Procedure for Student Code of Conduct Violations
Penalties for Copyright Infringement
Academic Probation/Suspension Policy
Discrimination Grievance Procedures
The student in the classroom and in conference should enjoy free discussion, inquiry and expression. Student performance shall be evaluated on an academic basis, as defined in the syllabus for each course.
- Protection of Freedom of Expression:
Students shall be free, and encouraged, to offer opinions and insights in any course of study and be allowed to reserve judgment about matters of opinion expressed by the faculty member or other students. Also, students are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.
- Protection against Improper Academic Evaluation:
Students shall have protection through due process against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. At the same time, they are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled. Students may use the procedures outlined under "Grade Appeal Process" when a dispute over final grades occurs.
Freedom of Assembly
North Central Michigan College is a public institution of higher education whose authority is derived from the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and whose property and resources are primarily dedicated to academic, administrative and related functions. As an institution that highly regards the freedom of `speech, freedom of expression and right to peaceably assemble, North Central Michigan College affords groups and individuals an invitation to exercise such freedoms on its grounds. The purpose of this policy is to facilitate expressive activities while ensuring that such activities do not interfere with College operations and the learning environment.
For anyone lawfully present on the College’s campus, the outdoor common and indoor common areas are designated as venues for free expression, including spontaneous expression, speeches, demonstrations and the distribution of information. Anyone who wishes to engage in commercial solicitation is required to reserve time and space for such activities following the terms of the College’s Solicitation Policy.
For purposes of this policy, the term 'expressive activity" includes peaceful activities such as:
- Meetings and other group activities;
- Speeches, performances, demonstrations, parades, marches, rallies, vigils and other events;
- Distributions of informational materials, such as circulars, newspapers, leaflets and pamphlets;
- Any other expression, including spontaneous expression, protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
While North Central Michigan College maintains its authority to regulate the time, place and manner of expressive activities, it shall not consider or regulate the content of speech or viewpoint of speakers in the application of this policy. When expressive activities occur, North Central Michigan College will work to ensure that such activities transpire without interference by the College, provided the learning environment is not disrupted and campus safety is not compromised by the activities. If persons react negatively to expressive activities occurring on the campus of North Central Michigan College, the College will take necessary steps to ensure campus safety while allowing the expressive activity to continue, unless the College’s operations are materially and substantially disrupted.
For purposes of this policy, the terms “outdoor common” and “indoor common” refer to such areas as:
- Lawns, sidewalks, benches and other outdoor areas that are not otherwise reserved for use;
- Student lounges and other indoor areas designated for social interactions that are not otherwise reserved for use.
Expressive activities, as defined by this policy, are allowed on North Central Michigan College’s campus during the periods that College facilities are open to the general public.
No expressive activity at North Central Michigan College shall be permitted to:
- Violate or infringe upon the rights of others;
- Falsely defame an individual;
- Constitute a genuine threat or harassment;
- Invade privacy or confidentiality interests;
- Block access to campus buildings;
- Impede ingress or egress to the College or any College property, pedestrian pathway, parking lot, building, facility or event;
- Obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic;
- Include the use of audio amplification devices, unless specifically authorized by the College;
- Include the use of fire or pyrotechnics, unless specifically authorized by the College;
- Affix materials to College buildings, equipment, fences, trees or property, unless specifically authorized by the College.
North Central Michigan College does not assume any obligation or responsibility for the content of expressive activities or materials distributed. People engaging in expressive activities assume responsibility for damages to College property, for the cleanup of materials immediately following the conclusion of expressive activities, and for remaining in compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws.
Grade Appeal Process
If a student believes that a FINAL COURSE GRADE received is incorrect or unfair, the student may follow this appeal process:
- The student must notify the instructor in writing no later than ten (10) working days from the release of semester grades. Email submissions are also acceptable. The student and instructor should discuss all the factors that were instrumental in determining the grade. If the instructor is not available, the student may meet with the appropriate Dean/Associate Dean. A written response to the appeal will be made within ten (10) working days.
- If a student wishes to appeal the decision of the instructor, he/she may do so by submitting an appeal, in writing, to the appropriate Dean/Associate Dean within ten (10) working days after the instructor’s decision. The Dean/Associate Dean will have ten (10) working days to consider and respond to the appeal. If the Dean/Associate Dean assigned the grade, the student’s appeal will move from step 1 to step 3.
- If a student wishes to take further action, he/she may appeal the previous decision, in writing, to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The appeal must be delivered to the Vice President within ten (10) working days of the previous decision. The Vice President will consider the appeal and may request additional information from the student and/or the instructor. The Vice President will have ten (10) working days to consider and respond to the appeal.
- If the student wishes to take further action, a written appeal may be made to the President of the College within ten (10) working days of receiving the previous decision. The President will have ten (10) working days to consider and respond in writing to the appeal. The President’s decision will be the final determination and the conclusion of the appeal process.
Student Code of Conduct
Students are responsible for obeying municipal, state and federal laws that govern the community, as well as the rules and regulations of the College. If a student participates individually or as a member of a group in any violation of Conduct Standards (listed below), he or she can be subject to disciplinary action. Further, sanctions may be imposed upon student groups or organizations, including the sanction of deactivation, which entails the loss of all the privileges and/or College recognition for a specified period of time. The Student Conduct Standards also apply to off-campus activities, such as field trips, off-campus classes and College-sponsored events. On a case-by-case basis, the Vice President of Student Affairs or other appropriate Vice Presidents will determine if a hearing is necessary.
Enrollment carries with it obligations relative to conduct both within and outside the classroom. If a student is accused of less-than-acceptable behavior, College procedures provide for due process to insure that the student receives fair and equitable treatment.
Forms of Misconduct
- Dishonesty, including knowingly furnishing false information to the College or a College officer whether verbally, in writing or by completing required forms. If a student is seeking a degree at North Central and fails to disclose that he/she has attended other academic institutions prior to his/her enrollment at North Central, he/she is violating the Student Code of Conduct standards and is jeopardizing his/her continued enrollment at North Central.
- Academic Dishonesty is conduct, cheating or plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty including acquisition without permission of tests or other academic materials. Included are those students who aid and abet, as well as those who attempt such behavior. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use whether by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear attribution. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials. Incidents of academic dishonesty shall be dealt with according to the procedures outlined in Academic Dishonesty Process.
- Forgery, alteration or misuse of College documents, records or identification, or forging a College staff person's name or initials.
- Disruption or unauthorized interruption of college activities.
- Conduct or expressions of a disorderly, obscene or sexually offensive nature contrary to generally recognized community standards of propriety or good taste.
- Theft of, or damage to property of the College or a member of the College community or campus visitor.
- Unauthorized entry to and/or use of College facilities and equipment. Also, possession of keys or duplication of College keys without proper authorization.
- The distribution, use, possession or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs or controlled substances on campus. Federal/State laws related to underage drinking/drug laws will be enforced with the assistance of appropriate authorities.
- Disobiedence of College officials or designated agents acting in the performance of their duty.
- Any form of sexual misconduct including, but not limited to, the following:
- Sexual Assault – any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation or coercion.
- Domestic violence – a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by – a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complaining student; a person with whom the complaining student shares a child in common; a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the complaining student as a spouse or intimate partner; a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complaining student under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies (under VAWA), or any other person against an adult or youth complaining student who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
- Dating violence – violence committed by a person who is or has been in social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complaining student; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: length of the relationship; type of the relationship; and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
- Stalking or Cyberstalking – engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.
- Any form of harassment toward an individual or group of individuals. NOTE: The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature” when such “conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s education or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment.”
- Consent – sexual activity requires consent, which is defined as voluntary, positive agreement between the participants to engage in specific sexual activity. Consent must be clear and unambiguous for each participant at every stage of a sexual encounter. The absence of “no” should not be understood to mean that there is consent. A person who is asleep or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason, is not capable of giving valid consent. The use of alcohol or drugs may seriously interfere with the participants’ judgment about whether consent has been sought and given. Consent must meet all of the following standards:
- Active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. There is no requirement that an individual resist a sexual act or advance, but resistance is a clear demonstration of not consenting.
- Given freely. A person cannot give consent under force, threats, or unreasonable pressure (coercion). Coercion includes continued pressure after an individual has made it clear that s/he does not want to engage in the behavior.
- Provided knowingly. Legally valid consent to sexual activity cannot be given by:
- A person under the legal age to consent (16 years old in Michigan,), or
- An individual who is known to be (or based on the circumstances should reasonably be known to be) mentally or physically incapacitated. An incapacitated person is someone who cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because s/he lacks the capacity to understand the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of a sexual interaction. This includes a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, unconsciousness, use of alcohol or other drugs.
- Specific. Permission to engage in one form of sexual activity does not imply permission for another activity. In addition, previous relationships or prior consent do not imply consent to future sexual acts. It is the reasonability of the initiator of the act to receive permission for the specific act. As a result, consent may be requested and given several times by multiple parties during a sexual encounter involving multiple acts.
- Tampering with Fire Fighting Equipment and Fire Drills. Pulling false fire alarms, tampering with or misusing fire alarm systems, interfering with firemen and tampering with or removing fire-fighting equipment are prohibited. All persons are expected to follow posted building evacuation procedures in the event of fires or fire drills.
- Soliciting. Soliciting in campus buildings or on campus grounds is prohibited. Exceptions are made for ticket sales for campus functions only when approved by the Vice President of Student Affairs. Students are not allowed to use their residence hall rooms for any commercial purpose.
- Gambling. Gambling of any kind is not permitted on the campus or at College sponsored events.
- Use and/or misuse of the College computer system, facilities, hardware, software and all computerized information is prohibited in the following circumstance, including but not to be limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file, whether to use, read, change or for any other purpose.
- Unauthorized transfer of a file, including peer-to-peer file sharing.
- Unauthorized use of another individual's identification and password.
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or College official.
- Use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages.
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the College's computing system.
- Use of computing facilities in a manner which violates state or federal copyright
e.g.,unauthorized duplication of copyrighted or licensed software.
- Violation of the Firearms, Explosives or Weapons Policy including prohibiting the possession of any firearm, stiletto, dagger, dirk knife, any knife having a double-edged blade, a switch knife or any knife having an automatic spring release which has a blade over one and one-half inches, a sling shot, black jack, metallic knuckles or knuckles of any substance with a similar effect as metallic knuckles, pellet guns, BB guns, mace, and pepper spray. In addition to the weapons identified above, North Central Michigan College also prohibits all other weapons, including, but not limited to: open flames (unless otherwise approved by Environmental Health and Safety), ammunition, explosives, paintball guns, replica guns, electronic incapacitation or other stun weapons, and any other object (including an otherwise innocuous object) that the college determines could be used (or is being used) to harass or injure another individual or that the college reasonably determines has the effect of intimidating another individual..
- Violation of Tobacco-Free Policy
Procedure for Student Code of Conduct Violations Except Sexual Misconduct
Any member of the College community may file charges against a student for an alleged violation of the Student Conduct Standards. For all allegations of sexual misconduct, please refer to the procedures set forth in the Sexual Misconduct Policy. These charges must be filed with an employee who will complete an electronic Incident Report Form. Once charges have been formally filed, the following procedure will be observed:
- The Vice President of Student Affairs will investigate the allegation and determine if a hearing is necessary. Notification to the accused parties of the alleged violation will be made within 10 (ten) working days.The student may exercise one of two options.
- The student may proceed directly to a Judicial Committee, which will be responsible for making a decision and forwarding the decision to the Vice President of Student Affairs for implementation. The Vice President of Student Affairs will appoint a Judicial Committee composed of three full-time college employees and two students. The Vice President will appoint one of the employees to chair the hearing. The members of this committee must have no vested interest in the matter. The Vice President of Student Affairs shall not serve on this committee.
- If the student chooses not to contest the charge, he/she may waive the right of a Committee hearing and request the matter of penalty be determined by the Vice President of Student Affairs.
- The Judicial Committee has the responsibility of hearing the charges against the student and reviewing the evidence. The hearing will take place within ten working days following the student's receipt of the written charges. A verbatim record, such as an audio recording, will be made of all hearings. This record remains the property of the College. Within one working week following the hearing, the Committee will submit its final decision (in writing) to the Vice President of Student Affairs.
- The Vice President of Student Affairs will implement the Committee's decision, which may include sanctions imposed on the student. The Vice President will then inform the student of the decision within three working days of the receipt of the Judicial Committee's decision.
- Appeal Procedure: The accused student shall receive written notification of the outcome of the hearing (or meeting with the Vice President of Student Affairs) as well as any sanctions or referrals if required. The accused student has the right to appeal. Written appeal must be received by the Vice President of Student Affairs within 10 (ten) working days of the date of the written notification of Judicial Committee hearing, or to the President of the College if the hearing was conducted by the Vice President of Student Affairs.
Violations of the Student Code of Conduct Standards are subject to disciplinary action. After considering information presented at a hearing, the Vice President of Student Affairs or the Campus Judicial Committee will make a decision as to guilt or innocence. In the case of a "guilty" decision, the Vice President of Student Affairs or the Campus Judicial Committee will determine the appropriate sanction.
Appropriate action may include, but is not limited to:
Warning: A "Warning" is an official reprimand that expresses College dissatisfaction with the student's conduct and clarifies expected behavior in the future.
Probation: "Probation" status indicates that any violation of Student Code of Conduct Standards within the probationary period shall result in more severe disciplinary action against the student that could include suspension from the institution. Probation in itself does not carry with it any restrictions; but, in addition to probation, it is possible for a student to be required to complete a work assignment, make restitution or be prohibited from holding an office or representing the College in any activity.
Removal from a course: If "Removal From a Course" occurs, a student may continue to attend other classes, but may not resume attendance in the course from which he or she has been removed. In the event a student is removed from a course, he or she will be given either a withdrawal or a failure in accordance with the College's course withdrawal policy.
Suspension: "Suspension" is an action that separates the student from the institution for a definite period of time (days, weeks, semesters, etc.) Such action will specify the conditions required for readmission, as well as the date the student will be eligible to return.
Expulsion: "Expulsion" is an action that permanently separates the student from the institution.
Specific Orders: Is an action that may stand alone or be issued with another sanction. Specific orders may include, but are not limited to, performance or nonperformance of specific acts, loss of certain privileges, payment of fines and/or restitution.
In certain circumstances, the Vice President of Student Affairs or his/her designee may impose a suspension prior to the hearing before a Judicial Committee.
- Interim suspension may be imposed only:
- To ensure the safety and well being of members of the college community or preservation of college property
- To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well being
- If the student poses a definite threat of disruption or interference with the normal conduct of operations of the College
- During the period of interim suspension the student shall be denied access to the campus (including being barred from classes) and/or all other college activities or privileges for which he/she might otherwise be eligible as the Vice President of Student Affairs may determine to be appropriate.
- The interim suspension shall continue until the student’s due process procedures are complete. The hearing for this matter should be held as soon as is practical.
Penalties for Copyrigh Infringement
Copyright infringement is the act of exercising without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.
Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also asses costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov.
Student Grievance Process
While attending North Central Michigan College, students sometimes have misunderstandings or experience difficulty with a College employee. When students feel they have been treated unfairly and believe that one or more of their student rights have been violated, they can pursue a remedy or solution to the problem through the Student Grievance Process.
NOTE: The Student Grievance Process is designed to address violations of student rights; when a student wishes to appeal a final grade, complain specifically of sexual harassment, or is the subject of an academic dishonesty or code of conduct violation, separate policies listed below should be used. The Student Grievance process is not designed for these other issues involving students:
- Academic Dishonesty
- Grade Appeal
- Student Code of Conduct Violation
- Sexual Harassment
As used in these procedures, “days” shall mean actual school days during which the College is in session and regular classes are held; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are not included.
Informal Grievance: Level 1
Student is required to meet with staff member(s) and/or immediate supervisor of the staff member(s) in an attempt to mutually resolve the matter. This discussion must take place within ten (10) days of the alleged incident.
Formal Grievance: Level 2
If the matter is not resolved satisfactorily on the informal Grievance Level 1, either party may proceed to the Formal Grievance Level 2. Within five (5) days of completion of the informal procedure, and not later than fifteen (15) days from the date of the alleged incident, the student may choose to file a Student Grievance Form, which is available in the student portal. The appropriate Vice President will investigate the allegation and determine if a hearing is necessary. The Vice President of Academic Affairs is responsible for issues involving faculty and that are academic in nature. The Vice President of Finance and Facilities is responsible for employees in that division. All other student-initiated concerns fall under the Vice President of Student Affairs. If a hearing is necessary, the student may exercise one of two options.
- The student may proceed to a Judicial Committee, which will be responsible for making a decision and forwarding it to the Vice President for implementation;
- The student may request that the appropriate Vice President handle the case. The Vice President shall decide the case within ten (10) days of the Student Grievance Form being filed.
The Judicial Committee will be composed of three full-time College employees and two students and will be appointed by the Vice President. The Vice President will appoint one of the employees to chair the hearing. The members of this committee must have no vested interest in the matter. The Vice President shall not sit on this committee. The Judicial Committee shall meet within ten (10) days of the Vice President’s appointment.
Formal Grievance: Level 3
The decision of the Judicial Committee may be appealed to the Vice President. This appeal must occur, in writing, within five (5) days of the Committee’s decision. The decision of the Vice President shall be final and shall be communicated within seven (7) days of receipt of the appeal.
If the student requests the Vice President to handle the case, he/she may appeal to the President, in writing, within five (5) days of the Vice President’s decision. The decision of the President shall be final and will be given in writing within seven (7) days of receipt of the appeal. This represents the conclusion of the appeal process.
Academic Dishonesty Procedure
Academic dishonesty includes plagiarism and cheating on assignments, cheating on laboratory work or examinations, having another person take an exam in one’s place, substituting another’s work as one’s own, falsifying records or providing misinformation regarding one’s credentials; unauthorized collaboration on computer assignments and unauthorized access to and use of computer programs, including modifying computer files created by others and representing that work as one’s own. All students are expected to adhere to the standards of documentation as outlined by the instructors. Individual faculty members may determine appropriate consequences in a given course for proven academic dishonesty cases (refer to instructor syllabi). If a faculty member believes a student has committed an academic violation, these steps should be followed:
- The faculty member should communicate with the student to discuss the allegation and provide evidence thereof. Based on the faculty/student conversation a determination of the sanctions, for the academic dishonesty, shall be made and given to the student in writing from the faculty within five (5) working days of the conversation.
- The student may appeal the decision, in writing, to the Dean/Associate Dean within
ten (10) working days. The Dean/Associate Dean will communicate with the student and
present the student with choosing one of two options:
- The student may choose to have the Dean/Associate Dean handle the appeal.
- The student may proceed to a Judicial Committee to handle the appeal.
- If the student chooses the Dean/Associate Dean to handle appeal, the Dean/Associate Dean will communicate with the student, the faculty member(s) and any other relevant people. Within ten (10) workings days the Dean/Associate Dean will notify the student of the decision in writing.
- If the student chooses a Judicial Committee, the matter will be referred to the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Vice President shall appoint one administrator, two faculty members, and two students to serve on the Judicial Committee; one employee will be appointed chair of the committee. This committee’s charge is to hold hearings to collect information by talking with the student, faculty member(s) and any relevant people. The members of this committee must have no vested interest in the matter and the Vice President of Student Affairs and/or the Dean/Associate Dean shall not serve on the Judicial Committee. Hearings are to be held within three working weeks from final Judicial Committee appointment. The Committee will forward their written decision to the Vice President of Student Affairs within five (5) days from the final hearing. The Vice President will notify the student of the judicial committee’s decision and forward to Dean/Associate Dean for implementation within three (3) working days from receipt of decision.
- Final Appeal: The accused student has the right to make a final appeal of the decision of the Dean/Associate Dean or the Judicial Committee. The appeal goes to Provost and must be received within 10 (ten) working days of the written notification from the Dean/Associate Dean or Judicial Committee. The Provost will have ten (10) working days to review and submit a decision, in writing, to the student. The decision will also be forwarded to the Dean/Associate Dean for implementation. This is the final appeal process; no appeals can be submitted after the decision by the Provost.
Academic Probation/Suspension Policy
A student is placed on academic probation when his/her cumulative grade point average (GPA) after enrolling for 6 semester credit hours falls below 2.0, the minimum level considered to be in good academic standing. A student placed on academic probation will have two consecutive semesters of enrollment during which to bring his/her cumulative grade point average to 2.0 or above. Failure to do so may result in academic suspension (denial of continued enrollment) for one full semester. A student readmitted after suspension will have an additional two semesters in which to achieve a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Failure to do so will result in suspension for one calendar year. This policy does not supersede more rigorous probation policies required for financial aid, veteran’s benefits, or for continuance in selective programs, e.g., Nursing or Medical Assistant.
Students placed on academic probation are urged to contact an advisor or counselor to develop a plan of action that results in greater success.
Bulletin Board Posting Policy
Anyone wishing to post advertisements or announcements is required to have the items date-stamped by Student Services. Any advertisements or announcements without a date stamp are subject to immediate removal. All advertisements or announcements may be posted for a maximum of thirty (30) days and will be removed.
Acceptable areas of posting are the designated bulletin boards in all campus buildings. Postings that have not been date-stamped or are not posted in acceptable areas will be removed by the College.
Posting on glass doors and windows is prohibited.
Children on Campus
Children under age 12 not enrolled in a College activity must be under the direct supervision of a responsible adult any time they are on College property. Students are not to bring children to class unless the child’s attendance is required as part of the student’s responsibilities in completing a course assignment or the student receives prior permission from the instructor. The College assumes no responsibility for the safety of children left unattended on its property.
North Central Michigan College (NCMC) follows an open door policy of admitting (a) high school graduates/GED (b) non-high school graduates 18 years or older (c) high school students under Michigan dual enrollment guidelines.
It is the policy of NCMC to ensure that all employees and students are aware of its commitment to both equal opportunity employment and equal opportunity and treatment of all persons.
It is the policy of NCMC to offer admissions, housing, employment, campus activities and financial aid without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, height, weight, marital status or familial status or disability protected by relevant law.
NCMC complies with Executive Order 11246, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, as amended, Section 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended and all implementing regulations, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and all State of Michigan statutes prohibiting discrimination.
Any person who believes that he/she has been discriminated against by NCMC or any of its departments or personnel in violation of this policy should immediately file a Complaint with the Vice President of Finance & Facilities and request a copy of the NCMC Discrimination Grievance Procedures which provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination prohibited by federal, state and local statutes and ordinances. The Discrimination Grievance Procedures are also available on the NCMC website: www.ncmich.edu.
Questions concerning the NCMC non-discriminatory policy may be directed to the NCMC Vice President of Finance & Facilities, 1515 Howard St., Petoskey, Michigan 49770; Telephone: 231-348-6603.
Questions regarding Title IX should be directed to the NCMC Vice President of Student Affairs, 1515 Howard St., Petoskey, Michigan 49770; Telephone: 231-348-6618; Email: TitleIXCoordinator@ncmich.edu.
Inquiries by disabled students regarding academic support services should be directed to the Director of Learning Support Services at the same address as above, or call 231-348‑6817.
The Board of Trustees delegates the development and adherence to the “Discrimination Grievance Procedures” to the President.
Discrimination Grievance Procedures
North Central Michigan College Discrimination Grievance Procedures are adopted in accordance with the non-discriminatory policy of the College and apply to all complaints of discrimination made by any person under the Age Discrimination Act of 1971 and its implementing regulations, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Executive Order 11246 and all State of Michigan statutes prohibiting discrimination in any form.
- All complaints of discrimination shall be in writing and filed by the Complainant with the North Central Michigan (NCMC) Vice President of Finance and Facilities (the Vice President), 1515 Howard Street, Petoskey, Michigan, 49770 in a sealed envelope marked “Confidential”. The Vice President, for all purposes of these procedures under all laws prohibiting discrimination, is the Discrimination Grievance Coordinator.
- Complaints shall contain:
(1)The name, address and telephone number of the person making the complaint (Complainant)
(2)A concise description of the alleged discriminatory act or action
(3)The date or dates of the alleged discriminatory action
(4)The name of the person or persons alleged to have engaged in the discriminatory act or actions
- The Complaint shall be filed within one hundred and eighty (180) days after the Complainant
becomes aware of the alleged discrimination
- RESOLUTION OF COMPLAINTS
a. Informal Resolution:
The Vice President, or his/her designee may determine whether the complaint can be promptly resolved informally. (Examples: simple miscommunication or where an accused party admits wrongdoing and agrees to the appropriate corrective action). Informal resolution, shall, if indicated, be attempted as soon as possible and need not await a written response from the accused party unless deemed necessary by the Vice President (or designee). No Complainant shall be required to submit or consent to an informal resolution procedure and may at any time, before, during or after the initiation of the informal process, demand formal resolution of the complaint pursuant to Section 2. b. below. When a Complaint is informally resolved, a written summary of the resolution shall be provided to the NCMC President and all parties.
b. Formal Resolution:
(1)Response: An accused party shall be promptly provided with a copy of the Complaint and shall file a written Response with the Vice President within ten (10) days thereafter. The Vice President may waive the requirement for a written response if the matter has been informally resolved.
(2)Investigation & Hearing: When a Complaint has not been informally resolved, the Vice President or his/her designee (Investigative Hearing Officer) shall conduct an appropriate, full and impartial investigation of the issues raised in the Complaint. The Vice President or the designated Investigative Hearing Officer shall convene a formal administrative hearing at which the Complainant and the accused shall each have the right to submit sworn testimony of witnesses and other evidence relevant to the filed Complaint. All parties shall be advised of and entitled to the assistance of counsel at all times during the process and strict rules of evidence shall not apply. The Vice President or designated Investigative Hearing Officer may also, in or outside of the context of a hearing, call upon and interview persons he/she believes may have knowledge bearing on the matters raised in the Complaint and may require any party, at any time during the process, to provide additional documentation, information or evidence that the Officer may deem appropriate. The investigation shall commence and formal hearing convened no later than thirty (30) days after the accused has filed a Response and may be adjourned from time to time by agreement of the parties specifically waiving the time requirements of the grievance procedure as contained herein. Absent such a waiver, the investigation and formal hearing shall be completed within ninety (90) days after the original submission of the Response to the Complaint.
3. FINDINGS & DETERMINATION
Within thirty (30) days after the completion of the investigation and formal hearing on the Complaint, the Investigative Hearing Officer shall issue a Determination, which shall include written findings as to the validity of the Complaint and recommendations for resolution of the Complaint. Copies of the Determination shall be served upon both the Complainant and the accused within five (5) days after its issuance. If the findings include evidence of discrimination in the process, activity, policy, standard or method of administration, recommendations for changes shall be made and the efforts for such changes shall be coordinated with the department or unit of NCMC whose activity, policy, standard or method of administration is at issue. NCMC shall, if discrimination (including age discrimination) is found, make all reasonable, appropriate and necessary efforts to remedy such discriminatory practice(s) to ensure that such practice(s) not recur. In the event that the Complainant was adversely affected by a decision found to be discriminatory, the Complainant shall be given the opportunity for the decision to be reconsidered in light of the revised process, policy, activity, standard or method of administration.
If insufficient evidence of discrimination is found, written notice of that finding and its rationale shall be provided to both the Complainant and the accused together with a Notice informing the Complainant of a right to appeal the Determination to the NCMC President within ten (10) days of the receipt of the Notice.
Anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, either party has the right to appeal a Determination made hereunder to the NCMC President within ten (10) days after the party has been served with the Determination.
Either party may appeal the Vice President or designated Investigative Hearing Officer’s Determination by filing a written Notice of Appeal with the NCMC President within ten (10) days after receipt of the Determination. The Notice shall include a copy of the Determination and state the basis for the Appeal, providing any additional or supplemental information or evidence that may support the Appeal. A copy of the documents filed by the Appellant shall be provided the other party who may file a Rebuttal Statement within ten (10) days of receipt of the Notice of Appeal.
The President shall review the record of the hearing officer’s investigation and any further information or evidence submitted with the Appeal and may consider any other relevant information that may come to the President’s attention. After appropriate consideration, the President may take any suitable action, including, but not limited to, affirming, modifying or reversing the Determination or requiring additional investigation. The President shall provide a written decision on the Appeal to all parties and the pertinent department/unit of NCMC. There shall be no further levels of review or appeal beyond the President.
5. DEVIATION FROM THE PROCESS
Except by written agreement of the parties, waiving time lines and agreeing to different time lines, the President and only the President may approve a deviation from these procedures and then, only upon proof of extenuating circumstances.
Drug Free School Policy
- Any student, full-time or part-time, of North Central Michigan College who engages in the unlawful or unauthorized sale, possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs, hallucinogens, controlled substances, or alcohol on College property or designated College property or, as any part of the College's activities, is in violation of school policy regarding standards of student conduct.
- Any such violation by a student as described above will result in disciplinary action up to and including immediate expulsion from the College and referral to appropriate authorities for prosecution.
- Local law enforcement agencies will be notified if State underage drinking laws are violated.
- All students are advised that conviction for illegal possession, misuse, sale, manufacture, distribution, and related actions with respect to illicit drugs and alcohol under local, state and federal statutes can result in extensive fines, forfeitures of property, and imprisonment.
- Information regarding the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alchol can be obtained from the Student Services Office.
- Students interested in seeking alcohol/substance abuse counseling should contact one of the following agencies/sources, or check their local telephone directory for other counseling services in their area.
North Country Community Health Services: 231-347-5511
Bay Area Substance Abuse Program (B.A.S.E.S.): 231-547-1144
Harbor Hall: 231-347-5511
Northern Michigan Substance Abuse Services: 989-732-1791
Northern Michigan Substance Abuse Services Access Line: 800-686-0749
Missing Student Notification Procedure
North Central Michigan College Campus Housing shall respond to a missing student/resident report when a student who resides in on-campus housing has been missing for 24 hours, in accordance with the following procedural protocol.
Procedural Protocol for Report of Missing Student/Resident:
A missing student report shall be made to a Resident Assistant (RA), the residence hall front desk (231-348-6713) or the Director of Campus Housing (231-439-6443). Whichever party receives the first report shall immediately notify the Director of Campus Housing, who in turn shall inform the Vice President of Student Affairs and keep him/her informed of developments as they may occur.
Campus Housing staff shall, upon receipt of an initial report, immediately attempt to determine its credibility.
Staff shall first proceed to the student/resident’s room and knock.
If the resident answers the door, he/she is no longer considered missing.
If the roommate answers the door, staff shall determine if the roommate has seen or heard from the resident within the preceding 24 hours. If so, the student is no longer considered missing.
If the roommate has not seen or heard from the student within the preceding 24 hours, go to step 6 below.
If no one answers the door, staff personnel shall say, “Campus Housing” twice while continuing to knock on the door.
If no one answers the door, staff shall use a master key to unlock the door. Staff shall open the door and say, “Campus Housing, I am keying in.”
The door shall be propped open.
Staff shall inspect the room to determine if the resident is present, either asleep or unconscious.
If the student is in the room, he/she is no longer considered missing, but if the student is unconscious, staff shall immediately call 911 and the Director of Campus Housing.
After the above steps are taken and the Director of Campus Housing is notified of the situation, the Director shall retrieve the resident’s Emergency Contact Information, if applicable, and in any event proceed with the following until the student is located:
Call the resident’s cell phone number if available.
E-mail and Facebook the resident, seeking confirmation of his/her health and safety.
Contact the resident’s professors to see if the resident has been in class recently.
Check to determine when the resident last used his/her access card.
Call the Emergency Contact Person, if one has been named, to determine if such person knows the whereabouts of the resident.
Call the Petoskey Department of Public Safety (231-347-2500) and local 911 to report a possible missing student.
After the Petoskey Department of Public Safety has investigated and determined that the resident is indeed missing, the Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee) shall call the resident’s designated Emergency Contact Person to give notification of the results of the initial police investigation. For residents less than 18 years of age and not emancipated, parents/guardians shall be given similar notification.
North Central staff shall continue to cooperate and collaborate with law enforcement in continuing efforts to locate the missing student.
Campus housing residents may register a confidential emergency contact to be notified if it is determined that a student is missing. Emergency contact information will only be available to campus housing staff, North Central administrative council members and law enforcement authorities in furtherance of a missing person investigation. It is highly recommended that residents take advantage of this program. Even if a student has not registered a confidential emergency contact, local law enforcement will be notified if the student is reported missing.
Parking and Traffic Regulations
Parking is permitted only in designated parking areas. Vehicles parked in undesignated areas may be towed at owner’s expense.
Handicapped parking is designated with the official handicap symbol. There are 34 handicapped parking spaces on campus, found in prominent locations in every parking lot. Lot 4, west of the Main Classroom Building, is reserved for Handicapped and Administrative parking. Persons who violate the handicapped parking will be ticketed by the Petoskey City Police and will be assessed a minimum fine of $25.00 plus court costs. The police department has requested that you contact them if you observe a violation of the handicapped parking at 347-2500 before 5 p.m. and 347-7474 after 5 p.m.
North Central Michigan College is committed to providing a safe and secure environment to all students, employees and visitors who pursue activities on campus, and also at College-sponsored instructional activities at off-campus sites. Telephones have been installed in all classrooms and each residence hall floor for emergency communication. We do not offer specific crime prevention programs open to all students, faculty and staff. Emergency training and exercises occur semesterly, with specific staff responsible for coordinating security procedures.
Personal Safety Tips
Trust Your Instincts
If you feel something is wrong, or the situation seems dangerous, call Petoskey Public Safety (347-2500 or 911) or the police in your area.
Avoid Dangerous Situations
Use common sense and good judgment while on campus.
Walk With Friends and Classmates
Avoid isolated areas on campus by asking classmates or friends to walk with you. If you find yourself walking alone and it seems dangerous or feels wrong, call 911.
Protect Your Valuables
Do not leave items of value unattended or inside College lockers. The College is not responsible for stolen items.
Secure Your Vehicle
Lock all doors and close all windows. Keep valuables out of sight.
Reports of criminal actions or other emergencies occurring on campus should be reported immediately to 911 and the Vice President of Student Affairs, (Student Services) at 231-348-6618. All such calls/reports will be thoroughly investigated by the Vice President of Student Affairs or his/her designated representative together with the appropriate law enforcement officials as necessary. Violation of North Central Michigan College regulations, policies or conduct standards by students or employees will be administered in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary procedures. Violation of city/local ordinances and regulations by students, employees and others will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement authority for subsequent action. The Vice President of Student Affairs will maintain all records or reports of alleged offenses, associated investigations and related action taken. The College has procedures for voluntary, confidential reporting of sexual misconduct crimes, but does not encourage its professional counselors to inform students to voluntarily and confidentially report crimes for inclusion in the Annual Campus Security & Fire Safety Report. The Annual Campus Security & Fire Safety Report is prepared by the Vice President of Student Affairs with information from local law enforcement agencies and incident reports.
Reports of criminal actions or other emergencies occurring in connection with College-sponsored instructional activities at its off-campus locations should be reported immediately to appropriate local police authorities by dialing 911. The College does not sponsor or recognize off-campus student organizations.
In the event that a situation arises, either on or off-campus, that, in the judgment of the President, constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat, a campus wide “timely warning” will be issued. The warning will be issued through multiple communication methods, including the college website, email and emergency notification system, as soon as pertinent information is available. “Emergency notification” will be issued, using the same methods as above, immediately upon confirmation that a dangerous situation or emergency exists.
Campus Security Committee
The President has appointed a Campus Security Committee to review North Central's security issues and recommend security policy adjustment to the President as necessary. The College has not found it necessary or cost effective to maintain a separate law enforcement division or campus security department at this time and relies upon the City of Petoskey Department of Public Safety and other local law enforcement agencies for law enforcement on the college campus and its off-campus locations. This partnership exists without an official MOU.
Annual Security & Fire Safety
Policies/rules on portable electronic appliances, smoking, and open flames:
- Electrical Equipment (from Residence Hall Handbook):
Electrical equipment such as space heaters, hot plates, coffee makers, electric burners, popcorn poppers, air conditioners, sun lamps and toasters cannot be used in the residence hall for electrical and safety reasons. Electrical cooking appliances may only be used in the kitchenettes. All lights and appliances must be UL approved for indoor use. You may also direct any questions you have about whether an appliance is appropriate to the Director of Campus Housing.
The electrical system is not designed to carry heavy loads of electrical equipment. Voltages can fluctuate, so residents with stereos and personal computers should invest in surge protectors. The College will not accept liability for damage of electrical equipment.
- Smoking (from Residence Hall Handbook):
All areas of the campus are tobacco-free. Smoking is permitted only in personal vehicles.
- Open Flames (from Residence Hall Handbook):
Any source of open flames is not permitted in the residence hall except for a personal lighter. Firearms, paintball guns or any type of air gun, bow and arrows, ammunition, fireworks, gasoline and other combustible or explosive items are not permitted in the residence hall.
Procedures for Student Housing Evacuation
At the sound of the fire alarm, close your windows, vacate the room, shut the door behind you, and exit the building immediately. Move quietly and orderly out the nearest exit and away from the building at least 50 feet beyond the outside door. The building should not be re-occupied until an authorized all-clear signal is given. Meeting location for all residents is outside of the cafeteria main entrance.
Residence Hall staff, if on the assigned floor, will check their floor first and then proceed to check an upstairs floor for an all clear until all floors have been confirmed vacated. Basement levels will be checked after all floors have been checked. Residence hall front desk staff will clear the lobby and take the visitor log as well as the emergency contact log from the desk.
Policy for Fire Safety Education
Training is conducted each semester during all hall meetings on the evening of the first day of classes.
Residence hall staff will be trained in the facility and their floor each fall semester. Additional training will take place with Petoskey Public Safety each fall semester.
Fire Fighting Equipment, Drills, and Safety (from Residence Hall Handbook)
Fire alarms, extinguishers and smoke detectors are placed in the residence hall for your protection against fires. It is against the law (Michigan Comp. Laws, Section 16607) to use them for any other purpose. If it is determined that tampering has occurred, disciplinary action will be taken which may include, but may not be limited to, fines. Inspections will be made on a regular basis. Residents discharging fire extinguishers needlessly, turning on false fire alarms, or tampering with smoke detectors and/or fire alarms will face serious disciplinary action by the College as well as possible action by state and federal officials. Violations of this nature could result in termination of campus residence (and/or expulsion from North Central Michigan College.)
When a fire extinguisher has been used, please report it immediately to the RAs, Director of Campus Housing or custodians.
Fire Drill Evacuations: Periodic fire drills are performed in the Residence Hall. At the sound of the fire alarm, close your windows, vacate the room, shut the door behind you, and exit the building immediately. Move quietly and orderly out the nearest exit and away from the building at least 50 feet beyond the outside door. The building should not be re-occupied until an authorized all-clear signal is given. You can then re-enter the building. This process is easiest if everyone moves quietly and orderly back through the same door from which they left the building. For your own safety and that of everyone else in the building, you are required to comply with all fire drills. Anyone not evacuating a building will face disciplinary action.
Treat every alarm as a real emergency. Stay calm, but act fast. If you are in your room, test the door:
IF THE DOOR IS COOL - Open it cautiously. Be ready to shut the door if smoke, heat or flames are apparent. If the hallway is clear, close the door behind you and exit by the nearest stairway. Get away from the building and stay away.
IF THE DOOR IS HOT - Don’t open it. Fill the crack at the bottom of the door with wet towels or a rug. Call the fire department to report that you are trapped; give your floor and room number. Go to the window to attract the attention of the fire department. Stay calm; the first duty of the firefighters is to search for persons trapped in the burning building.
IF YOU ARE CAUGHT IN SMOKE: Get down and crawl quickly to the nearest exit. A wet cloth held over your nose and mouth will help filter out smoke, heat and gasses.
Your assistance is required to keep the building fire-safe. Tour your floor and the hall to know the location of all floor exits, alarm boxes and extinguishers. There is fire-fighting equipment on each floor. Keep corridors clear, do not prop open the special fire protective doors located at the entrance of each corridor. Limit room decorations to nonflammable materials. If you discover a fire pull, the nearest fire alarm and exit the building.
A fire should be reported to:
#2 Director of Campus Housing
Sexual Offender Information
Sexual offender information may be obtained by contacting the Petoskey Public Safety Department at 231-347-2500. You may also access the State Police website for this information at http://www.mipsor.state.mi.us.
Sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual harassment, and stalking are prohibited by North Central Michigan College. The College is committed to preventing incidents thereof through educational programming, prompt and fair investigations of allegations and compliance with applicable laws. This policy applies to students, employees and visitors, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, height, weight, marital status or familial status or disability as protected by relevant law. It applies to incidents occurring on the main campus as well as at off-campus locations, such as college-sponsored field-trips, off-campus classes and college-sponsored events.
Reporting and Confidentially Disclosing Sexual Violence: Know the Options
The College encourages victims of sexual violence to talk to somebody about what happened so victims can get the support they need, and so the College can respond appropriately. This policy is intended to make students aware of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available to them so they can make informed choices about where to turn should they become a victim of sexual violence. The College encourages victims to talk to someone identified in one or more of these groups.
- North Central Counselor may talk to a complaining student in confidence, and generally only report to the College that an incident occurred without revealing any personally-identifying information. Disclosures to these employees will not trigger a College investigation into an incident against the complaining student’s wishes. Available options:
- College counselor, 231-348-6605
- Learning Support Services Director, 231-348-6817
The Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) is available on campus for confidential counseling and/or advocacy.
- To schedule an on-campus appointment for counseling please call 231-347-0067.
- To speack with the WRCNM Education and Employment Services Coordinator located in the Learning Support Services Center please, call 231-348-6699.
- For 24-hour support please, call 231-347-0082
A complaining student who speaks to a professional counselor or advocate must understand that, if the complaining student wants to maintain confidentiality, the College will be unable to conduct an investigation into the particular incident or pursue disciplinary action against the alleged responding student.
Even so, these individuals will still assist the complaining student in receiving other necessary protection and support, such as complaining student advocacy, academic support or accommodations, disability, health or mental health services, and changes to living, working or course schedules. A complaining student who at first requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with the school or report the incident to local law enforcement, and thus have the incident fully investigated.
- North Central Michigan College requires that all employees are considered Responsible Employees and will report to the Title IX Coordinator if they become aware of an incident that may violate Sexual Misconduct. This designation is separate from an Official with Authority as defined. Determining who is an Official with Authority is a legal determination of who is explicitly vested with responsibility to implement corrective measures on behalf of North Central Michigan College. Regardless of an employee’s designation as an Official with Authority, all North Central Michigan College employees are required to report any actions which may violate the Title IX or Sexual Misconduct policies.A “responsible employee” is a College employee who has the authority to redress sexual violence, who has the duty to report incidents of sexual violence or other student misconduct, or who a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. When a complaining student tells a responsible employee about an incident of sexual violence, the complaining student has the right to expect the College to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably.A responsible employee of the College is expected to file an Incident Report Form with as much information about the alleged incident as possible. The submission of the report will trigger an investigation to the fullest extent possible. All relevant details shared by the complaining student could include but is not limited to details about the alleged sexual violence shared by the complaining student including the names of the complaining student and alleged responding student(s), any witnesses, if available and any other relevant facts, including the date, time and specific location of the alleged incident. To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling the College’s response to the report. Because the College works closely with local law enforcement to provide a safe campus, it is likely that this report will be shared with local law enforcement. This does not constitute an official police report, unless the victim wishes to file one.
- Before a complaining student reveals any information to a responsible employee, the employee should ensure that the complaining student understands the employee’s reporting obligations and, if the complaining student wants to maintain confidentiality, directs the complaining student to confidential resources. If the complaining student wants to tell the responsible employee what happened but also maintain confidentiality, the employee should tell the complaining student that the College will consider the request but cannot guarantee that the College will be able to honor it. In reporting the details of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, the responsible employee will also inform the Coordinator of the complaining student’s request for confidentiality. Responsible employees will not pressure a complaining student to request confidentiality, but will honor and support the complaining student’s wishes, including for the College to fully investigate an incident. By the same token, responsible employees will not pressure a complaining student to make a full report if the complaining student is not ready to.
- Please note, if the College determines that the alleged responding student(s) poses a serious and immediate threat to the College community, Campus Security Authorities or the President may be called upon to issue a timely warning to the college community. Any such warning would not include any information that identifies the complaining student.
Requesting Confidentiality from the College: How the College Will Weigh the Request and Respond
If a complaining student discloses an incident to a responsible employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the College must weigh that request against the College’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the complaining student. If the College honors the request for confidentiality, a complaining student must understand that the College’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged responding student(s) may be limited. There are times when the College may not be able to honor a complaining student's request in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students.
The College has designated the following individual to evaluate requests for confidentiality once a responsible employee is on notice of alleged sexual violence:
- Vice President of Student Affairs/Title IX Coordinator
When weighing a complaining student’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the Vice President of Student Affairs (with the Behavioral Intervention Team, if appropriate) will consider a range of factors, including the following:
The increased risk that the alleged responding student will commit additional acts of sexual or other violence, such as:
- Whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same alleged responding student;
- Whether the alleged responding student has a history of arrests or records indicating a history of violence;
- Whether the alleged responding student threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the complaining student or others;
- Whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
- Whether the complaining student is a minor;
- Whether the College possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual violence (e.g., security cameras, physical evidence)
The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the College to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action. If none of these factors is present, the College may respect the complaining student’s request for confidentiality. If the College determines that it cannot maintain a complaining student confidentiality, the College will inform the complaining student's prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the College’s response.
The College will remain ever mindful of the complaining student’s well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect the complaining student from retaliation or harm and work with the complaining student to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the complaining student, whether by students or College employees, will not be tolerated. The College will also:
- Assist the complaining student in accessing other available complaining student advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off-campus
- Provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of living or working arrangements or course schedules (including for the alleged responding student pending the outcome of an investigation) or adjustments for assignments or tests; and
- Inform the victim of the right to report a crime to local law enforcement – and provide the complaining student with assistance if the complaining student wishes to do so.
The College may not require a complaining student to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding. Because the College is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual violence campus-wide, reports of sexual violence (including non-identifying reports) will also prompt the College to consider broader remedial action, such as increased monitoring, increased security cameras at locations where the reported sexual violence occurred, increasing education and prevention efforts, conducting climate assessments/victimization surveys, and/or revisiting its policies/practices.
- Sexual assault – any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation or coercion.Dating violence –violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: length of the relationship; type of the relationship; and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
- Stalking –engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.
- Domestic violence – a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies (under VAWA), or any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
- Sexual Harassment – Any Form of harassment toward an individual or group of individuals. NOTE: The Elliott-Larson Civil Rights Act defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of sexual nature” when such “conduct or communication has the purpose of effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s education or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment."
- Consent – sexual activity requires consent, which is defined as voluntary, positive agreement between the participants to engage in specific sexual activity. Consent must be clear and unambiguous for each participant at every stage of a sexual encounter. The absence of “no” should not be understood to mean that there is consent. A person who is asleep or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason, is not capable of giving valid consent. The use of alcohol or drugs may seriously interfere with the participants’ judgment about whether consent has been sought and given. Consent must meet all of the following standards:
Active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. There is no requirement that an individual resist a sexual act or advance, but resistance is a clear demonstration of not consenting.
Given freely. A person cannot give consent under force, threats, or unreasonable pressure (coercion). Coercion includes continued pressure after an individual has made it clear that s/he does not want to engage in the behavior.
Provided knowingly. Legally valid consent to sexual activity cannot be given by:
- A person under the legal age to consent (16 years old in Michigan), or
- An individual who is known to be (or based on the circumstances should reasonably be known to be) mentally or physically incapacitated. An incapacitated person is someone who cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because s/he lacks the capacity to understand the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of a sexual interaction. This includes a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, unconsciousness, use of alcohol or other drugs.
Specific. Permission to engage in one form of sexual activity does not imply permission for another activity. In addition, previous relationships or prior consent do not imply consent to future sexual acts. It is the responsibility of the initiator of the act to receive permission for the specific act. As a result, consent may be requested and given several times by multiple parties during a sexual encounter involving multiple acts.
Education and Prevention
North Central promotes the awareness of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual harassment and stalking through educational programming for new students and employees throughout the year in collaboration with the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan. Materials are located in the on-campus Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan office (SCRC #535G), the Student Services Office and the Residence Hall. Educational programs are also regularly conducted for staff and students.
Risk Reduction and Prevention Safety
Common sense, situational awareness and trusting your instincts will reduce the risk of sexual assault. The tips below may help decrease the potential chance of sexual assault:
- If you choose to consume alcohol, use moderation.
- Do not leave your beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container.
- When you are with someone, communicate clearly to ensure he or she knows your limits and/or expectations from the beginning. Both verbal and nonverbal (body language) communication can be used to ensure the message is understood.
- You have the right to say "No" even if you:
- First say “Yes,” and then change your mind
- Have had sex with this partner before
- Have a plan for someone you can call if you need help.
- If you feel uncomfortable, scared or pressured, say, "Stop it", or leave and call for help.
- When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, watch out for each other and leave together.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Do not allow yourself to be isolated with a person you do not know or trust.
- Travel with a friend or in a group.
- Walk only in lighted areas after dark.
- Keep the doors to homes, residence hall rooms and cars locked.
Active Bystander Intervention
One of the most effective methods of preventing sexual assault is active bystander intervention.
What is Active Bystander Intervention?1
- This approach encourages people to identify situations that might lead to a sexual assault and then safely intervene to prevent an assault from occurring.
- Active Bystander Intervention discourages complaining student blaming by switching the focus of prevention to what a community of people can do collectively.
- The approach also allows for a change in cultural expectations by empowering everyone to say or do something when they see inappropriate or harmful behavior.
- This method of intervention places the responsibility of sexual assault prevention on both men and women.
Information on Active Bystander Intervention was provided by the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office from: www.sapr.mil
How to Intervene
There are three components to Active Bystander Intervention:
- Recognizing when to intervene
- Considering whether the situation needs attention
- Deciding if there is a responsibility to act
Help Someone You Know
There are a variety of ways to intervene. Some of them are direct, and some of them are less obvious to the responding student:
- Making up an excuse to get him/her out of a potentially dangerous situation
- Letting a friend or co-worker know that his or her actions may lead to serious consequences
- Staying near someone who is being targeted, despite the efforts of someone to get him/her alone or away from you
- Using a group of friends to remind someone behaving inappropriately that his or her behavior should be respectful
- Discouraging the overuse of alcohol
- Calling the authorities when the situation warrants
Understanding How to Safely Implement the Choice
Safety is paramount in active bystander intervention. Usually, intervening in a group is safer than intervening individually. Also, choosing a method of intervention that de-escalates the situation is safer than attempting a confrontation. However, there is no single rule that can account for every situation.
Sexual assault is a very traumatic and invasive crime, and many complaining students may be too embarrassed or ashamed to report the offense to police. Fear of investigative, medical, and prosecutorial procedures adds to a complaining students reluctance to make a report. A complaining students distress (trauma) may also create an unwillingness or inability to assist in the investigation. It is important that complaining students understand that federal law mandates that the North Central Michigan College Title IX Coordinator be notified of any incidents of sexual violence or harassment. A student who has filed a report with North Central will be given the option but will not be obligated to file a police report. The college will cooperate with the victim and law enforcement in enforcing restraining orders or similar lawful orders issued by a criminal, civil or tribal court, as they relate to sexual assault crimes.
Sanctions for rape or other sex offenses (forcible or nonforcible) occurring on campus or at a College-sponsored activity may include warning, probation, termination, no-contact orders, removal from a course/College, suspension, interim suspension and expulsion. Sanctions will follow on-campus disciplinary procedures as outlined in the Procedure for Student Code of Conduct Violations.
In the event of a sex offense occurring on campus, call 911 immediately. We also encourage students to contact the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan, which offers counseling, and advocacy services with the police, and hospital. An advocate can be immediately dispatched to assist any victim. These services can be accessed by calling the 24-hour support line at 231-347-0082. Medical assistance is available at McLaren-Northern Michigan Emergency Room (416 Connable Ave., Petoskey; 231-348-4520).
Complaining students are reminded of the importance of preserving evidence which may be necessary for the proof of sexual assault. Any offense should be reported to the Vice President of Student Affairs (348-6618) as soon as possible.
Counseling is available on and off-campus to victims of sexual assault. Counselors on campus are located in Student Services, Student and Community Resource Center (348-6605).
Off-campus resources include:
Women's Resource Center of Northern Michigan 347-0067
24-hour Crisis and Intervention (WRCNM) 347-0082 or 1-800-275-1995
McLaren Northern Michigan 348-4000
Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan
The licensed, Master’s level therapists at the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) have specialized training and experience in providing services to current and past survivors of crimes such as domestic/dating abuse, sexual assault, child abuse and child sexual assault. These counseling services are provided at no cost to all survivors. Non-victim related counseling is also available for issues such as depression, parenting challenges, grief/loss and life transitions on a fee-based, sliding scale; no one is turned away if unable to pay. Call the WRCNM administrative/counseling office for more information or appointments, at (231) 347-0067 or the 24 hour crisis line at 347-0082.
Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
The incident of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual harassment or stalking should be reported by speaking to a North Central employee. An incident report will be filed by the employee, triggering an investigation.
The vice President or designee (Investigative Hearing officer) shall conduct a prompt, fair and impartial investigation. The Investigative Hearing Officer receives annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment and stalking and how to conduct an investigation. Following the investigation, the Investigative Hearing Officer shall determine if there is reasonable cause to believe the Code of Student Conduct has been violated with respect to an allegation of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual harassment or stalking. The Investigative Hearing Officer shall issue written notice to the complaining and responding students regarding the findings of investigation and whether reasonable cause exists to believe that the code of student conduct has been violated. If reasonable cause is found, the Investigative Hearing Officer shall issue written notice to the responding student regarding the nature of any and all charges of misconduct.
Investigative Hearing Officer may convene a formal administrative hearing at which the complaining student and the responding student may submit sworn testimony and evidence relevant to the case. All parties shall be advised of an entitled to the assistance of legal counsel at all times during the process and strict rules of evidence shall not apply. Counsel’s role is limited to an advisory capacity with no active participation of counsel. The parties will have an equal opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence at the administrative hearing. The Investigative Hearing Officer may also call upon and interview persons the Officer believes may have knowledge bearing on the situation and may require any party, at any time during the process, to provide additional documentation, information or evidence that the Officer may deem appropriate. The complaining and responding students must be given the opportunity, directly or through the Officer, to cross-examine one another and, potentially, other witnesses. The preponderance of evidence standard hall apply in making the decision regarding the outcome of the hearing. The investigation and formal hearing shall be completed within a reasonable time to allow full and fair examination and adjudication of the allegations of misconduct.
- Findings and Determination
Within a reasonable time following the hearing, the Investigative Officer shall issue a Determination, which shall include written findings as to the validity of the complaint and any possible sanctions against the responding student. Sanctions for students found responsible for sexual violence may include warning, probation, termination, no-contact orders, removal, suspension, interim suspension and expulsion. Sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual harassment, dating violence, and stalking will not be tolerated at North Central. Both parties will be informed of the outcome of the proceedings in writing at the same time, including any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final.
Either party may appeal the Investigative Hearing Officer’s Determination by filing a Notice of Appeal with the Vice President of Finance and Facilities within five (5) days after receipt of the determination. The Notice shall include a copy of the Determination and state the basis for the Appeal, provide any supplemental information or evidence which may support the appeal. The Vice President of Finance and Facilities shall review the record of the hearing officer’s investigation and any further information that may come to his/her attention. After appropriate consideration, the Vice President of Finance and Facilities may take any suitable action, including, but not limited to, affirming, modifying or reversing the Determination or requiring additional investigation. The Vice President shall provide a written decision on the Appeal to all parties. There shall be no further levels of review or appeal beyond this.
Title IX prohibits retaliation against any student who participates in a disciplinary proceeding under the Sexual Misconduct Policy. North Central will take steps to prevent retaliation and will respond to any retaliatory acts with due diligence and discipline.
Title IX Compliance
As the College is concerned about discrimination based on gender or sex, the Title IX Coordinators oversee the College’s investigation and response to these kinds of situations. Students who wish to report a concern or complaint relating to discrimination or harassment may do so by reporting the concern online through the Student and Community Portal (Student Complaint Form) or by phone to:
Renee DeYoung, Vice President of Student Affairs, Title IX Coordinator
North Central Michigan College, 1515 Howard Street, Petoskey, MI 49770
Tom Zeidel, Vice President of Finance and Facilities
North Central Michigan College, 1515 Howard Street, Petoskey, MI 49770
Students with complaints of this nature also have the right to file a formal complaint with the United States Department of Education:
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
400 Maryland Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline: 800-421-3481 TDD: 877-521-2172 Fax: 202-453-60123
Sexual Harrasment Policy
North Central Michigan College, “NCMC”, is committed to providing a workplace and educational environment, as well as other benefits, programs, and activities, that are free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of sex. This policy was created to reflect that commitment and to ensure compliance with 20 U.S.C. 1681, “Title IX”, including the revisions of 34 CFR part 106. NCMC is committed to providing policies and procedures that offer a prompt, fair, and impartial response and process for those involved in an allegation of sexual harassment. NCMC 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.
All NCMC employees, students, members of the Board of Trustees and visitors to the campus are affected by this policy.
- Advisor: A person chosen by a party or appointed by the institution (external individual) 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.
- Complainant: An individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Sexual Harassment or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity under this Policy.
- Confidential Resource: An employee who is not a Responsible Employee required to report Sexual Harassment (regardless of Clery Act Campus Security Authority status).
- Consent: Permission to engage in sexual activity; the Title IX policy will utilize the definition of Consent set forth in NCMC’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, 6.4.
- Education Program and Activity: Education program and activities of NCMC are defined for purposes of this policy as the locations, events, or circumstances where NCMC exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs.
- Final Determination: A conclusion by the preponderance of the evidence that the alleged conduct occurred and whether it did or did not violate policy.
- Finding: A conclusion by the preponderance of the evidence that the conduct did or did not occur as alleged.
- Formal Complaint: A document filed/signed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity against a Respondent and requesting that NCMC investigate the allegation.
- Formal Grievance Process: A method of formal resolution designated by NCMC to address conduct that falls within the policies included below, and which complies with the requirements of 34 CFR Part 106.45.
- Hearing Decision-maker(s): Those who have decision-making and sanctioning authority (in cases with student Respondents) within NCMC’s Formal Grievance process. The Hearing Decision-maker(s) is an external individual.
- Investigator: The person or persons (maybe external individual) charged by NCMC 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.
- Responsible Employee: A NCMC employee who is obligated by policy to share knowledge, notice, and/or reports of Sexual Harassment and retaliation with the Title IX Coordinator. For additional information about the role of the Responsible Employee, refer to NCMC’s Sexual Misconduct policy.
- Notice: When an employee, student, or third party informs the Title IX Coordinator or other Official with Authority of the alleged occurrence of Sexual Harassment and/or retaliatory conduct.
- Official with Authority (OWA): An employee explicitly vested with the responsibility to implement corrective measures for sexual harassment and/or retaliation on behalf of NCMC.
- Parties: Both the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s), collectively.
- Remedies: Post-finding actions directed to the Complainant and/or the community as mechanisms to address safety, prevent recurrence, and restore access to NCMC’s educational program.
- Respondent: An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.
- Resolution: The result of an informal or Formal Grievance Process.
- Sanction: A consequence imposed by NCMC on a Respondent who is found to have violated this policy.
- Sexual Harassment: Conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
- An employee of NCMC conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct. This is referred to as “quid pro quo” sexual harassment.
- Unwelcome conduct, determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, that it effectively denies a person equal access to NCMC’s education program or activity.
- Sexual assault, as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092 (f)(6)(A)(v), which defines “sexual assault” as an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That is further defined as:
- Sex Offenses, Forcible:Any sexual act directed against another person without the consent of the Complainant, including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent.
- Forcible Rape:
- Penetration, no matter how slight,
b.of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or
c. oral penetration by a sex organ of another person,
d. without the consent of the Complainant.
- Forcible Sodomy:
- Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person
c. and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually), or
d. not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Sexual Assault with an Object:
- The use of an object or instrument to penetrate, however slightly,
b. the genital or anal opening of the body of another person,
d. and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually)
e.or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Forcible Fondling:
- The touching of the private body parts of another person (buttocks, groin, breasts)
b. for the purpose of sexual gratification,
d. and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually)
e. or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Sex Offenses, Non-forcible:
- Non-forcible sexual intercourse
b. between persons who are related to each other
c. within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by Michigan law.
- Statutory Rape:
- Non-forcible sexual intercourse
b. with a person who is under the statutory age of consent of Michigan.
- Dating Violence, defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10) as:
Violence on the basis of sex committed by a person who is in or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant.
- 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 emotional, psychological, sexual or
physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
b. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
- Domestic Violence, defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8) as:
Violence on the basis of sex committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant,
by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, or by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of Michigan, or 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 Michigan.
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.
- Stalking, defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30) as:
engaging in a course of conduct on the basis of sex directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety, or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress. 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.
- Supportive Measures: 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 NCMC’s education program or activity, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the educational environment, and/or deter Sexual Harassment and/or retaliation.
Scope of Policy
The core purpose of this policy is the prohibition of sexual harassment as defined by Title IX. Sometimes sexual harassment involves exclusion from activities, such as admission, athletics, or employment. Other times, that harassment can encompass sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence or domestic violence. When an alleged violation of this Title IX policy is reported, the allegations are subject to resolution under this process, where appropriate, as determined by the Title IX Coordinator, and as detailed below.
When the Respondent is a member of the NCMC community, a grievance process may be available regardless of the status of the Complainant, who may or may not be a member of the NCMC community. This community includes, but is not limited to, students (as defined by the Student Code of Conduct), student organizations, faculty, administrators, staff, and third parties such as guests, visitors, volunteers and invitees. The procedures described in this Policy 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.
Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator is the official designated by NCMC to ensure compliance with Title IX and NCMC’s Title IX program. The Title IX Coordinator has the primary responsibility for coordinating NCMC’s efforts related to the intake, investigation, resolution and implementation of supportive measures to stop, remediate, and prevent sexual harassment prohibited under this policy. The Vice President of Student Affairs, Renee DeYoung, serves as the Title IX Coordinator and oversees implementation of NCMC’s Title IX policy. Some references to the Title IX Coordinator within this policy may include an appropriate designee. Complaints, inquiries or concerns about this policy and procedures may be made directly to the Title IX Coordinator, by using the following contact information:
Renee DeYoung, Vice President of Student Affairs
1515 Howard Street, Petoskey, MI 49770
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 members of the Title IX Team who are involved in any particular case are vetted and 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.
Any individual materially involved in the administration of the resolution process, including the Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), and Hearing Decision-maker(s)(s) may neither have nor demonstrate a conflict of interest or bias for a party generally, or for a specific Complainant or Respondent. 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 member of the Title IX team will be assigned to fill the role, 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 Human Resources` Director. To raise any concern involving bias or conflict of interest by the Title IX Coordinator, contact the Human Resources Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 231-348-6837. Concerns of bias or a potential conflict of interest by any other Title IX Team member should be raised with the Title IX Coordinator.
Duty to Report
NCMC requires that all employees are considered Responsible Employees and will report to the Title IX Coordinator if they become aware of an incident that may violate this Title IX policy. This designation is separate from an Official with Authority as defined in this policy. Determining who is an Official with Authority is a legal determination of who is explicitly vested with responsibility to implement corrective measures on behalf of NCMC. Regardless of an employee’s designation as an Official with Authority, all NCMC employees are required per this policy and NCMC’s Sexual Misconduct policy to report any actions which may violate the Title IX or Sexual Misconduct policies.
Filing a Complaint
- Complaints and notices of alleged policy violations may be made in any of the following ways:
- File a complaint with, or give verbal notice to, the Title IX Coordinator using the contact information in Section X.B. of this policy. 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.
- Report online, using the reporting form posted at https://www.ncmich.edu/safety/title-ix/how-to-file-a-report.html
- Anonymous reports: Anonymous reports can be made through any of the means above. Individuals who are considering making an anonymous report should be aware of the following:
- The information contained in anonymous reports may give rise to a need to investigate. Without a known Complainant, NCMC may be limited in its ability to obtain follow-up information and appropriately respond to the complaint.
- NCMC tries to provide supportive measures to all Complainants, which is impossible with an anonymous report.
- The act of reporting carries no obligation to initiate a Formal Complaint. NCMC seeks to respect Complainants’ requests regarding complaints, as described further in this Title IX Policy, Section X.M.
- A Formal Complaint is a document filed and/or signed by the Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging a policy violation by a Respondent and requesting that NCMC investigate the allegation(s). A Formal Complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information in Section X.B. A Formal Complaint will contain a Complainant’s or the Title IX Coordinator’s digital or physical signature, or otherwise indicates who is filing the Formal Complaint. If notice is submitted in a form that does not meet this standard, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the Complainant to verify their intent to file a Formal Complaint and ensure that it is filed correctly. Where the Title IX Coordinator signs a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator is not a Complainant or party.
- Process: NCMC will offer and implement appropriate and reasonable supportive measures to the Parties upon notice of alleged sexual harassment 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 Title IX Coordinator will inform the Complainant, in writing, that they may file a formal complaint with NCMC 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.
- Privacy: NCMC will maintain the privacy of the supportive measures, provided that privacy does not impair NCMC’s ability to provide the supportive measures or respond appropriately to the concern. NCMC will act to ensure as minimal an academic impact on the parties as possible. NCMC will implement measures in a way that does not unreasonably burden the other party.
- Options: Supportive measures may include, but are not limited to:
- Referral to confidential resources, including counseling and other mental health services, and community-based service providers
- Class schedule modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
- Visa and immigration assistance
- Student financial aid counseling
- Education to the community or community subgroup(s)
- Altering work arrangements for employees or student-employees
- Safety planning
- Implementing contact limitations (no contact orders) between the parties
- Academic support, extensions of deadlines, or other course/program-related adjustments
- Issuing Timely Warnings, per the Clery Act.
- Any other actions deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator
NCMC can act to remove a 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 individual has arisen from the allegations of Sexual Harassment and justifies removal. This risk analysis is performed by the Title IX Coordinator in conjunction with NCMC’s Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), using the BIT’s standard objective threat assessment procedures. The Respondent will have notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal. NCMC has the authority and discretion to place an employee on administrative leave during the pendency of an investigation even where the requirements for an emergency removal are not met.
All allegations are acted upon promptly by NCMC after receiving 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 NCMC seeks to avoid all undue delays within its control. Any time the general timeframes for resolution outlined in the Title IX policy will be delayed, NCMC 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 as a result of the delay.
Every effort is made to preserve the privacy of reports. NCMC will not share the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sexual harassment or retaliation pursuant to this policy, including the identity of the Parties, 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 NCMC’s policies.
NCMC’s Title IX policy applies when:
- The alleged conduct occurred in the Education Program and Activities of NCMC, defined for purposes of this policy as the locations, events, or circumstances where NCMC exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment or discrimination occurs. This could include an off-campus building owned or controlled by NCMC.
- NCMC has control over the Respondent at the time of the complaint.
- The alleged conduct occurs against a Complainant who is in the United States.
- If a Formal Complaint is filed, at the time of filing the Formal Complaint, a Complainant is participating in or attempting to participate in NCMC’s education program or activity.
It is prohibited for NCMC or any member of the NCMC community 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 engaged in a protected activity. Protected activity under this policy includes reporting an incident that may implicate this policy, filing a Formal Complaint, participating or refusing to participate 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. NCMC will take appropriate steps to protect individuals who fear that they may be subjected to retaliation.
Charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve Sexual Harassment but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, constitutes retaliation. The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation.
Materially False Statements
Making a materially false statement as part of a Title IX investigation is a violation of NCMC’s Code of Conduct. 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, provided that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party has made a materially false statement in bad faith.
Complainant’s Expressed Desire Not 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 NCMC 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 risk assessment. The Title IX Coordinator’s decision will be based on results of the risk assessment that show a compelling risk to health and/or safety that requires NCMC 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. NCMC may be compelled to act on alleged misconduct regardless of a Complainant’s wishes.
The Title IX Coordinator must also consider the effect that non-participation by the Complainant may have on the availability of evidence and NCMC’s ability to pursue a Formal Grievance Process fairly and effectively. When NCMC proceeds with the Formal Grievance Process, 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 regardless 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 rights of the Complainant.
NCMC’s ability to remedy and respond to notice may be limited if the Complainant does not want 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 NCMC’s obligation to protect its community.
In cases in which the Complainant requests confidentiality/no formal action and the circumstances allow NCMC to honor that request, NCMC will offer informal resolution options as discussed in Section X.O.4 of this Policy, 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 at a later date. Upon making a formal complaint, a Complainant has the right, and can expect, to have allegations taken seriously by NCMC, and to have the incidents investigated and properly resolved through these procedures.
Amnesty for Complainants and Witnesses
The NCMC community encourages Complainants and witnesses to report misconduct and crimes. Sometimes, Complainants or witnesses are hesitant to report to NCMC 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 NCMC community that Complainants choose to report misconduct to NCMC 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, NCMC 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 to a Respondent 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.
Title IX Process
Notice and Complaint
Upon receipt of a complaint or notice to the Title IX Coordinator of an alleged violation of this Title IX Policy pursuant to Section X.E, NCMC will initiate a prompt initial assessment to determine the appropriate next steps.
- The initial assessment will involve:
- Title IX Coordinator determines if Complainant wishes to make a Formal Complaint and assists them in doing so if desired.
- If there is no Formal Complaint filed by Complainant, Title IX Coordinator determines if there is an institutional risk to health or safety, as discussed in Section X.M., sufficient for the Title IX Coordinator to sign the Formal Complaint.
- Title IX Coordinator offers Supportive Measures to the Complainant and notifies them of their right to have an Advisor as part of the process.
- The initial assessment will conclude in at least one of the following responses:
- Supportive measures as described in Section X.F., if the Complainant does not want to proceed formally, and/or
- Proceeding with an informal resolution, and/or
- Proceeding with a Formal Grievance Process, to include an investigation and a hearing, which will determine whether or not NCMC’s Title IX Policy has been violated. If so, NCMC will promptly implement effective remedies to address the potential recurrence of the harassment or its effects.
- If the Complainant wishes to proceed with a Formal Grievance Process, the Title IX Coordinator will determine if the alleged Sexual Harassment falls within the scope of the Title IX Policy.
- If it does not fall within the scope of the Title IX Policy, the Title IX Coordinator will “dismiss” the Title IX complaint, and offer other policy options to the Complainant, including the Sexual Misconduct policy.
- If the actions alleged fall within the scope of the Title IX Policy, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate (or designate an investigator to initiate) an investigation of whether the alleged sexual harassment violates NCMC’s Title IX Policy.
Dismissal of Complaint
- Mandatory: Dismissal of the Title IX Complaint is mandatory if at any time during the investigation or hearing, it is determined that:
- The conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute Sexual Harassment as defined in the Policy hereinabove, even if proved; and/or
- The conduct did not occur in an educational program or activity controlled by NCMC, and/or NCMC does not have control of the Respondent; and/or
iii. The conduct did not occur against a person in the United States; and/or
- At the time of filing a formal complaint, a complainant is not participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity.
- Discretionary: Dismissal of the Title IX Complaint is discretionary if, at any time during the investigation or hearing:
- A Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein, though the Complainant may later request to reinstate or refile the complaint; or
- Specific circumstances prevent NCMC from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.
- Procedure for Dismissal: Upon any dismissal, the Title IX Coordinator 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.
- Appeal of Dismissal: NCMC’s decision to dismiss or not to dismiss is appealable by either Party under the procedures for appeal below.
The Parties may each have an Advisor of their choice with them for all meetings and interviews within the Formal Grievance process, if they so choose.
- Witnesses as Advisors: 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 issues of potential bias will be explored by the hearing Decision-maker(s).
- Who can serve as 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 NCMC.
- NCMC Advisor: The Title IX Coordinator will also offer to assign a trained Advisor for any party if the party so chooses. If the parties choose an Advisor from the pool available from NCMC, the Advisor will be trained by NCMC and will be familiar with NCMC’s processes. Advisors may request to meet with the Title IX Coordinator in advance of portions of the Formal Grievance process to allow Advisors to clarify and understand their role, as well as the relevant Policies and Procedures. One party’s choice to select an attorney to serve as their Advisor does not obligate NCMC to provide an attorney for the other Party.
- The Right NOT to have an Advisor: Parties have the right to choose not to have an Advisor in the initial stages of the resolution process, prior to a hearing. At a hearing, Parties must have an Advisor to facilitate cross-examination. If a Party does not have an Advisor for a hearing, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will appoint a trained Advisor for the limited purpose of conducting any cross-examination.
- Role of the Advisor: 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. Advisors are not to interrupt the meeting and are primarily present for support and consultation with the Party. If unable to comply with expectations, Advisors may be asked to leave. Advisors may not speak on behalf of the Party they advise except during the cross-examination portion of the hearing proceeding.
- Expectations for Advisors: All Advisors are subject to NCMC policies and procedures and are expected to advise their advisees without disrupting proceedings. Advisors are not present in a hearing to present statements or arguments or to facilitate direct examination. Advisees may consult with their Advisors as requested and may do so privately as needed.
- Information Sharing with Advisors: Parties may share any information directly with their Advisors, to facilitate the Advisor’s participation in the process. Upon request, the Title IX Coordinator can provide a consent form to authorize NCMC to share information directly with the Advisor. Advisors will sign an agreement to keep all information confidential, including student they advise as well as other student.
- Unionized employees: For parties who are entitled to union representation, NCMC will allow the unionized employee to have their union representative (if requested by the party) as well as an Advisor of their choice present for all meetings and interviews as part of the Formal Grievance Process. Union representatives will be held to the expectations of Advisors and the scope of their role will be consistent with the appropriate Collective Bargaining Agreement. To uphold the principles of equity, the other party (regardless of union membership) will also be permitted to have two Advisors.
NCMC does not require, as a condition of any right or privilege, waiver of the right to an investigation or participation in the Formal Grievance Process. After a Formal Complaint is filed, and before making a determination regarding responsibility for a violation of this Policy, NCMC may facilitate an informal resolution process that does not involve a full investigation and adjudication, if NCMC:
- Provides to the parties a written notice disclosing:
- the allegations,
- the requirements of the informal resolution process,
iii. the circumstances under which the parties are precluded from resuming a formal complaint arising out of the same allegations, provided that at any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the Formal Grievance Process.
- Obtains the Parties’ voluntary, written consent to the informal resolution process, and
- Does not offer or facilitate an informal resolution process to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.
Formal Grievance Process Participants
The Formal Grievance Process is carried out by the Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), including the Title IX Coordinator, Hearing Decision-maker(s)s, Appeal Decision-maker(s)s, and Advisors.
- Training of Formal Grievance Process participants: The Title IX Coordinator, Hearing Decision-maker(s)s, Appeal Decision-maker(s)s, and investigators receive annual training on the following topics, as appropriate for their role. Materials used to train Formal Grievance Process participants, as well as those who facilitate informal resolution processes, are available via https://www.ncmich.edu/safety/title-ix/title-ix-training.html
- The scope of NCMC’s Title IX Policy
- How to conduct investigations and hearings that protect the safety of Complainants and Respondents, and promote accountability
iii. Implicit bias
- Disparate treatment and impact
- Reporting, confidentiality, and privacy requirements
- Applicable laws, regulations, and federal regulatory guidance
vii. How to implement appropriate and situation-specific remedies
viii. How to investigate in a thorough, reliable, and impartial manner
- How to uphold fairness, equity, and due process
- How to weigh evidence
- How to conduct questioning
xii. How to assess credibility
xiii. Impartiality and objectivity
xiv. How to render findings and generate clear, concise, evidence-based rationales
- The definitions of all offenses
xvi. How to apply definitions used by NCMC with respect to consent (or the absence or negation of consent) consistently, impartially, and in accordance with policy
xvii. How to conduct an investigation and grievance process including hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes
xviii. How to serve impartially by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias
xix. Any technology to be used at a live hearing
- Issues of relevance of questions and evidence
xxi. Issues of relevance to create an investigation report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence
xxii. How to determine appropriate sanctions in reference to all forms of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation allegations
Notice of Investigation and Allegations
The Title IX Coordinator will provide written notice of the investigation and allegations (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 also copied to the Complainant, who is to be given advance notice if possible, of when the NOIA will be delivered to the Respondent.
- The Notice of Investigation and Allegations will include:
- A meaningful summary of all of the allegations,
- The identity of the involved parties (if known),
iii. The precise misconduct being alleged,
- The date and location of the alleged incident(s) (if known),
- The specific policies implicated,
- A description of the applicable procedures,
vii. A statement of the potential sanctions/responsive actions that could result,
viii. A statement that NCMC 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 and/or relevant evidence obtained during the review and comment period,
- A statement about NCMC’s policy on retaliation,
- Information about the privacy of the process,
xii. Information on the need for each party to have an Advisor of their choosing and suggestions for ways to identify an Advisor,
xiii. A statement informing the parties that the Title IX policy prohibits knowingly making false statements, including knowingly submitting false information during the resolution process,
xiv. Details on how the party may request disability accommodations during the Formal Grievance Process,
- A link or information about relevant community or college resources, including mental health resources,
xvi. The name(s) of the Investigator(s), along with a process to identify, in advance of the interview process, to the Title IX Coordinator any conflict of interest that the Investigator(s) may have, and
xvii. 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.
- The Notice of the Investigation and Allegations 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(es) of the parties as indicated in official NCMC records, or emailed to the Parties’ NCMC-issued email or designated accounts. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
Once the decision to commence a formal investigation is made, the Title IX Coordinator appoints an investigator, who may be the Title IX Coordinator, to perform the investigation. That investigator will reach out to the Parties and begin the investigation.
Presumption and Standard of Proof
NCMC operates with the presumption that the Respondent is not responsible for the alleged Sexual Harassment. This presumption exists unless and until the Respondent is determined to be responsible for a policy violation by a preponderance of the evidence. The preponderance of the evidence standard means whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Policy as alleged.
All investigations are thorough, reliable, impartial, prompt, and fair. Investigations involve interviews with all relevant parties and witnesses; obtaining available relevant evidence. 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. An investigation will typically consist of the following steps:
- Determine the identity and contact information of the Complainant.
- Identify all policies implicated by the alleged misconduct and notify the Complainant and Respondent of all of the specific policies implicated.
- Ensure that a prompt initial assessment is conducted 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 anticipated order of interviews for all witnesses and the parties.
- Notify all Parties of their right to have an Advisor of their choosing for all meetings attended by that Party.
- Meet with the Complainant to finalize their interview/statement, if necessary.
- Prepare the initial Notice of Investigation and Allegation (NOIA). The NOIA may be amended with any additional or dismissed allegations.
- 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, as well as 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 Investigator(s) 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 in the investigation report.
- Write a comprehensive investigation report fully summarizing the investigation, all witness interviews, and addressing all relevant evidence.
- 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 as well as an opportunity to inspect and review all of the evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the reported Sexual Harassment, including evidence upon which NCMC does not intend to rely in reaching a determination. Provide 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.
- The Investigator(s) 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 Investigator(s) 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 Investigator(s) should document all rationales for any changes made after the review and comment period. The Investigator(s) shares the report with the Title IX Coordinator, if other than the investigator, 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 also provided with a file of any directly related evidence that was not included in the report.
Title IX Hearing Scheduling
If the complaint is not resolved through Informal Resolution, the Title IX Coordinator should schedule a hearing, which shall proceed as follows:
- The hearing shall be scheduled not less than ten (10) business days from the date the final investigation report is transmitted to the Parties and the Decision-maker(s), unless all Parties and the Decision-maker(s) agree to an expedited timeline.
- The Title IX Coordinator will select Hearing Decision-maker(s) (external individual). A Hearing Facilitator will also be present to guide the process and ensure procedural requirements are met.
- The hearing will begin at a time arranged by the Hearing Decision-maker(s) and the Title IX Coordinator.
- The Title IX Coordinator or the Decision-maker(s) will send notice of the hearing to the Parties not less than ten (10) business days before the hearing is scheduled to be held. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in person, notice will be presumptively delivered. The notice of hearing will contain:
- A description of the alleged violation(s), a list of all policies allegedly violated, a description of the applicable procedures, and a statement of the potential sanctions/responsive actions that could result.
- The time, date, and location of the hearing.
iii. 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-maker(s) and Parties to see and hear a party or witness answering questions. Such a request must be raised if possible, with the Title IX Coordinator at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing.
v.A list of all those who will attend the hearing, along with an invitation to object to any Decision-maker(s) on the basis of demonstrated bias. This must be raised with the Title IX Coordinator at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing.
vi.Information on how the hearing will be recorded and on access to the recording for the Parties after the hearing.
vii.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 party’sor witness’s testimony and any statements given prior to the hearing will not be considered by the Decision-maker(s). For compelling reasons, the Decision-maker(s) may reschedule the hearing.
viii. Notification that the parties may have the assistance of an Advisor of their choosing at the hearing and will be required to have one present for any cross-examinationquestions they may desire to ask. The party must notify the Title IX Coordinator if they do not have an Advisor, and the Title IX Coordinator will appoint one. Each party must have an Advisor present for the purpose of cross-examination.
ix.A copy of all the materials provided to the Decision-Maker(s) about the matter, unless they have been provided already.
x.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 five (5) business days prior to the hearing if possible.
Title IX Hearing Proceedings
Any evidence that the Decision-maker(s) determine(s) is relevant and credible may be considered.
- The hearing does not consider:
- incidents not directly related to the possible violation, unless they evidence a pattern;
- the character of the parties; or
- 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.
- Relevance Considerations: All questions are subject to a relevance determination by the Decision-maker(s). The Advisor will present the proposed question, the proceeding will pause to allow the Decision-maker(s) to consider it. The Decision-maker(s) will determine whether the question will be permitted, disallowed, or rephrased. The Decision-maker(s) may explore arguments regarding relevance with the Advisors, if the Decision-maker(s) so chooses. The Decision-maker(s) will then state their decision on the question for the record and advise the party/witness to whom the question was directed accordingly. The Decision-maker(s) will explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant, or request to reframe it for relevance.
The Decision-maker(s) will limit or disallow questions on the basis that they are irrelevant, unduly repetitious (and thus irrelevant), or abusive. The Decision-maker(s) has final say on all questions and determinations of relevance, subject to any appeal; the Decision-maker(s) may consult with legal counsel on any questions of admissibility. The Decision-maker(s) 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 Decision-maker(s) has ruled on a question.
At the hearing, the Decision-maker(s) has the authority to hear and make determinations on all allegations of Sexual Harassment and/or retaliation. The Decision-maker(s) will answer all questions of procedure.
Introduction of Investigation Report at Hearing
Upon request by the Decision-maker(s), the Investigator(s) will 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-maker(s) and the parties (through their Advisors). The Investigator(s) may be present during the entire hearing process, but not during deliberations. Neither the parties nor the Decision-maker(s) should ask the Investigator(s) 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 Decision-maker(s) will direct that it be disregarded.
Testimony at Hearing
Once the Investigator(s) 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 Decision-maker(s) and set forth in the Hearing Procedures. The Parties/witnesses will submit to questioning by the Decision-maker(s) and then by the parties through their Advisors, which is the cross-examination.
Refusal to Submit to Cross-Examination at Hearing
For purposes of considering alleged violations of this Policy, if a party or witness chooses not to submit to cross-examination at the hearing, either because they do not attend, or they attend but refuse to participate in cross-examination, then the Decision-maker(s) may not rely on any prior statement made by that party or witness at the hearing (including those contained in the investigation report) in the ultimate determination of responsibility. The Decision-maker(s) must disregard that statement. 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. The Decision-maker(s)(s) 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.
The Decision-maker(s) will deliberate in closed session to determine whether the Respondent is responsible or not responsible for the policy violation(s) in question. A hearing facilitator may be invited to attend the deliberation by the Decision-maker(s), but is there only to facilitate procedurally, not to address the substance of the allegations.
After post-hearing deliberation, the Decision-maker(s) 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. The Decision-maker(s) 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 disregarded, and credibility assessments.
After conclusion of the hearing portion of the proceeding, if there is a finding that the alleged conduct occurred and a final determination that the Title IX policy was violated, the Hearing Decision-maker(s) will proceed to make a sanction recommendation to the Title IX coordinator. For student Respondents the recommendation will be given to the Vice President of Students Affairs and in consultation with appropriate parties to determine an appropriate sanction. For employee Respondents, the case will be referred to Human Resources. In those employee cases, HR, in consultation with supervisors, Deans and other appropriate parties will determine an appropriate sanction. Previous disciplinary action of any kind involving the Respondent may be considered in determining an appropriate sanction upon a determination of responsibility. The parties may each submit a written impact statement prior to the hearing for the consideration at the sanction stage of the process when a determination of responsibility is reached.
- Sanction Considerations: Appropriate considerations in determining sanction include:
- The nature, severity of, and circumstances surrounding the violation(s) and the impact on the Parties;
- The Respondent’s disciplinary history;
- Previous allegations or allegations involving similar conduct;
- The need for sanctions/responsive actions to bring an end to the Sexual Harassment;
- The need for sanctions/responsive actions to prevent the future recurrence of the Sexual Harassment; and
- The need to remedy the effects of the Sexual Harassment and/or retaliation on the Complainant and the community.
Notice of Outcome
Using the deliberation statement, the Title IX Coordinator will work with the Decision-maker(s) to prepare a Notice of Outcome. The Title IX Coordinator will then share the letter, including the final determination, rationale, and any applicable sanction(s) with the parties and their Advisors, as requested, simultaneously.
- Delivery of Notice: 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 NCMC records, or emailed to the parties’ NCMC-issued email or otherwise approved account. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
- Contents of Notice: The Notice of Outcome will identify the specific policy(ies) reported to have been violated, including the relevant policy section, and will contain a description of the procedural steps taken by NCMC 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 NCMC is permitted to share such information under law; any sanctions issued which NCMC is permitted to share according to law; and any remedies provided to the Complainant designed to ensure access to NCMC’s educational or employment program or activity, to the extent NCMC is permitted to share such information under law. The Notice will also include available appeal options.
For student Respondents: Sanctions for students can include, but are not limited to:
- a verbal or written warning;
- establishment of mandatory behavior conditions;
- recommendations for counseling;
- permanent removal from a course or academic program;
- loss of access to college computers and/or network;
- specific project designed to assist the student in better understanding the overall impact of the behavior;
- restitution of damages/stolen property;
- suspension without pay from his or her on campus job;
- prohibit participation in extracurricular activities or interscholastic or leadership positions;
- community service;
- withholding degree;
- suspension; and/or
For employee Respondents: Sanctions for employees can include, but are not limited to:
- a verbal or written warning;
- a Performance Improvement Plan;
- recommendations for counseling;
- additional training or educational requirements;
- removal of responsibilities or leadership roles,
- suspension; and/or
Withdrawal or Resignation While Charges are Pending
- 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 withdraw permanently from NCMC, the Formal Grievance Process per the Title IX Policy ends, as NCMC no longer has disciplinary jurisdiction over the withdrawn student. A hold will be placed on the student’s ability to return, pending resolution of the process. NCMC will continue to address and remedy any systemic issues, ongoing effects of the alleged Sexual Harassment, etc.
- Should an employee Respondent resign with unresolved allegations pending, the Formal Grievance process per the Title IX Policy ends, as NCMC no longer has disciplinary jurisdiction over the resigned employee. The employee may no longer be eligible for rehire, absent appropriate resolution of the Formal Grievance Process. NCMC will continue to address and remedy any systemic issues, ongoing effects of the alleged Sexual Harassment, etc.
Request for Appeal
Any party may request an appeal, which must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator with-in 10 business days from the Notice of Outcome date. The Title IX Coordinator will consult with outside counsel and determine if the request meets the grounds for appeal. If so, the Title IX coordinator will forward the appeal to an external Appeal Decision-maker(s) (separate for the Hearing Decision-maker(s)).
Employee appeal processes will comply with collective bargaining agreements. Utilizing the appeals process does not prohibit a unionized employee from using the grievance process at the conclusion of the appeal.
Grounds for Appeal
One or more of the following grounds must be identified and explained in the Request for Appeal:
- Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
- 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
- The Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), or Decision-
maker(s) 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.
Response to Appeal
If any of the grounds in the Request for Appeal meet the grounds in this Policy, then the Appeal Decision-maker(s) will notify the Parties and their Advisors, the Title IX Coordinator, and, when appropriate, the Investigators and/or the Hearing Decision-maker(s). The Parties will be given five (5) business days to submit a written response to the appeal. All responses will be forward to the other Parties for review and comment. The non-appealing party may also choose to raise a new ground for appeal at this time. If so, that will be reviewed for standing by the Appeal Decision-maker(s) and either denied or approved. If approved, it will be forwarded to the other Parties, who will have the opportunity to submit a written response within five (5) business days.
Notice of Appeal Outcome
The Notice of Appeal Outcome will be sent to all parties simultaneously by the Appeal Decision-maker(s). This Notice will include 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 NCMC is permitted to share according to law, and the rationale supporting the essential findings to the extent NCMC 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’ NCMC-issued email or otherwise approved account. Once mailed, emailed and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
Sanction/Discipline Status During Appeal
Student sanctions or employee discipline are stayed during the appeal process. Supportive measures may continue or be put in place at this time.
NCMC will maintain records of the complaints, policies and processes set forth in this Title IX policy pursuant to institutional and legal requirements.
This policy goes into effect August 26, 2020. This policy was created as a stand-alone policy separate from the Sexual Misconduct policy to comply with the newly-revised requirements of 20 U.S.C. 1681 and 34 CFR part 106. This policy was adapted and is used with permission of Grand Rapids Community College.
North Central Michigan College will take appropriate action to protect the privacy of individuals, students and employees in its records and operations.
Except as permitted by law, the College will not:
2Publicly display all or more than 4 sequential digits of a person’s social security number.
Visibly print all or more than 4 sequential digits of a social security number on any identification badge or card, membership card, permit or license.
2 “Publicly display” means to exhibit, hold up, post, or make visible or set out for open view, including, but not limited to, open view on a computer device, computer network, website, or other electronic medium or device, to members of the public or in a public manner.
Transmit all or more than 4 sequential digits of a social security number over the internet or computer system unless the connection is secure or transmission is encrypted.
Use or transmit all or more than 4 sequential digits of a social security number to gain access to an internet website or computer system unless the connection is secured and encrypted.
The College expects each student, employee, and any other person who may use the facilities or resources of the College to protect the privacy of its students and employees, and to bring to the attention of an appropriate responsible person any privacy violation they may observe. In addition:
Each person who uses or has access to any North Central Michigan College record which contains any person’s Social Security number, or who has access to the Social Security number of any student or employee, will keep this information confidential.
Disclosure of such information will be only to those with a specific need to know for a legitimate College purpose, or in response to a legitimate and lawful request.
The College will permit access to such information only to those with a need to know, and will review access and permission for access not less than once yearly.
All documents or other records which contain such information shall be kept in a secure environment accessible only to those who have been specifically authorized to have access, and will be disposed of only by shredding or other appropriate means which renders a Social Security number illegible and as difficult as possible to reconstruct.
Violations of this policy and procedure may be cause for discipline up to and including dismissal or termination, and may give rise to further legal proceedings.
North Central Michigan College (“the College”) is dedicated to maintaining a healthy work and learning environment for all students, employees and visitors. While the College already prohibits smoking inside its buildings and facilities, beginning on the 1st day of August 2011, the policy will expand to prohibit tobacco use in all outdoor locations owned or controlled by the College. Smoking is allowed only on the inside of individual automobiles. Use of tobacco is allowed outside for religious or instructional purposes.
Specifically, this policy is intended to eliminate the potential for exposure to second-hand smoke and encourage a healthy lifestyle for employees and students. For purposes of this policy, tobacco is defined as any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes and smokeless or spit tobacco.
Students shall obey the laws enacted by Federal, State and local governments, as well as the policies and regulations of North Central. If a student is charged with a misdemeanor or felony, the College will fully cooperate with civil authorities while recognizing the student's rights under the Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act ("FERPA").
Under FERPA, an educational institution, including a community college, may not disclose personally identifiable information found in a student's education record to law enforcement officials, unless such disclosure is "to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena." In such a situation, the College must make a reasonable effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance.