Understanding Title IX
Many of us know about Title IX as “The law that made school sports more equitable for girls and women.” Yet, there is so much more to it.
What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence is any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act by violence or coercion, unwanted sexual comments or advances, acts directed against person’s sexuality, regardless of the relationship to the victim. Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities such as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.
It creates a hostile environment that has no place at Iowa Lakes Community College. It’s something we take seriously as we work to keep you safe and to respond effectively and in a timely manner when you are in trouble.
Kathy Muller is the Iowa Lakes Title IX Coordinator. She can be reached at 712-362-0433. Her responsibilities include:
- Responding to & investigating all Title IX complaints in a prompt and fair manner.
- Being available to meet with students & provide support and answers to questions.
- Working with other college officials.
- Ensuring training & education pertaining to Title IX.
- Ensuring Iowa Lakes carries out its Title IX responsibilities.
Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation for proof of a criminal offense. Victims are encouraged to immediately visit the local emergency room for evidence collection. Victims should preserve all forms of evidence.
NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION
We will not tolerate discrimination at Iowa Lakes. In terms of Title IX, this is what that means:
- Iowa Lakes does not discriminate on the basis of sex within educational programs & activities, in accordance with the requirements of Title IX.
- Prohibited sex discrimination covers sexual harassment, including sexual violence.
POLICIES & PROCEDURES
Iowa Lakes Community College’s Promise to You:
- We will investigate Title IX compliance in a prompt, fair, & impartial manner.
- We will take steps to prevent the recurrence of any harassment and to correct its discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, as appropriate.
- Both parties can present witnesses and other evidence.
- Mediation will not be used to resolve sexual assault complaints.
- The time frame for a grievance investigation will typically take up to 60 days, unless it is particularly complicated.
- Both parties will be notified of the outcome of the complaint simultaneously.
TITLE IX COMPLAINTS & CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS
If a case of alleged sexual harassment or sexual violence occurs, Iowa Lakes will promptly & equitably investigate to determine what occurred. We will take appropriate steps to resolve the situation. Iowa Lakes Community College’s investigation is separate from law enforcement investigation. You have the right to file a Title IX sex discrimination complaint with Iowa Lakes in addition to filing a criminal complaint with law enforcement.
Our Title IX Coordinator, Kathy Muller, and other supporters can help you decide the best course of action for you by describing the grievance procedures. Please ask!
Someone who comes forward to let us know of a personal instance of sexual harassment/sexual violence is a “complainant.” In order to eliminate a hostile environment, prevent recurrence, and address the effects of sexual harassment/sexual violence, you as a complainant are entitled to remedies that include but aren’t limited to:
- The assurance that you and the alleged perpetrator will not attend the same class/work in the same area at the college.
- Alternate housing arrangements in a different residence hall.
- The availability of counseling services.
- Access to sexual assault advocates.
- The availability of medical services.
- Academic support such as tutoring.
- Options to avoid contact with the alleged perpetrator.
- Arrange for you to retake a course or withdraw from a class without penalty.
- The knowledge that you can file a complaint with the local law enforcement at any time and that you have the option to be assisted by campus personnel in notifying such authorities.
YOU ALSO HAVE THE RIGHT...
- To present your case, which includes the right to adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation of complaints; the right to have witnesses present and the opportunity to present other evidence; and the right to the same appeal process, for both parties.
- To be notified in writing of the outcome of the complaint simultaneously. Both parties may file an appeal, if applicable.
- To have your complaint decided using a preponderance of the evidence standard (i.e. It’s more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred.)
- To know that you can end the informal process at any time and begin the formal stage of the complaint process.
When it comes to confidentiality, we’ll be upfront with you.
- We will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond in a manner consistent with a student’s confidentiality request and we will let you know if we can’t ensure confidentiality.
- If a student requests confidentiality and decides not to press charges in a sexual violence case, an anonymous report of the incident must still be made in order to comply with the Clery Act.
- Your educational counselor is available to talk with you in confidence and can connect you with a Victim Advocate. The advocate has special training and experience in assisting victims of sexual assault. The Victim Advocate will support you in a variety of ways and provide complete confidentiality.
- If the safety of others could be at risk, the good of the whole may need to outweigh one student’s confidentiality request.
You can talk with any of us here at Iowa Lakes if you or someone you know is experiencing sexual harassment/sexual violence. We will provide support and put you in touch with the Title IX Coordinator and other resources immediately!
Source: “Not Alone” report of The White House Task Force to Prevent Students from Sexual Assault, April 2014