In accordance with the college policy on campus environment, Midlands Technical College intends to provide a safe and supportive learning and working environment for its students, faculty and staff. The college affirms the principle that students, faculty and staff have the right to be free from any forms of harassment, including sexual discrimination, sexual assault/violence and sexual harassment. Harassment, which includes sexual discrimination, sexual assault/violence and sexual harassment, are violations of the Midlands Technical College Student Code and the Employee Harassment Policy, as well as violations of state and federal law. The college has developed a statement addressing harassment to inform students, faculty and staff of their rights and the services available. Sexual assault, sexual violence, and harassment are included under this statement. In compliance with Title IX of the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Ronald L. Rhames has been designated to coordinate compliance with the nondiscrimination requirements contained in section 35.107 of the Department of Justice regulations, section 504 and Title IX regulations. He can be reached at Midlands Technical College, P.O. Box 2408, Columbia, SC 29202, (803) 822-3261.
Sexual assault is any physical contact of a sexual nature, up to and including sexual violence and rape, which occurs against a personís will and/or without a personís consent.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome attention directed toward a personís sexuality or sexual identity. Sexual harassment includes demands for sexual favors in exchange for benefits or the creation of a hostile environment. A hostile environment occurs when sexually offensive conduct creates an intimidating, abusive or unpleasant learning or working environment that unreasonably interferes with a student receiving an education or an employee doing their work.
Other forms of harassment can include disparaging personal remarks, intimidating, threatening and abusive behaviors directed toward another person or group of individuals.
The college provides programming to enhance the awareness and prevention of harassment, including sexual assault/violence and sexual harassment throughout the year. Designated staff members and community experts give presentations and provide resources on request. In addition, pamphlets, brochures and other literature are distributed throughout the campus via newsstands; bulletin boards; activity fairs; the student newspaper; and the employee newsletter, the College News, on the MTC intranet site.
In cases of sexual assault/violence, victims should not change clothes or bathe before seeking medical attention or reporting the crime. This action will ensure the evidence is preserved.
If a sexual offense happens off campus, victims are encouraged to report the incident to the local police immediately. The police will provide guidance concerning evidence collection, legal procedures and other support resources.
When a sexual offense occurs on campus, members of the college community should immediately contact and file a report with Campus Police. The Vice President for Student Development Services or designee investigates allegations involving students, and the Senior Vice President or designee investigates allegations involving faculty and staff. Complaints of sexual assault will be responded to promptly and equitably. The right to confidentiality of all members of the college community will be protected to the extent possible under law. Retaliation against individuals filing sexual assault and/or sexual harassment charges is prohibited.
Convicted sexual offenders are required by law to register with Campus Police.
Campus Police and the investigating party will advise victims of their option to file criminal charges with local law enforcement authorities. They will also assist victims with transportation to the nearest designated sexual assault treatment center. The college will provide victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment with counseling and information about victim support services, such as the nearest sexual assault treatment center. Counseling and Career Services will provide students counseling and referral assistance and Human Resource Management will assist employees in seeking counseling through the Employee Assistance Program.
The college will grant victimsí requests for reasonable and appropriate alternative accommodations to allay their security and safety concerns. Possible accommodations may include alternative classes, campus relocation, work reassignments and/or schedule changes.
The victim may choose to exercise the option to file formal disciplinary actions against the alleged assailant under the Student Code, the Student Grievance Procedure, or the Employee Disciplinary Actions Policy.
Midlands Technical College strictly prohibits hazing, as defined in the South Carolina Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act. Any act in which a student or employee treats another student or college employee in a tyrannical, abusive, shameful, insulting or humiliating nature, with intent of bodily or psychological harm, is a violation of the Midlands Technical College Student Code and college employee policy. If an investigation reveals that an individual is guilty of hazing after being accorded appropriate due process, that individual will be subject to disciplinary action, in accordance with college disciplinary procedures.
Victims may initiate the college disciplinary process by filing a complaint with Campus Police, the Vice President for Student Development Services, or designee (for students), or the Senior Vice President or designee (for college employees). Victims of sexual assault/violence and/or sexual harassment should provide a detailed written statement to the investigating party. If evidence is sufficient, charges will be filed against the accused. Due process under established college disciplinary procedures will be accorded all parties.
Disciplinary actions imposed for sexual assault and sexual harassment offenses will vary according to the severity of the conduct and may include expulsion of a student from the college or termination of employment of a staff or faculty member. Other possible disciplinary actions include those cited in the Student Code and the Employee Disciplinary Actions Policy.
Both the complainant and the accused have the rights to due process and counsel during the disciplinary proceedings; however, counsel is solely to advise. Both parties will be notified in writing of the resolution of any college disciplinary proceeding resulting from a sexual assault and/or sexual harassment charge and of their right to appeal findings through all stages, up to the review by the college President.
As with any crime, if charges of sexual assault/violence and/or sexual harassment are prosecuted, criminal penalties could result in addition to disciplinary actions taken by the college.
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