Statement Against Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation and Intimidation
It is the policy of Elmhurst College (the College) to afford equal opportunity to and not discriminate against students, employees and applicants regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, pregnancy, marital status or other protected status as those terms are defined by applicable federal, state and local law.
The College believes that all employees and students should be able to work and learn in an educational environment free from discrimination and harassment. Harassment includes unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, written or graphic, that is based on protected status such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, citizenship, veteran’s status, pregnancy, marital status or other protected status.
The College does not discriminate and will not tolerate discrimination against any member of its community that is based on protected status. Nor will it tolerate harassing conduct that affects tangible job or educational benefits or that interferes unreasonably with an individual’s work or academic performance or that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, educational or learning environment. Such conduct shall be considered discriminatory harassment and is specifically prohibited by this policy.
The College is committed to addressing sexual assault, sexual violence, and other sexual misconduct, which are types of sexual harassment and are specifically prohibited by this policy. Domestic violence, dating violence, sexual exploitation, stalking, retaliation, and intimidation are also prohibited by this policy.
This policy applies to all College employees, students, vendors and affiliated persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and regardless of whether the alleged violations occurred on- or off-campus. Any employee, student, vendor or affiliated person who engages in prohibited discrimination or harassment will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including permanent exclusion from the College or termination in the case of employees.
Examples of conduct that may violate this policy are:
Conduct of this sort is prohibited by this policy without regard to whether the conduct would violate applicable law.
Retaliation is a very serious violation of this policy and should be reported immediately to any of the persons listed in this policy. Retaliation exists when action is taken against a complainant or participant in the complaint process that (i) adversely affects the individual’s opportunity to benefit from the College’s programs or activities; and (ii) is motivated in whole or in part by the individual’s participation in the complaint process. Retaliation against any individual for reporting discrimination or harassment will not be tolerated and will be treated as a separate and independent violation of this policy.
Intimidation of any individual undertaken to prevent reporting of violations or cooperating with investigations is also prohibited under this policy. Each alleged or suspected violation will be investigated and resolved using the procedure set forth below in Section 10 regarding the formal complaint resolution procedure. Individuals who are not themselves complainants, but who assist in a discrimination or harassment investigation, are also protected from retaliation and intimidation under this policy.
The sections that follow include additional information regarding the role of the Title IX Coordinator (s. 2); the College’s prohibition against sex discrimination (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence and other sexual misconduct) and other interpersonal misconduct (s. 3); resources for survivors of sex discrimination and interpersonal misconduct (s. 4); reporting options (s. 5); amnesty policy (s. 6); report response and assessment (s. 7); the formal complaint resolution procedures (s. 8); training, prevention, and education (s. 9); policy regarding consensual amorous relationships (s. 10); and prohibition against disability discrimination (s. 11).
Title IX and the Role of the Title IX Coordinator
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities. Title IX states as follows:
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Discrimination on the basis of sex (i.e., sex discrimination) includes sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence. As noted above, it is the policy of the College to provide an educational environment free of all forms of sex discrimination, including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct or communications constituting sexual harassment, as defined in this policy and as otherwise prohibited by state and federal statutes. Sexual harassment, including acts of sexual assault and sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited at the school. This prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex applies to all students, faculty and staff, to other members of the College community, and to contractors, consultants and vendors doing business or providing services to the school.
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for implementing and monitoring Title IX compliance on behalf of Elmhurst College. This includes coordination of training, education, communications and administration of the complaint and grievance procedures for the handling of suspected or alleged violations of this policy. Any inquiries regarding Title IX or the College’s Prohibition Against Sex Discrimination should be directed to the College’s Title IX Coordinator. The College’s Title IX Coordinator will be available to meet with or talk to students regarding issues relating to Title IX and the College’s Prohibition Against Sex Discrimination.
The Title IX Coordinator for the College is:
Interim Dean of Students
Frick Center, Elmhurst College
190 Prospect Avenue
Elmhurst, IL 60126
If you have a concern that your rights are being violated (whether student, faculty or staff), you should follow the procedures set forth in this policy (if you are a student or staff member) or the Faculty Manual (if you are a faculty member). If you are not sure who to go to or believe you have a complaint that falls under Title IX, you may reach out directly to the Title IX Coordinator. If the complaint relates to the Title IX Coordinator, you may contact the Vice President for Finance & Administration. In addition to contacting the Title IX Coordinator, in instances of alleged or suspected sexual assault, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking or other potentially criminal conduct, you may contact Campus Security at (630) 617-3000 or the local police by calling 911. Additional information and resources regarding these issues are available on the Campus Security website and is outlined below.
Prohibition Against Sex Discrimination and Other Interpersonal Misconduct
This section supplements the general policy statement set forth above and includes information that addresses the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), and the Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act. In determining whether a hostile environment based on sex exists in the educational setting, the College will consider whether there was harassing conduct based on sex that was sufficiently serious—that is, sufficiently severe or pervasive—to deny or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s program.
With regard to students, this policy is intended to prohibit sex discrimination or sexual harassment as a basis for determination on issues including: (1) admissions; (2) educational performance required or expected of a student; (3) attendance or assignment requirements; (4) to what courses, fields of study or programs the student will be admitted; (5) what placement or proficiency requirements are applicable; (6) the quality of instruction; (7) tuition or fee requirements; (8) scholarship opportunities; (9) co-curricular programs and activities in which the student will participate; (10) any grade the student will receive; (11) the progress of the student toward completion of a program; (12) what degree, if any, the student will receive.
Sex discrimination (which includes sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence) and other interpersonal misconduct (which includes dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking) are prohibited under this policy without regard to whether the conduct would violate applicable laws. Although the College’s policy prohibiting sexual assault, sexual violence and other sexual misconduct is broader than parallel Illinois statutory or other legal prohibitions, the College provides the following for informational and educational purposes.
Anyone who is found by the College to have committed any form of sexual misconduct or other conduct prohibited by this policy, as those terms are defined by the College, is subject to discipline, up to and including termination or expulsion from the College, regardless of whether the accused person has been found criminally responsible for their actions. The College may also investigate alleged violations of this policy received from individuals outside the institution regarding individuals within the College, regardless of the location of the alleged offense. Any student who engages in sexual misconduct should be aware that their behavior may be considered criminal under Illinois law and could result in criminal prosecution, as well as disciplinary action by the College. Appendix A provides Illinois criminal law terms and definitions.
Sexual Harassment. Sexual harassment includes sexual assault and sexual violence, and is a type of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX that may take many forms. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and/or other physical, verbal or visual conduct based on sex when:
Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence. These are particular types of sexual harassment that include physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol. Sexual assault and sexual violence include, but are not necessarily limited to, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual intercourse of any kind without consent, rape and attempted rape.
Sexual Misconduct. Sexual misconduct encompasses a range of behavior that can include, but is not necessarily limited to, sexual assault (which includes both non-consensual sexual intercourse and non-consensual sexual contact), sexual violence, sexual exploitation (e.g., non-consensual recording of sexual activity), other interpersonal misconduct, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that has the purpose or effect of threatening or intimidating the person against whom such conduct is directed or that goes beyond the boundaries of consent.
Consent. Sexual activity requires consent, which is defined as clear, unambiguous, voluntary, positive agreement between the participants, to engage in specific sexual activity.
Dating Violence. The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person:
Dating violence can include, but is not limited to:
Domestic Violence. The term “domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by:
Stalking. The term “stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for one’s safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition of stalking:
Resources for Survivors of Sex Discrimination and Other Interpersonal Misconduct
The following are resources for individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct, sexual assault, domestic abuse, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking.
Sexual Assault Crisis Centers and Other External Resources
There are several methods individuals can use to report violations of this Policy, regardless of where the incident occurred. The College encourages survivors to disclose a report of sexual misconduct as soon as reasonably possible, but there is no time limit on reporting incidents of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or other interpersonal misconduct. Anyone who believes they have been a victim of sexual misconduct is encouraged to report the incident by following one or more of the procedures described below and to seek medical care and follow-up counseling as soon as possible.
Reporting to a Responsible Employee. All College employees, including all College hourly and full-time faculty, staff, contract vendor employees (other than those in Student Health Services and Counseling Services), and students identified as Resident Advisers and Orientation Student Leaders are considered responsible employees, meaning they are required to report any alleged incidents of sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking to the Title IX Coordinator. They are expected to report to the Title IX Coordinator as much detailed information as was made available to them, including the survivor’s name, the accused, or any other relevant details.
Therefore, if a student reports an incident to any responsible employee, that person is obligated to ensure student privacy, meaning that information about the incident will only be shared with those who “need to know” in order to effectively respond to the incident and to support the student survivor. In order to maintain such privacy, employees, customers, students, vendors and other persons affiliated with the College who believe they have experienced or have witnessed discrimination or harassment should immediately notify either their supervisor or the Title IX Coordinator, a Title IX Deputy Coordinator, or Campus Security. Contact information for these individuals is provided below.
Title IX Coordinator
Interim Dean of Students
Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Students
Assistant to the Dean and Coordinator of Conduct and Compliance
Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Staff
Executive Director of Human Resources
Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Faculty
Interim Dean of the Faculty
Reporting to a Confidential Advisor. Under Illinois law, students must be afforded the opportunity to report to a confidential advisor. Confidential advisors provide emergency and ongoing support to survivors of sexual violence. They have received at least 40 hours of training on sexual violence, attend a minimum of 6 hours of ongoing education training annually, and have received training on the College’s administrative process, interim measures and accommodations, and complaint resolution procedures. The confidential advisor is able to review this information with a student and participate as a support person in any meeting related to an institutional investigation or grievance procedure, as well as provide guidance for the criminal reporting process. If a student discloses an incident of sexual misconduct to a confidential advisor, the advisor is not obligated to share such information with the institution’s Title IX Coordinator, and would keep all communication with a survivor confidential.
Elmhurst College partners with the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago to provide confidential advisors to students.
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
The only staff who are not considered responsible employees are those in the Wellness Center who work in Student Health Services and Counseling Services. These staff members serve as a confidential resource to faculty, staff, and students on campus, meaning that disclosures of such misconduct to Wellness Center staff from a patient would not be shared with the Title IX Coordinator and would be kept confidential per patient privacy rights. Contact information for Wellness Center staff is provided below.
Student Health Services
Niebuhr Hall, Lower Level
Niebuhr Hall, Lower Level
Reporting to the Police. Students can contact the local police to initiate the criminal reporting process, which is separate from the campus reporting process. Elmhurst College Campus Security will support students who wish for assistance working through the criminal reporting process. Conversely, students and employees may seek an investigation through the College and choose not to involve local police. Additional information and resources regarding these issues is available below and on the Campus Security website.
Elmhurst Police Department
15 E. First Street, Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
Emergency Number: 911
Non-Emergency Number: (630) 530-3050
The Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act is an Illinois Law (Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 725, paragraph 120/1 et seq.4) intended to ensure that crime victims are treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice system. This law affords crime victims certain rights in connection with the criminal justice system.
Please understand that any criminal or other investigation conducted by law enforcement authorities is separate from an investigation that the College conducts under this Policy and does not relieve the College of its obligations under Title IX or other applicable law. If law enforcement so requests, the College may decide to delay its investigation for a brief period of time, but will take any interim measures it deems necessary to address the issue before the investigation. If requested to provide information to law enforcement, the College will cooperate with such a request consistent with its privacy obligations under FERPA and other applicable laws.
Reporting Online. In addition to reporting directly to the Title IX Coordinator, a Deputy Coordinator, Campus Security, a responsible employee, or a confidential advisor or resource, Elmhurst College faculty, staff, and students can submit a report electronically. The form, available at the link below, allows for anonymous, third-party, and bystander reports. The Title IX Coordinator receives reports submitted through this form and directs them to the appropriate Deputy Coordinator for response. The more information a reporter provides, the more readily a Deputy Coordinator can respond to the concern and support the survivor.
[Link to online reporting form]
Receiving Medical Attention. In any instance of sexual assault, the victim should seek medical attention as quickly as possible. This will serve to protect evidence and can greatly assist in proving sexual assault occurred. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are available at the Elmhurst Hospital Emergency Room and are on call 24/7 to provide free forensic examinations and comprehensive care to sexual assault patients. An evidence kit can be collected up to 7 days after the assault, and a survivor does not need to have a kit to get an exam and treatment. The kit also does not need to be released to the police right away. The hospital location and contact information is provided below.
155 E. Brush Hill Road, Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
Main number: (331) 221-1000
The College will not pursue the conduct process for possible violations of the College’s Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policies against a student who reports an alleged violation of the College’s Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy when conduct that violates the College’s Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policies is revealed during the course of the student’s report, provided that such consumption did not or does not place the health or safety of any other person at risk or if the possible violation is otherwise egregious.
Title IX Report Response and Assessment
Under federal and state law, Elmhurst College is obligated to provide complainants with concise information regarding their rights and options. For the purpose of report response and assessment and complaint resolution procedures, a “complainant” is the party alleging sexual misconduct or to whom the misconduct was directed. The “respondent” is the party accused of sexual misconduct. A person who reports sexual misconduct occurring between individuals and does not include themselves is referred to as a “third party” or “witness.”
Upon receiving a report of sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will request an in-person meeting with the complainant who made the report or about whom the report was made to review the complainant’s rights and options, including but not limited to the following: additional reporting options, privacy rights, contact information for on and off-campus resources, receiving interim measures and accommodations, and a summary of the College’s complaint resolution procedures. If a complainant does not wish to meet with the Title IX Coordinator, these rights and options will be emailed to the complainant and are available in an electronic format on the College’s Title IX webpage. If a complainant chooses to not initially meet with the Title IX Coordinator, they are still permitted to request to meet with the Title IX Coordinator at any future time.
After receiving an initial report of sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator must also assess the nature of the allegations, the safety of the involved individuals and the greater College community, the complainant’s preference for resolving the matter, the complainant’s request for confidentiality, and the need for any interim measures to maintain the safety of the complainant or the College community.
Confidentiality. The College strongly supports a complainant’s interest in confidentiality in cases involving sexual violence. To the extent possible, the College will only disclose information regarding alleged incidents of sexual violence to individuals who are responsible for handling the College’s response.
In the event that a complainant reporting an incident of sexual violence requests that their name not be disclosed to the respondent, or that no investigation or disciplinary action be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator will evaluate whether the College can honor the request while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all campus community members. The College will consider in particular whether there are any circumstances that suggest that there is an increased risk of the respondent committing additional acts of sexual violence or other violence (e.g., whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same respondent).
If a complainant’s request for confidentiality limits the College’s ability to investigate, the College will take appropriate steps to limit the effects of the alleged sexual misconduct and prevent its recurrence without initiating formal action against the respondent or revealing the identity of the complainant, such as providing increased monitoring, supervision or security at relevant locations, or providing training and educational materials to students and employees.
Regardless of the College’s decision, the College will take appropriate interim or remedial measures to protect the safety of the complainant and other members of the College community. In the event that the College determines that a request for confidentiality cannot be honored, the College will still limit its disclosure of information regarding the incident to the extent practicable.
Clery Act Compliance and Campus Crime Alerts. The Clery Act requires that all sex offenses, to include sexual assaults, be made known to the campus community through the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report published each year by October 1. Under the Violence Against Women Act, crimes of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking must also be reported in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The Report does not include any identifying information.
In addition, where it is determined that the incident may pose a serious, ongoing threat to members of the College community, the Clery Act also requires the College to provide a timely warning so that members of the College community may protect themselves from harm. In the event a timely warning is deemed necessary, a mass email Crime Alert is sent to all students and employees on campus and is posted on the College's website. Crime alerts are also posted in the residence halls and various other buildings on campus, and are typically posted in the lobby/entrance area of the building(s) for seven days. Updates to the College community about any particular case resulting in a Crime Alert may be distributed via email.
Interim Measures and Accommodations. Interim measures are available to complainants, regardless of whether formal grievance procedures are sought by the complainant or by the Title IX Coordinator acting on behalf of the College. Such interim measures can include, but are not limited to the following:
In situations involving suspected or alleged violations of the Prohibition Against Sex Discrimination and Other Interpersonal Misconduct, the College also reserves the right to take steps to protect the complainant as deemed necessary during the process of the investigation and complaint resolution procedure (e.g., allowing for a change in academic situation, issuing a “no contact” order to the respondent, etc.). Any such interim steps will be taken in a manner that minimizes the burden on the complainant to the extent possible.
In cases where the respondent is a student and is determined to be a threat to others or property, the Title IX Coordinator may impose interim measures such as an interim suspension or restriction/loss of other campus privileges during the process of an investigation and/or complaint resolution procedure. In cases where the respondent is an employee and is determined to be a threat to others or property, the Title IX Coordinator may impose interim measures such as suspension (with or without pay) or restriction/loss of other campus privileges during the process of an investigation and/or complaint resolution procedure. Interim measures will be kept confidential to the extent that it does not limit the ability of the College to provide the interim measure.
Violations of directives and/or protective measures, such as no contact orders or other restrictions of campus privileges, as part of an interim measure may result in disciplinary action separate from any sanctions issued for a finding of responsibility in violating the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy.
Advisors. The complainant and the respondent may request and are permitted to have an advisor of their choice accompany them to any meeting, interview, or proceeding related to an alleged violation of this Policy. The advisor may be a family member, friend, professor, staff member, mentor, attorney, confidential advisor, or any other person they choose. An advisor may not also serve as a witness in an investigation or proceeding about the same matter. The complainant or the respondent must provide the name of their chosen advisor to the Title IX Coordinator via email at firstname.lastname@example.org at least 48 hours prior to any meeting, interview, or proceeding in which they desire the advisor to be present.
The College cannot guarantee the equality of advisor representation. If the complainant or respondent chooses to have an attorney present as their advisor, the College is under no obligation to provide one for the other party; advisor participation is at the choosing and expense of each party.
The role of the advisor is for emotional support; their participation will be limited to consulting privately with their advisee. An advisor may speak privately to their advisee, but an advisor may not present evidence, question witnesses, write draft statements, speak for their advisee, or otherwise participate directly in the meeting, interview, or proceeding.
The involvement of the advisor may not result in undue delay of any meeting, interview, or proceeding. If an advisor conducts themselves in a manner inconsistent with these expectations, the College official directing the meeting may excuse the advisor and the meeting may continue without the advisor. The Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the advisor may be reinstated or replaced for any subsequent meetings.
Prompt, Fair and Equitable Resolution
Parties have the opportunity to request that the College’s investigation and resolution procedures for alleged violations of this Policy begin promptly and proceed in a timely manner. The College will promptly respond to any and all alleged and suspected violations of this Policy about which the College knows or reasonably should know, regardless of where the conduct at issue occurred. The College is committed to providing prompt, thorough, fair, and impartial investigations which treat individuals with respect, dignity, and sensitivity.
Resolution Time Frame
The College will complete the complaint resolution procedure, including the imposition of any sanctions, within 60 calendar days of receiving the report or the date on which the College becomes aware of an alleged violation of the Policy, unless the College determines that additional time is required, in which case the parties will be notified and provided with an explanation of the reason for the extension of the 60-day period.
Any pending criminal investigation or criminal proceeding may have some impact on the timing of the College’s investigation, but the College will commence its own investigation as soon as is practicable under the circumstances. The College reserves the right to commence and/or complete its own investigation prior to the completion of any investigation or criminal proceeding, but will cooperate with law enforcement should a criminal proceeding be in progress.
Informal Resolution Procedure
Where appropriate, the College will work to informally resolve sexual misconduct allegations by taking immediate and corrective action to stop the misconduct, address its effects, and prevent recurrence without a formal investigation and determination of a College policy violation. Informal resolution may include the range of interim measures in Section 7c above, as well as targeted and/or broad-based training and educational programming for relevant individuals and groups and/or any other remedy that will achieve the goals of the College’s Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy. In some circumstances, mediation or joint conflict resolution may be appropriate; however, mediation or face-to-face meetings will never be used to resolve allegations of non-consensual intercourse or contact or other sexual violence. Participation in informal resolution is voluntary and either party can request to end informal resolution and initiate the formal resolution process at any time.
Formal Complaint Resolution Procedure
When a report of a violation of the College’s Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy cannot be informally resolved, a formal resolution will be initiated.
Procedural Expectations. There are several procedural expectations that the College upholds within the complaint resolution procedure.Rights. The complainant and respondent are afforded equal rights and access to information throughout the complaint resolution procedure, including timely updates regarding the status of the investigation. These rights include the following:
Conflict of Interest. The College requires any individual participating in the investigation, sanctioning, appeal, or other resolution of complaints under this Policy to disclose any potential or actual conflict of interest. The complainant and respondent will both receive notice of the individuals or individuals with authority to make a finding or impose a sanction before those individuals initiate contact with either party. If either the complainant or respondent believes anyone involved in the investigation, sanctioning, appeal, or resolution process has a bias or conflict of interest, the party should notify the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) calendar days of receiving notice of the name of the individual participating in the Complaint Resolution Procedure or Appeal Process, which can include faculty or staff members assigned as Investigators, sanctioning officials, Hearing Panel members, or Appeals Committee members, and request a substitution of that individual. This notice to the Title IX Coordinator should include a description of the conflict. If it is determined that a conflict of interest does exist, the College will take steps to address the conflict as appropriate to maintain an impartial process.
Standard of Proof. The standard used to determine whether the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy has been violated is the preponderance of the evidence standard, meaning whether it is more likely than not that the respondent has violated the Policy based on all relevant information collected during the complaint resolution procedure.
Investigations. A formal resolution includes a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations of a violation of the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy. Investigations are conducted by designated College employees appointed by the Title IX Coordinator who have received 8-10 hours of annual training regarding the College’s policies and the investigation of, and other issues relevant to, sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence, sexual misconduct, dating and domestic violence, and stalking, including how to conduct an investigation that protects the safety of the parties and promotes institutional responsibility. In addition, the Investigators shall not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against any parties involved in the potential Policy violation. The College shall have a sufficient number of employees trained to investigate and resolve complaints alleging a violation of this Policy, so that a substitution of Investigators can occur in the case of a conflict of interest or recusal. Generally, two Investigators are assigned to investigate a report of sexual misconduct.
The complainant and the respondent shall receive notice of the Investigators conducting the investigation before either Investigator initiates contact with either party. The nature and extent of the investigation will vary depending upon the circumstances. As a part of the investigation, the Investigators will seek to interview the complainant, the respondent, and any witnesses, and will review any relevant documents or physical evidence. Interviews will generally take place in person, but arrangements can be made with the Title IX Coordinator’s approval for interviews to occur by phone or other electronic means. All parties involved in an investigation will receive timely notice regarding all interviews or meetings at which they may be present. The complainant and respondent may have an advisor present with them during interviews and meetings conducted during the investigation, and may also provide written statements, submit questions that they believe should be asked by the investigator to each other or to any witness, identify or present statements from fact witnesses, or submit any other evidence the Investigator deems relevant. The College will take appropriate measures to preserve any evidence, and the parties are expected to do the same. All parties are expected to provide as much information as possible in connection with the investigation, and the College will protect the privacy of the participating parties and witnesses. The College will maintain documentation of the investigation or other proceedings, which can take various forms (e.g., notes, written findings of fact, transcripts, or audio recordings, etc.).
The College’s ability to investigate in a particular situation, or the extent of the investigation in any given situation, may be affected by any number of factors, including whether the complainant is willing to file a complaint or to consent to an investigation, the location where the alleged conduct occurred, and the College’s access to information relevant to the alleged or suspected violation of this policy. The College is nonetheless committed to investigating all alleged and suspected violations of this Policy to the fullest extent possible under the circumstances.
At any point during the investigation, the respondent may elect to accept responsibility for all or part of the alleged violations. If the respondent chooses to do so, the Investigators may still complete the investigation to ensure that all relevant information has been documented, or the Investigators may consult with the Title IX Coordinator to complete the Final Investigative Report at that time and move the case to the appropriate sanctioning official. All investigations will be conducted in a thorough and neutral manner.
Investigative Report. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigators will prepare a Final Investigative Report outlining the contested and uncontested information and minimally containing the following:
Before the report is finalized, the Investigators will forward to each party interviewed a summary of their own interview for review. The parties may submit any additional comments, evidence, or suggested factual corrections to the Investigators within three (3) calendar days of the date on which they were provided their summaries. Upon the receipt of any additional information from the parties, or after the 3 calendar day period has lapsed without response, the Investigators will incorporate any additional information and finalize the report. A copy of the finalized report will be provided to the Title IX Coordinator, as well as the complainant and respondent simultaneously.
When the Responding Party is a student. A copy of the Final Investigative Report will be provided to the Hearing Panel, which will issue a determination as to whether or not a policy violation occurred. The Title IX Coordinator will select three faculty/staff members to serve on the Hearing Panel and one additional faculty/staff member to serve as the non-voting Chair of the Hearing Panel. Each panel member will receive 8-10 hours of annual training regarding the College’s policies and the resolution of, and other issues relevant to, sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence, sexual misconduct, dating and domestic violence, and stalking, including how to conduct a hearing process that protects the safety of the parties and promotes institutional responsibility.
A typical hearing may include brief opening and/or closing remarks by the complainant and/or respondent, and testimony and/or evidence from the parties, Investigators or relevant witnesses. The hearing is not a repeat of the investigation and the Panel has discretion to determine which witnesses are relevant to its determination and may decline to hear from witnesses where it concludes that the information is not necessary for its review. The parties will be afforded equal rights and access to information throughout the hearing process, and neither party will be required to participate in the Hearing. The Hearing Panel will consider the Final Investigation Report as well as the evidence and testimony introduced at the hearing and will determine, using the preponderance of the evidence standard, whether a policy violation occurred. If the Hearing Panel finds based on a preponderance of the evidence that the Responding Party is responsible for a violation of the Policy, the Hearing Panel will also determine the appropriate sanction and any other remedies or corrective actions. Upon determining the outcome of the hearing, the Panel will prepare a separate, final report regarding whether or not there has been a policy violation and what sanctions are assigned to the respondent.
Within five (5) calendar days of determining the outcome of the hearing, the Hearing Panel Chair (in the case of student respondents) or the Investigators (in the case of faculty/staff respondents) will notify both the complainant and respondent, simultaneously and in writing, of the sanctions issued, the date the sanctions will be in effect, and information regarding the appeal process. The Title IX Coordinator will also receive a copy of this written notice of sanctions. The time period for rendering a decision and sanction and notifying both parties may be extended by the sanctioning official, so long as both parties receive notice and a reason for the extension.
When the Responding Party is a faculty member. The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty and a second Investigator will determine if a violation of the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy occurred, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty will determine an appropriate sanction, other remedies or corrective action.
When the Responding Party is a staff member. The Executive Director of Human Resources and a second trained Investigator will determine if a violation of the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy occurred, and the Executive Director of Human Resources will determine an appropriate sanction, other remedies, or corrective action.
Sanctions, Remedies, and Corrective Actions. Disciplinary sanctions for violating the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy include:
The designated sanctioning official may impose any sanction(s) from the above list that are fair and proportionate to the finding of responsibility for each violation. The sanctioning official may refer to the respondent’s record of past violations of the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy to determine appropriate sanctions for the present violation(s). In addition, if a student is found guilty in an off-campus court of law, the College may impose its own sanctions.
Where appropriate, the College will also take reasonable steps to remedy the harm to the complainant. Additional corrective actions for the complainant may include but are not limited to support services and accommodations such as escorts, counseling and medical services, academic or residential accommodations and support. The College will also take appropriate remedial action to eliminate any hostile environment and prevent its recurrence. Corrective actions and remedies at the level of the College may include but are not limited to providing and/or requiring counseling and training, developing educational materials and other programming for the campus community, implementation of revised policies and procedures, undertaking climate surveys and other mechanisms to identify and address patterns of violations.
The College may disclose to the complainant information about any sanctions or corrective actions taken that relate directly to the complainant (e.g., a “no contact” order). In no event will the complainant in matters involving an alleged violation of the Policy that involves sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault or violence, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking be required to abide by a nondisclosure agreement that would prevent disclosure of the outcome. In instances where the College is unable to take disciplinary or other corrective action in response to a violation of this Policy because a complainant requests confidentiality or for some other reason, the College will nonetheless pursue other steps to limit the effects of the conduct at issue and prevent its recurrence.
If the College is unable to take disciplinary or other corrective action in response to a violation of this Policy, the College will nonetheless pursue other steps to limit the effects of the conduct at issue and prevent its recurrence.
Appeal Process. Either party may appeal the Hearing Panel’s determination (student respondents) or the Investigator’s determination (faculty or staff respondents) and/or the sanction(s) issued by the Hearing Panel or sanctioning official by submitting a written request for an appeal, with supporting documentation, to the Title IX Coordinator within five (5) calendar days of receiving the Hearing Panel’s or Investigator’s determination or the written notice of the sanctions, whichever is later. All appeals initiated by faculty respondents will be administered consistently with appeal procedures provided in the Faculty Manual. If any responding party wishes to have a sanction suspended pending the outcome of the appeal, they may so request at the time of the appeal. It is within the sole discretion of the Title IX Coordinator to grant a suspension of the sanction pending an appeal determination and to invoke necessary interim remedies and measures during this period.
Grounds for Appeal. Appeals will only be considered on the following grounds:
Mere disagreement with the decision is not grounds for appeal. In any request for an appeal, the burden to demonstrate procedural error, new evidence, or a disproportionate sanction lies with the party requesting the appeal.
Notice to Relevant Parties. Upon receiving an appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will forward the appeal and the supporting documents to the non-appealing party. Within five (5) calendar days of receiving a request for appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will determine if the appeal satisfies the grounds for appeal and will notify both parties of the determination.
Upon receiving the notification of the determination, including with respect to an appeal pursuant to the Faculty Manual procedures, the non-appealing party will have the opportunity to submit a written response to the appeal within seven (7) calendar days of receiving the determination of an eligible appeal.
If the appeal meets at least one of the grounds for appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will forward the appeal to the Chair of the Appeals Committee (in cases involving student respondents), the President of the College (in cases involving faculty respondents), and the Vice President for Finance and Administration (in cases involving staff respondents).
Appointment of an Appellate Committee. The Appeals Committee is an appointed committee comprised of seven (7) faculty and staff members. Within seven (7) calendar days of receiving the appeal, the Chair of the Appeals Committee will convene three (3) Committee members to review the appeal. All Appeals Committee members will receive 8-10 hours of annual training regarding issues related to the College’s polices and the resolution of, and other issues related to, sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence, sexual misconduct, dating and domestic violence, and stalking including guidelines for conducting appeals. The Chair will serve as a non-voting member of the Committee. Both parties will be notified simultaneously in writing of the Committee members appointed to their appellate panel. The Committee will review the Final Investigative Report, any report from a Hearing Panel, and may interview the Investigators or any other person who participated in the investigation or sanctioning process. The Appeals Committee may:
The Appeals Committee, or Appellate official in the case of non-student respondents, will deliver its decision in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within seven (7) calendar days of receiving the appeal unless there are extenuating circumstances that require an extension. Upon receipt of the decision, the Title IX Coordinator will deliver in writing the outcome of the appeal and the rationale for the decision to both the complainant and respondent within seven (7) days, including results from any appeal conducted pursuant to provisions of the Faculty Manual. Appeal decisions by the Appeals Committee are final.
Training, Prevention, and Education
The College will provide the following education programming designed to promote the awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Primary Prevention and Awareness Programs
The College will provide primary prevention and awareness programs for all incoming students and new employees that include the following:
Ongoing Prevention and Awareness Campaigns
The College will also provide ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students and employees that include the information covered in the primary prevention and awareness programs.
Consensual Amorous Relationships
At the core of the College’s mission is an implied responsibility of trust and ethical behavior in every relationship in which a College faculty member, staff member or administrator has a supervisory, evaluative or advisory relationship with a student or another faculty member, staff member or administrator. Conflicts of interest can arise in a consensual romantic and/or sexual relationship (i.e., “amorous relationship”) because of the power differential that often exists between the parties to such relationships. Such relationships can present serious ethical concerns about issues such as validity and consent, sexual harassment and unfair treatment by others. As a result, such relationships can have a negative effect on the parties involved and the entire Elmhurst community. Although consensual amorous relationships do not necessarily constitute sexual harassment, such relationships may be problematic or even give rise to allegations of sexual harassment or other inappropriate conduct if: 1) a consensual relationship ends and one of the parties continues behavior that is unwelcome by the other party, and/or 2) a consensual relationship creates an unfair, hostile or intimidating learning or work environment.
Therefore, this policy places certain limitations and restrictions on consensual amorous relationships and imposes certain obligations on the party in such relationships who has the supervisory, evaluative or advisory authority. The College strongly discourages all employees from participating in consensual amorous relationships with students or other employees whenever a “professional relationship” (as defined below) between the parties exists. For purposes of this policy, “employee” includes all College faculty, staff and administrators. “Professional relationship” is a relationship that involves the exercise of supervisory, evaluative or advisory authority, including but not limited to teaching, grading, academic advising, mentoring, coaching, supervision, making decisions relating to employment or financial support or other oversight over campus business or activities.
If a consensual amorous relationship exists or has existed between an employee and a student or other employee with whom the employee also has a professional relationship, the employee in the supervisory, evaluative or advisory role must report the relationship to the Director of Human Resources, the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty or the Vice President for Finance and Administration. The College will then determine what action is appropriate, including whether the duties giving rise to the reporting employee’s professional relationship with the student or other employee will be reassigned. An employee’s violation of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment at the College.
Retaliation against any person who reports concerns about consensual amorous relationships is prohibited and constitutes a violation of this policy. Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the Director of Human Resources, the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty or the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
Changes in these Procedures. The College reserves the right to make adjustments and changes in this policy (Sections 1-13) at any time.
Updated August 2016.
Prohibition Against Disability Discrimination and Reasonable Accommodations Policy
As noted in the general Non-Discrimination/Non-Harassment Policy statement set forth above, the College does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of physical or mental disability. To ensure equal access to its programs and activities, the College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations, including appropriate auxiliary aids and services, academic adjustments (inside or outside the classroom) and/or modification to the College’s policies and procedures, to qualified individuals with disabilities, unless providing such accommodations would result in an undue burden or fundamentally alter the nature of the relevant program or activity. The College’s ADA/504 Coordinator is responsible for determining appropriate accommodations in conjunction with the student and other College representatives, as appropriate.
ADA/504 Disability Services Coordinator
Corinne Smith, Ed.D.
Learning Center, Frick Center, 229
190 Prospect Avenue
Elmhurst, IL 60126
Phone: (630) 617-6448
Fax: (630) 617-3387
Applicants for admission to the College or current students requesting an accommodation should do so in writing to the greatest extent possible. The College may also ask a student’s health care provider to submit documentation regarding a student’s condition, the impact the condition has on the student’s ability to participate in the College’s educational or other programs, and any suggested accommodations. The College may request only medical information that is relevant and reasonably necessary to determine whether an individual is disabled, the nature and extent of the disability and appropriate reasonable accommodations.
All completed forms and supporting documentation must be submitted to the ADA/504 Disability Services Coordinator. To enable the College to evaluate an individual’s needs, engage in an interactive process with them, and provide appropriate reasonable accommodations in a timely fashion, the College requests that individuals complete and submit the required forms and supporting documentation as far in advance as possible before the first day of classes or as soon as practicable under the circumstances.
The College will make its determination on an individualized, case-by-case basis with input from the individual requesting accommodation, the College’s ADA/504 Disability Services Coordinator, and faculty and administrators, as necessary. Except in unusual cases, the College will reach a determination regarding an individual’s request for accommodation and notify the individual in writing of the determination within three (3) weeks of their properly submitted request. In the event that requested accommodations have been denied, the College’s determination letter will inform the individual of the reason(s) and of their right to appeal the College’s determination as set forth below. The ADA/504 Disability Services Coordinator will maintain a confidential file regarding all requests for accommodation containing the forms and supporting documentation submitted by the applicant or student, any relevant communications (including notes of oral communications) between the individual and the College, the determination letter from the College to the individual and the reason(s) for any denials. Any disagreements between an individual requesting accommodation and the ADA/504 Disability Services Coordinator regarding appropriate accommodations and/or any allegations of violations of this policy may be raised under the College’s Investigation and Grievance Procedure set forth in the E-Book.
Relevant Terms and Definitions in the State of Illinois
Sexual Conduct. The State of Illinois defines “sexual conduct” in very broad terms:
"‘Sexual conduct’ means any knowing touching or fondling by the victim or the accused, either directly or through clothing, of the sex organs, anus or breast of the victim or the accused or any part of the body of a child under 13 years of age or any transfer or transmission of semen by the accused upon any part of the clothed or unclothed body of the victim, for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal of the victim or the accused."
The voluntary and knowing consent of all parties to any sexual conduct is crucial. College policy and Illinois law both recognize that sexual assault is not a gender-specific crime. According to the State of Illinois, criminal sexual assault may take the form of any of the following:
Illinois law also identifies the category of criminal “sexual abuse,” which involves any sexual contact without consent as described for criminal sexual assault. The key aspect under Illinois law is that sexual penetration is not required in order to violate the law. Any sexual contact without consent or in which the victim is unable to consent or revokes consent, can constitute a crime in Illinois.
Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence. “Domestic abuse” is also a crime under Illinois law. Any person who hits, chokes, kicks, threatens, harasses or interferes with the personal liberty of another person has engaged in prohibited domestic abuse. In Illinois, it is also a crime to prevent someone from calling 911 by interfering with the call or blocking access to the phone.
Victims of domestic violence have the right to be protected from further abuse, neglect and exploitation and may press criminal charges against the abuser. According to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, “Domestic violence is a learned pattern of behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other person. The partners may be married or not, gay or lesbian, living together, separated or dating.”
Domestic violence can be criminal and includes physical assault, sexual abuse and stalking. The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. If you are in an abusive situation, you are not to blame and are urged to seek help.
Stalking. Under Illinois law, a person commits “stalking” when he or she knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and he or she knows or should know that this course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to: (1) fear for one’s safety or the safety of a third person; or (2) suffer other emotional distress. A person also commits stalking when he or she, knowingly or without justification, on at least two separate occasions follows another person or places the person under surveillance, or any combination thereof, and: (1) at any time transmits a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint and the threat is directed towards that person or a family member of that person; or (2) places that person in reasonable apprehension of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to or of that person or a family member of that person. A person who has previously been convicted of stalking any person commits stalking if he or she without lawful justification on one occasion (1) follows that same person or places that same person under surveillance; and (2) transmits a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to that person or a family member of that person.