply to all policies above.
If other policies are invoked, such as policies on protected class harassment or discrimination above, see the Student Code of Conduct or the Employee Policy Manual for a description of the procedures applicable to the resolution of such offenses. These can apply to sexual harassment (including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as defined above) when jurisdiction does not fall within the Sexual Misconduct and Discrimination Policy, as determined by the Title IX coordinator.
The procedures below may be used to address collateral misconduct arising from the investigation of or occurring in conjunction with reported misconduct (e.g., vandalism, physical abuse of another). All other allegations of misconduct unrelated to incidents covered by the policy will be addressed through procedures described in the employee handbook and the Student Code of Conduct.
Upon receipt of a complaint or notice to the Title IX coordinator of an alleged policy violation, the Title IX coordinator initiates a prompt initial assessment to determine the next steps the college needs to take.
The Title IX coordinator will initiate at least one of three responses:
a. Offering supportive measures because the Complainant does not want to file a formal complaint
b. An informal resolution (upon submission of a formal complaint)
c. A formal grievance process including an investigation and a hearing (upon submission of a formal complaint).
The Recipient uses the formal grievance process to determine whether the policy has been violated. If so, the college will promptly implement effective remedies designed to ensure that it is not deliberately indifferent to harassment or discrimination, their potential recurrence, or their effects.
Following receipt of notice or a complaint of an alleged violation of this policy, the Title IX coordinator engages in an initial assessment, typically within one to five business days. The steps in an initial assessment can include:
a. If notice is given, the Title IX coordinator seeks to determine if the person affected wishes to make a formal complaint, and will assist them to do so, if desired.
If they do not wish to do so, the Title IX coordinator determines whether to initiate a complaint because a violence risk assessment indicates a compelling threat to health and/or safety.
b. If a formal complaint is received, the Title IX coordinator determines if the conduct described in the formal complaint meets the definition of prohibited conduct under Title IX, the Student Code of Conduct, or employee policies.
c. The Title IX coordinator contacts the Complainant to offer supportive measures.
d. The Title IX coordinator works with the Complainant to ensure they are assigned a college appointed advisor and to make them aware they can also have an advisor of the choosing.
e. The Title IX coordinator works with the Complainant to determine whether the Complainant prefers a supportive and remedial response, an informal resolution option, or a formal investigation and grievance process.
If a supportive and remedial response is preferred, the Title IX coordinator works with the Complainant to identify their wishes, assesses the request, and implements accordingly. No Formal Grievance Process is initiated, though the Complainant can elect to initiate one later, if desired. Supportive and remedial options maybe limited if there is no formal complaint.
If an informal resolution option is preferred, the Title IX coordinator assesses whether the complaint is suitable for informal resolution, which informal mechanism may serve the situation best or is available and may seek to determine if the Respondent is willing to engage in informal resolution.
If a formal grievance process is preferred, the Title IX coordinator determines if the misconduct alleged falls within the scope of Title IX
- If it does fall within the scope or Title IX, the Title IX coordinator will initiate the formal investigation and grievance process, directing the investigation to address
- an incident, and/or
- a pattern of alleged misconduct, and/or
- a culture/climate issue, based on the nature of the complaint.
- If it does not fall within the scope of Title IX, the Title IX coordinator will dismiss that aspect of the complaint, if any, and assess which policies may apply, which resolution process is applicable, and will refer the matter accordingly or refer the matter for resolution under Student Code of Conduct or employee discipline. Note that dismissing a complaint under Title IX is solely a procedural requirement under Title IX, and does not limit the college’s authority to address a complaint with an appropriate process and remedies.
Violence Risk Assessment
In many cases, the Title IX coordinator may determine that the CC Care Team should conduct a violence risk assessment (VRA) as part of the initial assessment. A VRA can aid in ten critical or required determinations, including:
- Emergency removal of a Respondent on the basis of immediate threat to physical health or safety
- Whether the Title IX coordinator should pursue or sign a formal complaint absent a willing or able Complainant
- Whether to permit a voluntary withdrawal by the Respondent
- Whether to impose transcript notation or communicate with a transfer Recipient about a Respondent
- Assessment of appropriate sanctions or remedies (to be applied post-hearing)
- Whether a Clery Act Timely Warning/Trespass order/Persona-non-grata is needed
Threat assessment is the process of evaluating the actionability of violence by an individual against another person or group following the issuance of a direct or conditional threat. A VRA is a broader term used to assess any potential violence or danger, regardless of the presence of a vague, conditional, or direct threat.
VRAs require specific training and are typically conducted by psychologists, clinical counselors, social workers, case managers, law enforcement officers, student conduct officers, or other CC Care Team members. A VRA authorized by the Title IX coordinator should occur in collaboration with the CC CARE Team. Refusing to cooperate may result in a charge of failure to comply within the appropriate student or employee conduct process.
A VRA is not an evaluation for an involuntary behavioral health hospitalization, nor is it a psychological or mental health assessment. A VRA assesses the risk of actionable violence, often with a focus on targeted/predatory escalations, and is supported by research from the fields of law enforcement, criminology, human resources, and psychology.
More about the Recipient’s process for VRA is available at https://www.caspercollege.edu/care-team/
Dismissal (Mandatory and Discretionary)
The college must dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations therein if, at any time during the investigation or hearing, it is determined that:
a. The conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute sexual harassment as defined above, even if proved
b. The conduct did not occur in an educational program or activity controlled by Casper College; and/or the college does not have control of the Respondent
c. The conduct did not occur against a person in the United States
d. At the time of filing a formal complaint, a complainant is not participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the recipient.
The college may dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations therein if, at any time during the investigation or hearing if:
a. A Complainant notifies the Title IX coordinator in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein.
b. The Respondent is no longer enrolled in or employed by the recipient.
c. Specific circumstances prevent the recipient from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.
Upon any dismissal, the college will promptly send written notice of the dismissal and the rationale for doing so simultaneously to the parties. This dismissal decision is appealable by any party under the procedures for appeal below. The decision not to dismiss is appealable by any party claiming that a dismissal is required or appropriate. A Complainant who decides to withdraw a complaint may later request to reinstate it or refile it.
The college is obligated to ensure that the grievance process is not abused for retaliatory purposes. The college permits the filing of counterclaims but uses an initial assessment, described above, to assess whether the allegations in the counterclaim are made in good faith. Counterclaims by a Respondent may be made in good faith, but are, on occasion, made for purposes of retaliation, instead. Counterclaims made with retaliatory intent will not be permitted. Counterclaims determined to have been reported in good faith will be processed using the grievance procedures below. Investigation of such claims may take place after resolution of the underlying initial allegation, in which case a delay may occur.
Counterclaims may be resolved through the same investigation as the underlying allegation, at the discretion of the Title IX coordinator. When counterclaims are not made in good faith, they will be considered retaliatory and may constitute a violation of this policy.
Right to an Advisor
The parties may each have an advisor of their choice present with them for all meetings, interviews, and hearings within the resolution process, if they so choose. The parties may select whomever they wish to serve as their advisor as long as the advisor is eligible and available.
Choosing an advisor who is also a witness in the process creates potential for bias and conflict-of-interest. A party who chooses an advisor who is also a witness can anticipate that the hearing decision-maker will explore issues of potential bias.
The Recipient may permit parties to have more than one advisor upon special request to the Title IX coordinator. The decision to grant this request is at the sole discretion of the Title IX coordinator and will be granted equitably to all parties.
Who Can Serve as an Advisor
The advisor may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney, or any other individual a party chooses to advise, support, and/or consult with them throughout the resolution process. The parties may choose advisors from inside or outside of the college community.
The Title IX coordinator will assign a trained advisor for each party. The advisor will be trained by the college and be familiar with the college’s resolution process.
If the parties choose an advisor from outside the pool of those identified by the college, the advisor may not have received training by the college and may not be familiar with college policies and procedures. The Casper College assigned advisor will continue to be a resource for the party and their advisor.
Parties have the right to choose not to have an advisor in the initial stages of the resolution process, prior to a hearing.
Advisor’s Role in Meetings and Interviews
The parties may be accompanied by their advisor in all meetings and interviews at which the party is entitled to be present, including intake and interviews. advisors should help the parties prepare for each meeting and are expected to advise ethically, with integrity, and in good faith.
The college cannot guarantee equal advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an advisor who is an attorney, but the other party does not or cannot afford an attorney, the college is not obligated to provide an attorney.
Advisors in Hearings/College-Appointed Advisor
Under U.S. Department of Education regulations under Title IX, a form of indirect questioning is required during the hearing, but must be conducted by the parties’ advisors. The parties are not permitted to directly question each other or any witnesses. If a party does not have an advisor for a hearing, the college appointed advisor will be available for conducting any questioning of the other party and witnesses.
A party may reject this appointment and choose their own advisor, but they may not proceed without an advisor. If the party’s advisor will not conduct questioning, the college appointed advisor will do so thoroughly, regardless of the participation or non-participation of the advised party in the hearing itself. The decision-maker will also conduct extensive questioning of the parties and witnesses during the hearing.
Advisor’s Role in Meetings and Interviews
The parties may be accompanied by their advisor to all meetings and interviews at which the party is entitled to be present, including intake and interviews. Advisors should help the parties prepare for each meeting and are expected to advise ethically, with integrity, and in good faith.
The college cannot guarantee equal advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an advisor who is an attorney, but the other party does not or cannot afford an attorney, the college is not obligated to provide an attorney.
Advisors may request to meet with the administrative officials conducting interviews or meetings before these interviews or meetings. This pre-meeting allows advisors to clarify and understand their role and college’s policies and procedures.
Advisor Violations of College Policy
All advisors are subject to the same college policies and procedures, whether they are attorneys or not. Advisors are expected to advise their advisees without disrupting proceedings. Advisors should not address Recipient officials in a meeting or interview unless invited to (e.g., asking procedural questions). The advisor may not make a presentation or represent their advisee during any meeting or proceeding and may not speak on behalf of the advisee to the investigators or other decision-makers except during a hearing proceeding, during cross-examination.
The parties are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf throughout the investigation phase of the resolution process.
Although advisors generally may not speak on behalf of their advisee, advisors may consult with their advisee, either privately, as needed, or by conferring or passing notes during any resolution process meeting or interview. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their advisors should ask for breaks to allow for private consultation.
Any advisor who oversteps their role as defined by this policy will be warned only once. If the advisor continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the advisor role, the meeting will be ended, or other appropriate measures implemented. Subsequently, the Title IX coordinator will determine how to address the advisor’s non-compliance and future role which could include removal from the process.
Sharing Information with the Advisor
The college expects that the parties may wish to have the college share documentation and evidence related to the allegations with their advisors. Parties may share this information directly with their advisor or other individuals if they wish. Doing so may help the parties participate more meaningfully in the resolution process. The college provides a consent form that authorizes the college to share such information directly with their advisor. The parties must either complete and submit this form to the Title IX coordinator or provide similar documentation demonstrating consent to a release of information to the advisor before college is able to share records with an advisor. If a party requests that all communication be made through their attorney advisor, the college will comply with that request at the discretion of the Title IX coordinator.
Privacy of Records Shared with Advisor
Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them. These records may not be shared with third parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by the college. Casper College may seek to restrict the role of any advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by the Recipient’s privacy expectations.
Expectations of an Advisor
The college generally expects an advisor to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend college meetings when planned, but may change scheduled meetings to accommodate an advisor’s inability to attend, if doing so does not cause an unreasonable delay. The college may make reasonable provisions to allow an advisor who cannot attend in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video conferencing, or other similar technologies as may be convenient and available.
Expectations of the Parties with Respect to Advisors
A party may elect to change advisors during the process and is not obligated to use the same advisor throughout. The parties are expected to inform the investigators of the identity of their advisor at least two (2) business days before the date of their first meeting with investigators, or as soon as possible if a more expeditious meeting is necessary or desired.
The parties are expected to provide timely notice to the Title IX coordinator if they change advisors. It is assumed that if a party changes advisors, consent to share information with the previous advisor is terminated, and a release for the new advisor must be secured. Parties are expected to inform the Title IX coordinator of the identity of their hearing advisor at least two (2) business days before the hearing.
Assistance in Securing an Advisor
For representation, Respondents may wish to contact organizations such as:
Complainants may wish to contact organizations such as:
Resolution proceedings are private. All persons present at any time during the resolution process are expected to maintain the privacy of the proceedings in accordance with college policy. Although there is an expectation of privacy around what investigators share with parties during interviews, the parties have discretion to share their own knowledge and evidence with others if they so choose, with the exception of information the parties agree not to disclose related to Informal Resolution, discussed below. The college encourages parties to discuss any sharing of information with their advisors before doing so.
Informal Resolution can include three different approaches:
- When the Title IX coordinator can resolve the matter informally by providing supportive measures (only) to remedy the situation.
- When the parties agree to resolve the matter through an alternate resolution mechanism as described below, including mediation, restorative practices, etc., usually before a formal investigation takes place; see discussion in b., below.
- When the Respondent accepts responsibility for violating policy, and desires to accept a sanction and end the resolution process (similar to above, but usually occurs post-investigation; see discussion in c., below.
To initiate Informal Resolution, a Complainant needs to submit a formal complaint, as defined above. A Respondent who wishes to initiate Informal Resolution should contact the Title IX coordinator.
It is not necessary to pursue Informal Resolution first to pursue a Formal Grievance Process, and any party participating in Informal Resolution can stop the process at any time and begin or resume the Formal Grievance Process.
Prior to implementing Informal Resolution, the college will provide the parties with written notice of the reported misconduct and any sanctions or measures that may result from participating in such a process, including information regarding any records that will be maintained or shared by the college.
The college will obtain voluntary, written confirmation that all parties wish to resolve the matter through informal resolution before proceeding and will not pressure the parties to participate in informal resolution.
Alternate Resolution Mechanism
Alternate Resolution is an informal mechanism, including mediation or restorative practices, etc. by which the parties reach a mutually agreed upon resolution of an allegation. All parties must consent to the use of an alternate resolution mechanism.
The Title IX coordinator may look to the following factors to assess whether alternate resolution is appropriate or which form of alternate resolution may be most successful for the parties:
- The parties’ amenability to Alternate Resolution
- Likelihood of potential resolution, taking into account any power dynamics between the parties
- The parties’ motivation to participate
- Civility of the parties
- Results of a violence risk assessment/ongoing risk analysis
- Disciplinary history
- Whether an emergency removal is needed
- Skill of the alternate resolution facilitator with this type of allegation
- Complaint complexity
- Emotional investment/capability of the parties
- Rationality of the parties
- Goals of the parties
- Adequate resources to invest in alternate resolution (time, staff, etc.)
The Title IX coordinator makes the ultimate determination of whether alternate resolution is available or successful. The Title IX coordinator maintains records of any resolution reached, and failure to abide by the resolution agreement may result in appropriate responsive or disciplinary actions. Results of complaints resolved by informal resolution or alternate resolution are not appealable.
Respondent Accepts Responsibility for Alleged Violations
The Respondent may accept responsibility for all or part of the alleged policy violations at any point during the resolution process. If the Respondent indicates an intent to accept responsibility for all of the alleged misconduct, the formal process will be paused, and the Title IX coordinator will determine whether informal resolution can be used according to the criteria above.
If informal resolution is applicable, the Title IX coordinator will determine whether all parties and the college are able to agree on responsibility, sanctions, and/or remedies. If so, the Title IX coordinator implements the accepted finding that the Respondent is in violation of college policy and implements agreed-upon sanctions and/or remedies, in coordination with other appropriate administrators, as necessary.
This result is not subject to appeal once all parties indicate their written assent to all agreed upon terms of resolution. When the parties cannot agree on all terms of resolution, the Formal Grievance Process will resume at the same point where it was paused.
When a resolution is accomplished, the appropriate sanction or responsive actions are promptly implemented to effectively stop the harassment or discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects of the discriminatory conduct, both on the Complainant and the community. The Title IX coordinator will oversee sanctions and remedies.
The Title IX coordinator, with the consent of the parties, may negotiate and implement an agreement to resolve the allegations that satisfies all parties and the college. Negotiated Resolutions are not appealable.
Grievance Process Pool
The formal grievance process relies on a pool of administrators (“the pool”) to carry out the process. Pool members are announced in an annual distribution of this policy to all students, parents/guardians of students, employees, prospective students, and prospective employees. The list of pool members and a description of the pool is available at https://www.caspercollege.edu/title-ix/ .
Pool Member Roles
Pool members are trained annually and can serve in in the following roles, at the direction of the Title IX coordinator:
- To provide appropriate intake of and initial guidance pertaining to complaints
- To act as an advisor to the parties
- To serve in a facilitation role in informal resolution or alternate resolution if appropriately trained in appropriate resolution modalities (e.g., mediation, restorative practices
- To perform or assist with initial assessment
- To investigate complaints
- To serve as a hearing facilitator (process administrator, no decision-making role)
- To serve as a decision-maker regarding the complaint
- To serve as an appeal decision-maker
Pool Member Appointment
The Title IX coordinator, in consultation with the president, appoints the pool members who act with independence and impartiality. Although pool members are typically trained in a variety of skill sets and can rotate among the different roles listed above in different cases, the Recipient can also designate permanent roles for individuals in the pool, using others as substitutes or to provide greater depth of experience when necessary. This process of role assignment may be the result of particular skills, aptitudes, or talents identified in pool members that make them best suited to particular roles.
Pool Member Training
The pool members receive annual training jointly or based on their respective roles. A list of this training is located at at https://www.caspercollege.edu/title-ix/
The pool includes:
- 4 or more chairs: one representative from HR and one from Student Services, etc., who are members and who respectively chair hearings for allegations involving student and employee Respondents
- 2 or more Academic Affairs administration or faculty members
- 2 or more administration or staff members
- 1 Human Resources representative
- 1 Athletics representative
Individuals who are interested in serving in the pool are encouraged to contact the Title IX coordinator.
Formal Grievance Process: Notice of Investigation and Allegations
The Title IX coordinator will provide written notice of the investigation and allegations (the “NOIA”) to the Respondent upon commencement of the formal grievance process. This facilitates the Respondent’s ability to prepare for the interview and to identify and choose an advisor to accompany them. The NOIA is copied to the Complainant, who is to be given advance notice of when the NOIA will be delivered to the Respondent.
The NOIA will include:
- A meaningful summary of all of allegations
- The identity of the involved parties, if known
- The precise misconduct being alleged
- The date and location of the alleged incidents, if known
- The specific policies implicated
- A description of the applicable procedures
- A statement of the potential sanctions/responsive actions that could result
- A statement that the college presumes the Respondent is not responsible for the reported misconduct unless and until the evidence supports a different determination
- A statement that determinations of responsibility are made at the conclusion of the process and that the parties will be given an opportunity to inspect and review all directly related or relevant evidence obtained during the review and comment period
- A statement about the college’s policy on retaliation
- Information about the privacy of the process
- Information on the need for each party to have an advisor of their choosing and suggestions for ways to identify an advisor
- A statement informing the parties that the college’s policy prohibits knowingly making false statements, including knowingly submitting false information during the resolution process
- Detail on how the party may request disability accommodations during the interview process
- A link to the college’s VAWA brochure
- The names of the investigators, along with a process to identify, before the interview process, to the Title IX coordinator any conflict of interest that the investigators may have
- An instruction to preserve any evidence that is directly related to the allegations
Amendments and updates to the NOIA may be made as the investigation progresses and more information becomes available regarding the addition or dismissal of various charges.
Notice will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person or emailed to the parties’ college-issued email or designated accounts. Once emailed or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
The college will make a good faith effort to complete the resolution process within a sixty to ninety (60 to 90) business day time period, including appeal, which can be extended as necessary for appropriate cause by the Title IX coordinator, who will provide notice and rationale for any extensions or delays to the parties as appropriate, and an estimate of how much additional time will be needed to complete the process.
Appointment of Investigators
Once the decision to commence a formal investigation is made, the Title IX coordinator appoints pool members to conduct the investigation (typically using a team of two investigators), usually within two (2) business days of determining that an investigation should proceed.
Any individual materially involved in the administration of the resolution process, including the Title IX coordinator, investigators, and decision-makers may neither have nor demonstrate a conflict of interest or bias for a party generally, or for a specific Complainant or Respondent.
The Title IX coordinator will review the list of investigators to make every effort to ensure there are no actual or apparent conflicts of interest or disqualifying biases. The parties may, at any time during the resolution process, raise a concern regarding bias or conflict of interest, and the Title IX coordinator will determine whether the concern is reasonable and supportable. If so, another pool member will be assigned and the impact of the bias or conflict, if any, will be remedied. If the source of the conflict of interest or bias is the Title IX coordinator, concerns should be raised with the director of Human Resources.
The formal grievance process involves an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence obtained, including evidence that supports that the Respondent engaged in a policy violation and evidence that supports that the Respondent did not engage in a policy violation.
Credibility determinations may not be based solely on an individual’s status or participation as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.
The college operates with the presumption that the Respondent is not responsible for the reported misconduct unless and until the Respondent is determined to be responsible for a policy violation by the applicable standard of proof.
Investigations are completed expeditiously, normally within fifteen (15) business days, though some investigations may take longer, depending on the nature, extent, and complexity of the allegations, availability of witnesses, police involvement, etc.
The college will make a good faith effort to complete investigations as promptly as circumstances permit and will communicate regularly with the parties to update them on the progress and timing of the investigation.
Delays in the Investigation Process and Interactions with Law Enforcement
The college may undertake a short delay in its investigation (several days to a few weeks) if circumstances require. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to a request from law enforcement to temporarily delay the investigation, the need for language assistance, the absence of parties and/or witnesses, and/or accommodations for disabilities or health conditions.
The college will communicate in writing the anticipated duration of the delay and reason to the parties, and provide the parties with status updates if necessary. The college will promptly resume its investigation and resolution process as soon as feasible. During such a delay, college will implement supportive measures as deemed appropriate.
College actions or processes are not typically altered or precluded on the grounds that civil or criminal charges involving the underlying incidents have been filed or that criminal charges have been dismissed or reduced. Legal/civil and college processes are independent of one another, and therefore the outcome of one does not affect the outcome of the other.
Steps in the Investigation Process
All investigations are thorough, reliable, impartial, prompt, and fair. Investigations involve interviews with relevant parties and witnesses; obtaining available, relevant evidence; and identifying sources of expert information, as necessary.
All parties have a full and fair opportunity, through the investigation process, to suggest witnesses and questions, to provide evidence and expert witnesses, and to fully review and respond to all evidence on the record.
The investigators typically take the following steps, if not already completed (not necessarily in this order:
- Determine the identity and contact information of the Complainant
- Title IX coordinator, initiates or assists with any necessary supportive measures
- Obtain from the Title IX coordinator; all policies implicated by the alleged misconduct
- Assist the Title IX coordinator, when requested, with conducting a prompt initial assessment to determine if the allegations indicate a potential policy violation
- Commence a thorough, reliable, and impartial investigation by identifying issues and developing a strategic investigation plan, including a witness list, evidence list, intended investigation timeframe, and order of interviews for all witnesses and the parties
- Meet with the Complainant to finalize their interview/statement, if necessary
- Review initial Notice of Investigation and Allegation (NOIA). The NOIA may be amended with any additional or dismissed allegations
Notice should inform the parties of their right to have the assistance of an advisor, who could be a member of the pool or an advisor of their choosing present for all meetings attended by the party
- Provide each interviewed party and witness an opportunity to review and verify the investigator’s summary notes (or transcript) of the relevant evidence/testimony from their respective interviews and meetings
- Make good faith efforts to notify the parties of any meeting or interview involving the other party, in advance when possible
- When participation of a party is expected, provide that party with written notice of the date, time, and location of the meeting, and the expected participants and purpose
- Interview all available, relevant witnesses and conduct follow-up interviews as necessary
- Allow each party the opportunity to suggest witnesses and questions they wish the investigators to ask of the other party and witnesses, and document in the report which questions were asked, with a rationale for any changes or omissions
- Complete the investigation promptly and without unreasonable deviation from the intended timeline
- Provide regular status updates to the parties throughout the investigation
- Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, provide the parties and their respective advisors (if so desired by the parties with a list of witnesses whose information will be used to render a finding
- Write a comprehensive investigation report fully summarizing the investigation, all witness interviews, and addressing all relevant evidence. Appendices including relevant physical or documentary evidence will be included
- The investigators gather, assess, and synthesize evidence, but make no conclusions, engage in no policy analysis, and render no recommendations as part of their report
- Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, provide the parties and their respective advisors (if so desired by the parties) a secured electronic or hard copy of the draft investigation report and an opportunity to inspect and review all of the evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the reported misconduct, including evidence upon which the Recipient does not intend to rely in reaching a determination, for a ten (10) business day review and comment period so that each party may meaningfully respond to the evidence. The parties may elect to waive the full ten days. Each page of the materials shared will be watermarked with the role of the person receiving it (e.g., Complainant, Respondent, Complainant’s advisor, Respondent’s advisor.
- The investigators may elect to respond in writing in the investigation report to the parties’ submitted responses and/or to share the responses between the parties for additional responses
- The investigators will incorporate relevant elements of the parties’ written responses into the final investigation report, include any additional relevant evidence, make any necessary revisions, and finalize the report. The investigators should document all rationales for any changes made after the review and comment period
- The investigators shares the report with the Title IX coordinator and/or legal counsel for their review and feedback
- The investigator will incorporate any relevant feedback, and the final report is then shared with all parties and their advisors through secure electronic transmission or hard copy at least ten (10) business days prior to a hearing. The parties are provided with a file of any directly related evidence that was not included in the report
Role and Participation of Witnesses in the Investigation
Witnesses (as distinguished from the parties) who are college employees are expected to cooperate with and participate in the investigation and resolution process. Failure of such witnesses to cooperate with and/or participate in the investigation or resolution process constitutes a violation of policy and may warrant discipline.
Parties should be advised that Casper College’s ability to successfully call witnesses who are former (separated) employees is limited, and the college cannot guarantee the participation of those individuals.
Although in-person interviews for parties and all potential witnesses are ideal, circumstances (e.g., study abroad, summer break) may require individuals to be interviewed remotely. Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, WebEx, or similar technologies may be used for interviews if the investigators determine that timeliness or efficiency dictate a need for remote interviewing. The college will take appropriate steps to reasonably ensure the security and privacy of remote interviews.
Witnesses may provide written statements in lieu of interviews or choose to respond to written questions, if deemed appropriate by the investigators, though not preferred. If a witness submits a written statement but does not intend to be and is not present for cross-examination at a hearing, their written statement may not be used as evidence.
Recording of Interviews
No unauthorized audio or video recording of any kind is permitted during investigation meetings. If investigators elect to audio and/or video record interviews, all involved parties must be made aware of audio and/or video recording.
Evidentiary Considerations in the Investigation
The investigation does not consider: 1) incidents not directly related to the possible violation, unless they evidence a pattern; 2) the character of the parties; or 3) questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior, 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.
Referral for Hearing
If the complaint is not resolved through informal resolution, the Title IX coordinator will refer the matter for a hearing once the final investigation report is shared with the parties.
The hearing cannot be less than ten (10) business days from the conclusion of the investigation–when the final investigation report is transmitted to the parties and the decision-maker–unless all parties and the decision-maker agree to an expedited timeline.
The Title IX coordinator will select an appropriate decision-maker from the pool depending on whether the Respondent is an employee or a student.
Hearing Decision-maker Composition
The Recipient will designate a single decision-maker or a three-member panel from the pool, at the discretion of the Title IX coordinator. The single decision-maker will chair the hearing. With a panel, the Title IX coordinator will appoint a chair from one of the three members.
The decision-makers will not have had any previous involvement with the investigation. The Title IX coordinator may elect to have an alternate from the pool sit in throughout the hearing process in the event that a substitute is needed for any reason.
Those who have served as investigators will be witnesses in the hearing and therefore may not serve as decision-makers. Those who are serving as advisors for any party may not serve as decision-makers in that matter.
The Title IX coordinator may not serve as a decision-maker or chair in the matter but may serve as an administrative facilitator of the hearing if their previous roles in the matter do not create a conflict of interest. Otherwise, a designee may fulfill this role. The hearing will convene at a time determined by the chair or designee.
Evidentiary Considerations in the Hearing
Any evidence that the decision-makers determines is relevant and credible may be considered. The hearing does not consider: 1) incidents not directly related to the possible violation, unless they evidence a pattern; 2) the character of the parties; or 3) questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior, 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.
Previous disciplinary action of any kind involving the Respondent may be considered in determining an appropriate sanction upon a determination of responsibility, assuming the college uses a progressive discipline system. This information is only considered at the sanction stage of the process, and is not shared until then.
The parties may each submit a written impact statement prior to the hearing for the consideration of the decision-makers at the sanction stage of the process when a determination of responsibility is reached.
After post-hearing deliberation, the decision-maker renders a determination based on the preponderance of the evidence; whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the policy as alleged.
Notice of Hearing
No less than ten (10) business days prior to the hearing, the Title IX coordinator or the chair will send notice of the hearing to the parties. Once mailed, emailed, or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
The notice will contain:
- A description of the alleged violations, a list of all policies allegedly violated, a description of the applicable procedures, and a statement of the potential sanctions and responsive actions that could result.
- The time, date, and location of the hearing and a reminder that attendance is mandatory, superseding all other campus activities.
- Any technology that will be used to facilitate the hearing.
- Information about the option for the live hearing to occur with the parties located in separate rooms using technology that enables the decision-makers and parties to see and hear a party or witness answering questions. Such a request must be raised with the Title IX coordinator at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing.
- A list of all those who will attend the hearing, along with an invitation to object to any decision-maker based on demonstrated bias. This must be raised with the Title IX coordinator at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing.
- Information on how the hearing will be recorded and on access to the recording for the parties after the hearing.
- A statement that if any party or witness does not appear at the scheduled hearing, the hearing may be held in their absence and the decision-makers will not consider the party’s or witness’s testimony and any statements given prior to the hearing. For compelling reasons, the chair may reschedule the hearing.
- Notification that the parties may have the assistance of an advisor in addition to the college appointed advisor, of their choosing at the hearing and will be required to have one present for any questions they may desire to ask.
- Each party must have an advisor present. There are no exceptions.
- A copy of all the materials provided to the decision-makers about the matter, unless they have been provided already.
- An invitation to each party to submit to the chair an impact statement pre-hearing that the decision-maker will review during any sanction determination.
- An invitation to contact the Title IX coordinator to arrange any disability accommodations, language assistance, and/or interpretation services that may be needed at the hearing, at least seven (7) business days prior to the hearing.
- Whether parties can or cannot bring mobile phones or devices into the hearing.
Hearings for possible violations that occur near or after the end of an academic term (assuming the Respondent is still subject to this policy and are unable to be resolved prior to the end of term will typically be held immediately after the end of the term or during the summer, as needed, to meet the resolution timeline followed by the college and remain within the 60 to 90 business day goal for resolution.
In these cases, if the Respondent is a graduating student, a hold may be placed on graduation and/or official transcripts until the matter is fully resolved, including any appeal. A student facing charges under this policy is not in good standing to graduate.
Alternative Hearing Participation Options
If a party or parties prefer not to attend or cannot attend the hearing in person, the party should request alternative arrangements from the Title IX coordinator or the chair at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing.
The Title IX coordinator or the chair can arrange to use technology to allow remote testimony without compromising the fairness of the hearing. Remote options may be needed for witnesses who cannot appear in person. Any witness who cannot attend in person should let the Title IX coordinator or the chair know at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
The chair or hearing facilitator after any necessary consultation with the parties, investigators and/or Title IX coordinator, will provide the names of persons who will be participating in the hearing, all pertinent documentary evidence, and the final investigation report to the parties at least ten (10) business days prior to the hearing.
Any witness scheduled to participate in the hearing must have been first interviewed by the investigators or have proffered a written statement or answered written questions, unless all parties and the chair assent to the witness’s participation in the hearing. The same holds for any evidence that is first offered at the hearing. If the parties and chair do not assent to the admission of evidence newly offered at the hearing, the chair may delay the hearing and instruct that the investigation needs to be re-opened to consider that evidence.
The parties will be given the names of the decision-makers at least five (10) business days before the hearing. All objections to any decision-maker must be raised in writing, detailing the rationale for the objection, and must be submitted to the Title IX coordinator as soon as possible and no later than one day prior to the hearing. Decision-makers will be removed only if the Title IX coordinator concludes that their bias or conflict of interest precludes an impartial hearing of the allegations.
The Title IX coordinator will give the decision-makers a list of the names of all parties, witnesses, and advisors at least five (5) business days before the hearing. Any decision-maker who cannot make an objective determination must recuse themselves from the proceedings when notified of the identity of the parties, witnesses, and advisors before the hearing. If a decision-maker is unsure of whether a bias or conflict of interest exists, they must raise the concern to the Title IX coordinator as soon as possible.
During the ten (10) business day period prior to the hearing, the parties have the opportunity for continued review and comment on the final investigation report and available evidence. That review and comment can be shared with the chair at the pre-hearing meeting or at the hearing and will be exchanged between each party by the chair.
The chair may convene a pre-hearing meetings with the parties and/or their advisors to invite them to submit the questions or topics they (the parties or their advisors) wish to ask or discuss at the hearing, so that the chair can rule on their relevance ahead of time to avoid any improper evidentiary introduction in the hearing or provide recommendations for more appropriate phrasing. However, this advance review opportunity does not preclude the advisors from asking a question for the first time at the hearing or from asking for a reconsideration based on any new information or testimony offered at the hearing. The chair must document and share with each party their rationale for any exclusion or inclusion at a pre-hearing meeting.
The chair, only with full agreement of the parties, may decide before the hearing that certain witnesses do not need to be present if their testimony can be adequately summarized by the investigators in the investigation report or during the hearing.
At each pre-hearing meeting with a party and their advisor, the chair will consider arguments that evidence identified in the final investigation report as relevant is, in fact, not relevant. Similarly, evidence identified as directly related but not relevant by the investigators may be argued to be relevant. The chair may rule on these arguments pre-hearing and will exchange those rulings between the parties prior to the hearing to assist in preparation for the hearing. The chair may consult with legal counsel and the Title IX coordinator, or ask either or both to attend pre-hearing meetings.
The pre-hearing meetings will not be recorded.
At the hearing, the decision-makers has the authority to hear and make determinations on all allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and may hear and make determinations on any additional alleged policy violations that have occurred in concert with the discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, even though those collateral allegations may not specifically fall within the policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination.
Participants at the hearing will include the chair, any additional panelists, the hearing facilitator, the investigators who conducted the investigation, the parties (or three (3) organizational representatives when an organization is the Respondent, advisors to the parties, any called witnesses, the Title IX coordinator and anyone providing authorized accommodations or assistive services.
The chair will answer all questions of procedure. Anyone appearing at the hearing to provide information will respond to questions on their own behalf.
The chair will allow witnesses who have relevant information to appear at a portion of the hearing to respond to specific questions from the decision-makers and the parties and the witnesses will then be excused.
The default procedure will be to hear the allegations jointly in hearings involving more than one Respondent or in which two (2) or more Complainants have accused the same individual of substantially similar conduct. However, the Title IX coordinator may permit the investigation and/or hearings pertinent to each Respondent to be conducted separately if there is a compelling reason to do so. In joint hearings, separate determinations of responsibility will be made for each Respondent with respect to each alleged policy violation.
The Order of the Hearing: Introductions and Explanation of Procedure
The chair explains the procedures and introduces the participants. This may include a final opportunity for challenge or recusal of the decision-makers based on bias or conflict of interest. The chair will rule on any such challenge unless the chair is the individual who is the subject of the challenge, in which case the Title IX coordinator will review and decide the challenge.
The chair and/or hearing facilitator then conducts the hearing according to the hearing script. At the hearing, recording, witness logistics, party logistics, curation of documents, separation of the parties, and other administrative elements of the hearing process are managed by a non-voting hearing facilitator appointed by the Title IX coordinator. The hearing facilitator may attend to logistics of rooms for various parties/witnesses as they wait; flow of parties/witnesses in and out of the hearing space; ensuring recording and/or virtual conferencing technology is working as intended; copying and distributing materials to participants, as appropriate, etc.
Investigator Presents the Final Investigation Report
The investigators will then present a summary of the final investigation report, including items that are contested and those that are not, and will be subject to questioning by the decision-makers and the parties (through their advisors). The investigators will be present during the entire hearing process, but not during deliberations.
Neither the parties nor the decision-makers should ask the investigators their opinions on credibility, recommended findings, or determinations, and the investigators, advisors, and parties will refrain from discussion of or questions about these assessments. If such information is introduced, the chair will direct that it be disregarded.
Testimony and Questioning
Once the investigators) present their report and are questioned, the parties and witnesses may provide relevant information in turn, beginning with the Complainant, and then in the order determined by the chair. The parties/witnesses will submit to questioning by the decision-makers and then by the parties through their advisors (cross-examination).
All questions are subject to a relevance determination by the chair.
The advisor, who will remain seated during questioning, will pose the proposed question orally, electronically, or in writing. (Orally is the default, but other means of submission may be permitted by the chair upon request if agreed to by all parties and the chair. The proceeding will pause to allow the chair to consider it (and state it if it has not been stated aloud), and the chair will determine whether the question will be permitted, disallowed, or rephrased.
The chair may invite explanations or persuasive statements regarding relevance with the advisors, if the chair chooses. The chair will then state their decision on the question for the record and advise the party/witness to whom the question was directed, accordingly. The chair will explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant, or to reframe it for relevance.
The chair will limit or disallow questions on the basis that they are irrelevant, unduly repetitious (and thus irrelevant), or abusive. The chair has final say on all questions and determinations of relevance. The chair may consult with legal counsel on any questions of admissibility. The chair may ask advisors to frame why a question is or is not relevant from their perspective but will not entertain argument from the advisors on relevance once the chair has ruled on a question.
If the parties raise an issue of bias or conflict of interest of an investigator or decision-maker at the hearing, the chair may elect to address those issues, consult with legal counsel, and/or refer them to the Title IX coordinator, and/or preserve them for appeal. If bias is not in issue at the hearing, the chair should not permit irrelevant questions that probe for bias.
Refusal to Submit to Cross-Examination and Inferences
If a party or witness chooses not to submit to cross-examination at the hearing, either because they do not attend the meeting, or they attend but refuse to participate in questioning, then the decision-makers may not rely on any prior statement made by that party or witnesses at the hearing (including those contained in the investigation report) in the ultimate determination of responsibility. The decision-makers must disregard that statement. Evidence provided that is something other than a statement by the party or witness may be considered.
If the party or witness attends the hearing and answers some cross-examination questions, only statements related to the cross-examination questions they refuse to answer cannot be relied upon. However, if the statements of the party who is refusing to submit to cross-examination or refuses to attend the hearing are the subject of the allegation itself (e.g., the case is about verbal harassment or a quid pro quo offer), then those statements are not precluded from admission. Similarly, statements can be relied upon when questions are posed by the decision-makers, as distinguished from questions posed by advisors through cross-examination.
The decision-makers may not draw any inference solely from a party’s or witness’s absence from the hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.
If charges of policy violations other than sexual harassment are considered at the same hearing, the decision-makers may consider all evidence it deems relevant, may rely on any relevant statement as long as the opportunity for cross-examination is afforded to all parties through their advisors, and may draw reasonable inferences from any decision by any party or witness not to participate or respond to questions.
If a party’s advisor of choice refuses to comply with the Recipient’s established rules of decorum for the hearing, the Recipient may require the party to use a different advisor. If a recipient-provided advisor refuses to comply with the rules of decorum, the Recipient may provide that party with a different advisor to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party.
Hearings, not deliberations, are recorded by the college for purposes of review in the event of an appeal. The parties may not record the proceedings and no other unauthorized recordings are permitted.
The decision-makers, the parties, their advisors, and appropriate administrators of the college will be permitted to listen to the recording in a controlled environment determined by the Title IX coordinator. No person will be given or be allowed to make a copy of the recording without permission of the Title IX coordinator.
Deliberation, Decision-making, and Standard of Proof
The decision-makers will deliberate in closed session to determine whether the Respondent is responsible or not responsible for the policy violations in question. If a panel is used, a simple majority vote is required to determine the finding. The preponderance of the evidence standard of proof is used. The chair may invite the hearing facilitator to attend the deliberation, but only to facilitate procedurally, not to address the substance of the allegations.
When there is a finding of responsibility on one or more of the allegations, the decision-makers may then consider the previously submitted party impact statements in determining appropriate sanctions.
The chair will ensure that each of the parties has an opportunity to review any impact statement submitted by the other parties. The decision-makers may, at their discretion, consider the statements, but they are not binding.
The decision-makers will review the statements and any pertinent conduct history provided by appropriate administrator and will recommend/determine the appropriate sanctionsin consultation with other appropriate administrators, as required.
The chair will then prepare a written deliberation statement and deliver it to the Title IX coordinator, detailing the determination, rationale, the evidence used in support of its determination, the evidence not relied upon in its determination, credibility assessments, and any sanctions or recommendations.
This report is typically three to five pages and must be submitted to the Title IX coordinator within two (2) business days of the end of deliberations, unless the Title IX coordinator grants an extension. If an extension is granted, the Title IX coordinator will notify the parties.
Notice of Outcome
Using the deliberation statement, the Title IX coordinator will work with the chair to prepare a Notice of Outcome. The Notice of Outcome may be reviewed by legal counsel. The Title IX coordinator will then share the letter, including the final determination, rationale, and any applicable sanctions with the parties and their advisors within 5 business days of receiving the decision-makers’ deliberation statement.
The Notice of Outcome will then be shared with the parties simultaneously. Notification will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person, mailed to the local or permanent address of the parties as indicated in official college records, or emailed to the parties’ college-issued email or otherwise approved account. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
The Notice of Outcome will articulate the specific policies reported to have been violated, including the relevant policy section, and will contain a description of the procedural steps taken by the college from the receipt of the misconduct report to the determination, including any and all notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to obtain evidence, and hearings held.
The Notice of Outcome will specify the finding on each alleged policy violation; the findings of fact that support the determination; conclusions regarding the application of the relevant policy to the facts at issue; a statement of, and rationale for, the result of each allegation to the extent the college is permitted to share such information under state or federal law; any sanctions issued which the college is permitted to share according to state or federal law; and any remedies provided to the Complainant designed to ensure access to the college’s educational or employment program or activity, to the extent the college is permitted to share such information under state or federal law (this detail is not typically shared with the Respondent unless the remedy directly relates to the Respondent.
The Notice of Outcome will include information on when the results are considered by the college to be final, any changes that occur prior to finalization, and the relevant procedures and bases for any available appeal options.
Factors considered when determining a sanction/responsive action may include, but are not limited to:
- The nature, severity of, and circumstances surrounding the violations
- The Respondent’s disciplinary history
- Previous allegations or allegations involving similar conduct
- The need for sanctions/responsive actions to bring an end to the discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation
- The need for sanctions/responsive actions to prevent the future recurrence of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation
- The need to remedy the effects of the discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation on the Complainant and the community
- The impact on the parties
- Any other information deemed relevant by the decision-makers
The sanctions will be implemented as soon as is feasible, either upon the outcome of any appeal or the expiration of the window to appeal without an appeal being requested.
The sanctions described in this policy are not exclusive of, and may be in addition to, other actions taken or sanctions imposed by external authorities.
The following are the usual sanctions that may be imposed upon students or organizations singly or in combination:
- Warning. A written notice that the student has violated college policies or codes and that more severe conduct action will result should the student be involved in other violations while enrolled at the college.
- Restitution. Compensation for damage caused to the college or any person’s property. This could include failing to return a reserved space to the proper condition resulting in a charge for labor costs and expenses. This is not a fine but repayment for labor costs and the value of property destroyed, damaged, consumed, or stolen.
- Fines. Reasonable monetary fines imposed for a violation.
- Community/College Service Requirements. To complete a specific supervised college service.
- Loss of Privileges. The student will be denied specified privileges for a designated period.
- Confiscation of Prohibited Property. Items whose presence is in violation of college policy will be confiscated and become the property of the college. Prohibited items may be returned to the owner at the discretion of the AVPSS or Campus Security.
- Behavioral Requirement. The requirement to attend or perform activities such as academic counseling or substance abuse assessment, writing a letter of apology, etc.
- Educational Program. The requirement to attend, present, and participate in a program related to the violation. It may be a requirement to sponsor or assist with a program for others on campus to aid them in learning about a topic or issue related to the violation.
- Restriction of Visitation Privileges. A no trespass sanction may be imposed on resident or non-resident students. The parameters of the restriction will be specified and may be specific to a buildings or the campus in general
- College Housing Probation. A written notice to a student that the college may immediately remove the student from college housing should further violations of residence life or college policies occur during a specified period. Regular probationary meetings may be required.
- College Housing Reassignment. Reassignment of the student to another college housing facility. Residential life personnel will decide on the reassignment location and restrictions.
- College Housing Suspension. Removal from college housing for a specified period after which the student is eligible to return under specific conditions. The student must vacate college housing within 24 hours of notification of the housing suspension. The student may request an extension to the deadline to vacate to the director of student life. The college may enforce this sanction with a trespass action if necessary. Students must gain permission from the director of student life prior to reapplication for college housing.
- College Housing Expulsion. The indefinite revocation of a student’s privilege to live in or visit any college housing structure. The college may enforce this sanction with a trespass action if necessary.
- College Probation. The student receives a notice that the student may face suspension or expulsion if further violations occur during a probationary period. Regular probationary meetings may be required.
- Eligibility Restriction. The student is deemed as being not in good standing with the college for a specified period and may not be allowed to participate in certain activities until the student is back in good standing. The AVPSS may grant limitations or exceptions to the ability to participate. Terms of this sanction may include the following.
- Ineligibility to hold office in a student organization recognized by the college or hold an elected or appointed office at the college.
- Ineligibility to represent the college to anyone outside the college community in any way including participating in the study abroad program, attending conferences, or representing the college at an official function, event, or intercollegiate competition as a player, manager, student coach, etc.
- College Suspension. Separation from the college for a specified period, after which the student is eligible to return. Eligibility may be contingent upon satisfaction of conditions noted at the time of suspension. The student is required to vacate the campus within 24 hours of notification of the action. The student may submit a request for a deadline extension to the AVPSS. During the suspension, the student is banned from college property, functions, events, and activities without prior written approval from the AVPSS. This sanction may be enforced with a trespass action if necessary. This sanction will be noted as a conduct suspension on the student’s official academic transcript.
- College Expulsion. Permanent separation from the college. The student is banned from college property and college-sponsored activity or event. This sanction may be enforced with a trespass action if necessary. This sanction will be noted as a conduct expulsion on the student’s official academic transcript. Presidential approval is required for this action.
- Other Sanctions. With the approval of the AVPSS, additional or alternate sanctions may be created and designed as deemed appropriate to the offense.
Employee Sanctions/Responsive Actions
Responsive actions for an employee who has engaged in harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation include:
- Warning, verbal or written
- Performance improvement plan/management process
- Enhanced supervision, observation, or review
- Required counseling
- Required training or education
- Denial of pay increase or pay grade
- Loss of oversight or supervisory responsibility
- Delay of tenure track progress
- Assignment to new supervisor
- Restriction of stipends, research, and/or professional development resources
- Suspension with pay
- Suspension without pay
- Other Actions: In addition to or in place of the above sanctions or responsive actions, the college may assign any other responsive actions as deemed appropriate.
Withdrawal or Resignation While Charges Pending
If a student has an allegation pending for violation of the policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination, the college may place a hold on a student’s ability to graduate and/or to receive an official transcript/diploma.
Should a student decide to not participate in the resolution process, the process proceeds absent their participation to a reasonable resolution. Should a student Respondent permanently withdraw from the college, the resolution process ends, as the college no longer has disciplinary jurisdiction over the withdrawn student. However, the college will continue to address and remedy any systemic issues, variables that may have contributed to the alleged violations, and any ongoing effects of the alleged harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. The student who withdraws or leaves while the process is pending may not return to the college. Such exclusion applies to all campuses of Recipient. A hold will be placed on their ability to be readmitted. They may be barred from college property and events.
If the student Respondent only withdraws or takes a leave for a specified period of time (e.g., one semester or term), the resolution process may continue remotely and that student is not permitted to return to college unless and until all sanctions have been satisfied.
Should an employee Respondent resign with unresolved allegations pending, the resolution process ends, as the college no longer has disciplinary jurisdiction over the resigned employee. However, the college will continue to address and remedy any systemic issues, variables that contributed to the alleged violations, and any ongoing effects of the alleged harassment or discrimination.
The employee who resigns with unresolved allegations pending is not eligible for rehire with the college, and the records retained by the Title IX coordinator and the office of Human Resources will reflect that status.
All college responses to future inquiries regarding employment references for that individual will include that the former employee resigned during a pending disciplinary matter.
Any party may file a Request for Appeal, but it must be submitted in writing to the Title IX coordinator within 3 days of the delivery of the Notice of Outcome.
A single appeal decision-maker will chair the appeal. No decision-maker will have been involved in the process previously, including any dismissal appeal that may have been heard earlier in the process.
The Request for Appeal will be forwarded to the appeal chair for consideration to determine if the request meets the grounds for appeal (a Review for Standing).
This review is not a review of the merits of the appeal, but solely a determination as to whether the request meets the grounds and is timely filed.
Grounds for Appeal
Appeals are limited to the following grounds:
a. Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
b. New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; and
c. The Title IX coordinator, investigators, or decision-makers had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the specific Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.
If any of the grounds in the Request for Appeal do not meet the grounds in this policy, that request will be denied by the appeal chair and the parties and their advisors will be notified in writing of the denial and the rationale.
If any of the grounds in the Request for Appeal meet the grounds in this policy, then the appeal chair will notify the other parties and their advisors, the Title IX coordinator, and, when appropriate, the investigators and/or the original decision-makers.
The other parties and their advisors, the Title IX coordinator, and, when appropriate, the investigators and/or the original decision-makers will be mailed, emailed, and/or provided a hard copy of the request with the approved grounds and then be given 5 business days to submit a response to the portion of the appeal that was approved and involves them. The chair will forward all responses to all parties for review and comment.
The non-appealing party, if any, may choose to raise a new ground for appeal at this time. If so, that will be reviewed to determine if it meets the grounds in this policy by the appeal chair and either denied or approved. If approved, it will be forwarded to the party who initially requested an appeal, the investigators and/or original decision-makers, as necessary, who will submit their responses in 5 business days, which will be circulated for review and comment by all parties.
Neither party may submit any new requests for appeal after this period. The appeal chair will collect any additional information needed and all documentation regarding the approved grounds and the subsequent responses [will be shared with the appeal chair and they will render a decision in no more than 5 business days, barring exigent circumstances. All decisions apply the preponderance of the evidence standard.
A Notice of Appeal Outcome will be sent to all parties simultaneously including the decision on each approved ground and rationale for each decision. The Notice of Appeal Outcome will specify the finding on each ground for appeal, any specific instructions for remand or reconsideration, any sanctions that may result which the college is permitted to share according to state or federal law, and the rationale supporting the essential findings to the extent the college is permitted to share under state or federal law.
Notification will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person, mailed to the local or permanent address of the parties as indicated in official institutional records, or emailed to the parties’ college-issued email or otherwise approved account. Once mailed, emailed and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
Sanctions Status During the Appeal
Any sanctions imposed as a result of the hearing are stayed during the appeal process. Supportive measures may be reinstated, subject to the same supportive measure procedures above.
If any of the sanctions are to be implemented immediately post-hearing, but pre-appeal, then emergency removal procedures (detailed above) for a hearing on the justification for doing so must be permitted within 48 hours of implementation.
Casper College may still place holds on official transcripts, diplomas, graduations, and course registration pending the outcome of an appeal when the original sanctions included separation.
- Decisions on appeal are to be deferential to the original decision, making changes to the finding only when there is clear error and to the sanctions/responsive actions only if there is a compelling justification to do so.
- Appeals are not intended to provide for a full re-hearing (de novo) of the allegations. In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original hearing and pertinent documentation regarding the specific grounds for appeal.
- An appeal is not an opportunity for appeal decision-makers to substitute their judgment for that of the original decision-makers merely because they disagree with the finding or sanctions.
- The appeal chair/decision-maker may consult with the Title IX coordinator on questions of procedure or rationale, for clarification, if needed. Documentation of all such consultation will be maintained.
- Appeals granted based on new evidence should normally be remanded to the original investigators and/or decision-maker for reconsideration. Other appeals may be remanded at the discretion of the Title IX coordinator or, in limited circumstances, decided on appeal.
- Once an appeal is decided, the outcome is final. Further appeals are not permitted, even if a decision or sanction is changed on remand (except in the case of a new hearing). When appeals result in no change to the finding or sanction, that decision is final. When an appeal results in a new finding or sanction, that finding or sanction can be appealed one final time on the grounds listed above and in accordance with these procedures.
- In rare cases where a procedural or substantive error cannot be cured by the original decision-makers (as in cases of bias), the appeal may order a new hearing with a new decision-makers).
- The results of a remand to a decision-makers cannot be appealed. The results of a new hearing can be appealed, once, on any of the three available appeal grounds.
- In cases in which the appeal results in reinstatement to the college or resumption of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the Respondent to their prior status, recognizing that some opportunities lost may be irreparable in the short term.
Long-Term Remedies/Other Actions
Following the conclusion of the resolution process, and in addition to any sanctions implemented, the Title IX coordinator may implement additional long-term remedies or actions with respect to the parties and/or the campus community that are intended to stop the harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation, remedy the effects, and prevent reoccurrence.
These remedies/actions may include, but are not limited to:
- Referral to counseling and health services
- Referral to the Employee Assistance Program
- Education to the individual and/or the community
- Permanent alteration of housing assignments
- Permanent alteration of work arrangements for employees
- Provision of campus safety escorts
- Climate surveys
- Policy modification and/or training
- Provision of transportation accommodations
- Implementation of long-term contact limitations between the parties
- Implementation of adjustments to academic deadlines, course schedules, etc.
At the discretion of the Title IX coordinator, certain long-term support or measures may be provided to the parties even if no policy violation is found. When no policy violation is found, the Title IX coordinator will address any remedies owed by the Recipient to the Respondent to ensure no effective denial of educational access. The Recipient will maintain the privacy of any long-term remedies/actions/measures, provided privacy does not impair the Recipient’s ability to provide these services.
Failure to Comply with Sanctions and/or Interim and Long-term Remedies and/or Responsive Actions
All Respondents are expected to comply with the assigned sanctions, responsive actions, and corrective actions within the timeframe specified by the final decision-makers, including the appeal chair or panel.
Failure to abide by the sanctions or actions imposed by the date specified, whether by refusal, neglect, or any other reason, may result in additional sanctions or actions, including suspension, expulsion, and/or termination from the college and may be noted on a student’s official transcript.
A suspension will only be lifted when compliance is achieved to the satisfaction of the Title IX coordinator.
Casper College will maintain for a period of at least seven years records of:
a. Each sexual harassment investigation including any determination regarding responsibility and any audio or audiovisual recording or transcript required under federal regulation;
b. Any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Respondent;
c. Any remedies provided to the Complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to the college’s education program or activity;
d. Any appeal and the result therefrom;
e. Any Informal Resolution and the result therefrom;
f. All materials used to train Title IX coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an Informal Resolution process. Casper College will make these training materials publicly available on the Title IX page of the Casper College website and;
g. Any actions, including any supportive measures, taken in response to a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, including:
i. The basis for all conclusions that the response was not deliberately indifferent;
ii. Any measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to the college’s education program or activity; and
iii. If no supportive measures were provided to the Complainant, document the reasons why such a response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.
Casper College will maintain any and all records in accordance with state and federal laws.
Disabilities Accommodations in the Resolution Process
Casper College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations and support to qualified students, employees, or others with disabilities to ensure equal access to the college’s resolution process. Anyone needing such accommodations or support should contact the Disability Services Counselor or the appropriate HR individual if employee, who will review the request and, in consultation with the person requesting the accommodation and the Title IX coordinator, determine which accommodations are appropriate and necessary for full participation in the process.
Revision of this Policy and Procedures
This policy and procedures supersede any previous policies addressing harassment, sexual misconduct, discrimination, and/or retaliation under Title IX and will be reviewed and updated annually by the Title IX coordinator. The college reserves the right to make changes to this document as necessary, and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect.
During the resolution process, the Title IX coordinator may make minor modifications to procedures that do not materially jeopardize the fairness owed to any party, such as to accommodate summer schedules. The Title IX coordinator may vary procedures materially with notice (on the institutional website, with the appropriate effective date identified) upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations not reflected in this policy and procedures.
If government laws or regulations change, or court decisions alter, the requirements in a way that impacts this document, this document will be construed to comply with the most recent government regulations or holdings.
This document does not create legally enforceable protections beyond the protection of the background state and federal laws which frame such policies and codes, generally.
This policy and procedures are effective August 14, 2020.