Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Non-discrimination and Harassment Policies and Complaint Procedures
- Oversight Responsibilities
- Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy Statement
- Non-Discrimination and Harassment
- Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Federal and State Laws
- Filing a Complaint
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
- Formal Investigation
- Investigative Determination Notice
- Retaliation and Protection for Participants
- False Claims and Statements
- Duty to Cooperate During Investigations
- Disciplinary Actions and Remedies
- Sexual Misconduct Policy
- Title IX Prohibited Sex Discrimination in Education Policy Statement
- Options for Assistance Following Incidents of Sexual Misconduct
- Amorous Relationships Policy Statement
- Discriminatory Harassment Policy Statement
- Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Request for Reasonable Accommodations Policy and Procedure
- ADA Reasonable Accommodations Direct Contacts
All units within the Georgia Gwinnett College campus community are responsible for compliance with these policies and procedures. The Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration will oversee the College’s equal opportunity, affirmative action, non-discrimination, harassment and related policies, and investigate complaints of alleged discrimination, harassment, prohibited amorous relationships, and violations against persons in the protected classes. This policy fosters the College’s interest in promoting a diverse campus and ensuring compliance with applicable federal and state statutes. Questions concerning these policies and procedures should be directed to:
Georgia Gwinnett College
Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration
Telephone: 678-407-5010; or TitleIX@ggc.edu
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It continues to be the policy of Georgia Gwinnett College to implement affirmative action and equal opportunity for all employees, students and applicants for employment or admission without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy/parental status, veteran status or disability.
The College’s affirmative action program and related policies are developed in compliance with Executive Orders 11246 and 11375, as amended; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967;the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as it amends 38 U.S.C. 4212; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 503 & 504); the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II) and their implementing regulations.
In conformance with the federal regulations listed above, Georgia Gwinnett College does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment or against any student or applicant for admission with regard to any opportunity for which the employee or student is qualified.
Georgia Gwinnett College will provide reasonable accommodation to employees, applicants for employment, students, and patrons who have physical and/or mental disabilities, in accordance with applicable statutes. Georgia Gwinnett College will take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment persons who are qualified disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam Era, or other covered veterans.
Every member of this college community is expected to uphold this policy as a matter of mutual respect and fundamental fairness in human relations. The policy has the unequivocal support of the Office of the President. All members of the staff, faculty, and student body are expected to ensure that nondiscriminatory practices are followed at Georgia Gwinnett College.
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Georgia Gwinnett College prohibits its faculty, staff and students from engaging in any form of prohibited discrimination or protected status harassment (including sexual harassment and prohibited amorous relationships), and expects these individuals to refrain from committing acts of bias within the College’s jurisdiction. Such prohibition include, but are not limited to, actions which discriminate, harass, threaten or physically/verbally abuse another individual, with the intent or effect of unreasonably interfering with that person’s work/academic performance, or employment/enrollment opportunity; or creates an intimidating or hostile work/academic environment based on that person’s membership in a protected group.
As an equal opportunity institution, Georgia Gwinnett College is committed to nondiscriminatory practices consistent with federal and state requirements and objectives. Georgia Gwinnett College affirms its commitment to keeping its workplace and academic programs free of discrimination and harassment and maintaining an environment that recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Consistent with the College's commitment to equal opportunity, affirmative action, and academic freedom; unlawful discrimination, harassment, and threatening conduct based on race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, disability, veteran status or other protected rights under federal and state laws are prohibited; questions regarding these matters, Title IX, and other related regulations may be referred to Georgia Gwinnett College’s Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration at 678-407-5010 or TitleIX@ggc.edu.
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EXECUTIVE ORDER 11246 (AS AMENDED BY 11375) – requires affirmative action programs for women and minorities and prohibits job discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
SECTION 402, VETERANS READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1974 – requires affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified special disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam era and prohibits discrimination based on Vietnam-era veteran status or special disabled veteran status in federally assisted programs.
SECTION 503, REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973 – requires affirmative action to employ and advance in employment, qualified individuals with disabilities and prohibits discrimination based on disability in federally assisted programs.
TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 (TITLE VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
THE EQUAL PAY ACT OF 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination.
THE AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older.
TITLE I OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990 (ADA), which prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments.
SECTION 501 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973, which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal governments.
THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1991, which provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.
Under Title VII, ADA, and the ADEA, it is illegal to discriminate in any aspect of employment including: hiring and firing; compensation, assignment, or classification of employees; transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall; job advertisements; recruitment; testing; use of company facilities; training and apprenticeship programs; fringe benefits; pay, retirement plans, and disability leave; or other terms and conditions of employment.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, amends Title VII to include discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions as unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination against students, employees, and affiliates of educational institutions.
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Persons who complain, (hereafter “complainant”) that they are victims of discrimination or harassment are encouraged to use the College’s internal procedures described in this document and/or the Student Misconduct Policy to resolve complaints. A complainant may also file discrimination or harassment complaints with appropriate state and federal agencies under Title VII and Title IX, in accordance with those agency procedures.
The subject matter of complaints, investigations, and/or hearings under this Policy shall not be subject to additional campus investigations or hearings. Determinations made under this Policy shall govern the outcome of the applicable campus complaints. If a complaint has already been filed, and a determination has already been rendered through other campus investigation or hearing process, a complainant may not file an additional complaint under this Policy concerning the same matter.
College employees who receive a report of a violation of this policy are required to report all details of an incident, including but not limited to the identities of the parties involved, to the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration. To the best of the College’s ability, the College will take every effort to protect the confidentiality of the party.
Where applicable, complaints may be investigated in a manner that protects the confidentiality of the parties and the facts of the case to the extent allowed by applicable law, including the Georgia Open Records Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). A record of each complaint and subsequent related actions will be maintained by the College.
Complainants who wish to maintain confidentiality must understand that the College cannot guarantee complete confidentiality will be maintained. For example, the College may not always honor requests for confidentiality as the College must consider its obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment. It is the sole responsibility of the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration to make this determination. If the College does honor a request for confidentiality, the complainant must understand that the College’s ability to investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the accused may be greatly limited. Complainants who wish to maintain confidentiality at first but later decide to file a complaint with the school and/or local law enforcement may do so but must understand that the College’s ability to investigate complaints is adversely impacted as time passes between the incident and the filing of a complaint thereof.
Under the Clery Act, certain incidents of sexual misconduct must be included in the Annual Security Report; however, the Clery reporting requirement does not require the inclusion of personally identifiable information.
Internal Complaint Procedures
Any employee, student, affiliate, patron or visitor who believes he or she has experienced or witnessed discriminatory, harassing, or threatening behavior should report the incident(s) promptly by notifying the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration (678-407-5010) or his/her supervisor, or any member of the College’s administration such as a Vice President, academic dean, director, or other College administrator. Regardless of the rank or level of the employee receiving notice of a potential complaint, the employee shall respond in a timely manner to complaints of discrimination or harassment by forwarding such information to the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration, when they receive or otherwise become aware of such complaints. Prompt reporting of complaints is vital to the College's ability to resolve the matter. Members of the campus community should note that when a complaint relates to APM 4.1.7 Sexual Misconduct Policy (PDF), “responsible employee” is further defined in APM 220.127.116.11 Definitions and Prohibited Conduct section of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, found below.
Failure of a Vice President, dean, director, faculty, other College administrator or staff member to report a complaint which has been brought to their attention is a violation under this policy, which is subject to sanctions, including but not limited to employment termination.
In addition to using any of the above options, students who wish to file a complaint may also notify the Dean of Students, who shall forward the matter to the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration on their behalf.
In the case of violence or the threat of violence, Public Safety (678-407-5333) and/or other appropriate local law enforcement agency should be notified immediately. Complainants have the right to file an external criminal complaint, if applicable, with external local law enforcement agencies even if the complainant intends to file, or has already filed an internal complaint with the College. Complainants also have the right to decline notifying authorities of alleged criminal offenses.
Protected Rights Issues – Who Can File a Complaint?
Georgia Gwinnett College employees and students, applicants for employment or admission, and participants in any of the College’s programs may file a complaint on the basis of allegations of unlawfully discriminatory, retaliatory, threatening or harassing behavior, or noncompliance with state or federal antidiscrimination laws, or Board of Regents and University antidiscrimination policies. Such complaints may be filed by either a person who alleges that he or she has been subjected to such behavior, or any person who has knowledge that an individual or any specific class of individuals has been subjected to such behavior.
The complaint should be initiated as soon as possible from the date when the alleged behavior/action occurred or when the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the allegation.
How Will the Complaint Be Handled?
The Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration is responsible for ensuring compliance with the College's Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Title IX , and related policies, and will, as appropriate, receive and investigate complaints alleging unlawful discrimination, retaliation or harassment, or failure to comply with state or federal antidiscrimination laws, or Board of Regents and University antidiscrimination policies. All complaints alleging discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment shall be handled by the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration. The Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration will handle complaints related to discrimination and harassment under the Student Misconduct Policy by following the procedure described in the Student Misconduct Policy. Complaints related to the Sexual Misconduct Policy will be handled following the procedure described in the Sexual Misconduct Policy below.
The designated College official will initiate a fact-finding process. The first step in the initial processing may include a determination as to whether Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is appropriate based on the nature of the complaint.
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For complaints that do not fall under the Georgia Gwinnett College Student Misconduct Policy or the Georgia Gwinnett College Sexual Misconduct Policy, Georgia Gwinnett College can offer mediation, a form of ADR, as a means of resolving conflicts that are within the power of the parties to resolve, when deemed appropriate by campus officials. In mediation, the two parties may be asked discuss their differences in the presence of a third party who may act as a facilitator.
If Alternative Dispute Resolution is appropriate, attempts may be made to resolve the complaint at the lowest level possible and to engage in ADR before initiating formal investigative procedures. A College official shall oversee the ADR process or request that the President appoint a mediator for the matter. If a resolution is reached through ADR, the matter will be deemed resolved, the complaint will be closed, and no further action shall be required. At the determination of the designated College official, ADR may also be introduced at other stages in an investigation if agreed to by both parties to the complaint. If ADR is unavailable based on the nature of the compliant or circumstances, the designated College official shall commence formal investigative procedures. The determination of whether ADR is appropriate shall be made by the designated College official, such ADR is an option, not a requirement.
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For complaints that are not filed against students under the Georgia Gwinnett College Student Misconduct Policy or the Georgia Gwinnett College Sexual Misconduct Policy, where the respondent to a complaint under the Georgia Gwinnett College Sexual Misconduct Policy is not a student and no informal resolution was reached, in cases where ADR is not appropriate, as determined by the designated College official, or in cases where ADR does not generate a satisfactory resolution, the designated College official will notify the President that a formal investigation is necessary; and said formal investigation shall begin no later than 15 business days from the notification of an unsuccessful ADR attempt, absent sufficient justification for delay. The designated College official may choose one of the following courses of actions, at their discretion, based on the circumstances of the particular allegation:
- Assign a one person lead investigator to handle the formal process; or
- Convene an Investigative Panel to investigate the complaint (comprising no less than two (2) and no more than three (3) team members). Once convened, the Investigative Panel will review the preliminary information and determine the investigative hearing schedule for each matter, on a case by case basis. The designated College official or his/her designee will serve as the chair of all Investigative Panels. As the investigation and hearing processes are equitable and impartial, any real or perceived conflicts of interest between the Panel members, decision-makers, and the parties will be disclosed to the Panel Chair to make the appropriate determination.
The Lead Investigator or Investigative Panel Chair will notify all parties and arrange interview schedules for the hearing process. The complainant and the respondent(s) may be interviewed separately by the Investigative Panel, or his /her designee, during which time the complainant and respondent(s) should present any information that supports their respective positions. Each party must speak on their own behalf. If any other individuals are present during the investigative process, the Panel reserves the right to ask any other individuals to leave the panel investigation room while a complainant, respondent, or witness speaks on his or her own behalf. Under no circumstances shall other individuals speak for a respective complainant, respondent, or witness. The Investigative Panel may interview other individuals to provide additional information. Witnesses named by either the respondent or the complainant, and others deemed to have information relevant to the charges, may be interviewed in an attempt to discover the facts related to the complaint. The Panel will make a determination as to whether a witness is to be called. Witnesses who are not associated with the College by employment status, student status, or other applicable College status may be excluded from the investigative process. Any other proposed witnesses may be excluded at the discretion of the Investigative Panel where justification is present. Investigative Panel Members are the only parties who can interview or address complainant, respondent, and other witnesses, during the investigative process.
All parties are reminded that the investigative panel process serves as the only hearing mechanism for complaints under the jurisdiction of this Policy. The Investigative Panel hearing is an internal administrative process and shall not represent a legal proceeding, thus rules of evidence shall not apply. Investigations provide a prompt, equitable, and impartial investigation of complaints and use the preponderance standard. In instances where, a complainant or respondent is accompanied during the investigative hearing by another party, the other accompanying party is limited to one individual. In the event that the individual accompanying the party is an attorney, he/she may not address the Panel at any time during the investigative process, as each party is required to speak on his or her own behalf. The investigative process commences at the time a complaint is received by the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration and shall not take more than 30 business days, absent sufficient justification for delay. At any point in time the Panel reserves the right to limit the number of persons who may enter the investigative panel room and the Panel reserves the right at any point of the process to ask a party, complainant, respondent, witness, or representative to depart the investigative panel room.
During the course of the investigation, the Panel Chair may recommend interim measures to protect the student or employee in the institutional setting as necessary. Such interim measures might include a change in living, working, and/or academic arrangements; academic or other accommodations; access to wellness and health services; access to psychological and counseling services; issuance of no contact orders, and any other interim measures as deemed appropriate by the Panel Chair.
If at any point during the formal investigation, the Investigative Panel feels resolution is possible, the investigation may be interrupted. If the matter is resolved before the investigation is complete, the investigation may be discontinued and the complaint may be closed with no further action.
Further, if at any time during the Complaint review, investigation process, or mediation process, the Investigative Panel determines a Complaint is invalid, untrue, or filed for reasons not covered under these policies, the Panel may discontinue the Complaint review and make a recommendation to the President based on the record. Sanctions may also be recommended in accordance with this Policy. In unresolved matters, the investigation shall proceed until full completion and investigative recommendations shall be prepared by the Investigative Panel and forwarded to the President for review within 30 business days, absent sufficient justification for delay. The Panel Chair or his/her designee will communicate with the President within 10 business days of completion of the recommendations.
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In discrimination and harassment cases that do not fall under the Student Misconduct Policy or the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Investigative Panel will serve as a fact finder and will have authority to make recommendations, but only the President or his/her designee shall have authority to initiate or implement final disciplinary action. The President or his/her designee shall make the determination, and within a reasonable time (no later than 20 business days) of the discussion with the Investigative Panel Chair about the recommendations, the President or his/her designee will provide written notification to the complainant and respondent of the investigative determination and the right to appeal. Where applicable, the victim may also be advised of sanctions and /or other actions which have been authorized, approved, taken concerning the respondent. If future compliance measures are implemented as a result of the complaint, the President shall designate the appropriate officer to oversee the necessary actions.
The President reserves the right to charge the Investigative Panel with conducting an investigation of a complaint even when no formal complaint has been filed or when a filed complaint is subsequently withdrawn by the complainant. The complaint procedure timelines may also be modified by the President or the Investigative Panel Chair, at his/her discretion, based on the investigative needs of the institution in determining the merits of a claim; such modifications will be made on a case by case basis.
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If a student wishes to request reconsideration of a decision in a discrimination or harassment complaint matter under the Student Misconduct Policy or the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the student must follow the appeals process of the applicable policy. If a non-student wishes to request reconsideration of a decision rendered by the President or his designee in a discrimination or harassment complaint matter, he/she must file an appeal (including documentation justifying the reasons for the appeal) with the President’s Office within 10 business days from the date of the decision notice letter. The President will respond to the appeal within 10 business days from the date of receipt with a written notification. The appeal decision of the President will be the final institutional decision. Further appeals, within the University System of Georgia, where applicable, are governed under the policies and bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and must be submitted within established timelines in accordance with Board of Regents policy, as published on the Board of Regents website (www.usg.edu). If a complainant is dissatisfied with the final institutional decision and wishes to appeal to an outside state or federal agency, he/she must do so within the applicable agency’s established time limits.
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Retaliation against a person who expresses a complaint or participates in the complaint review process in good faith is a violation of state and federal laws and may lead to disciplinary action(s), including but not limited to employment dismissal or enrollment suspension/dismissal from the College. Retaliation is prohibited under these policies and procedures. An allegation of retaliation shall not serve as a stay for otherwise appropriate personnel actions. Allegations of retaliation may be filed in a manner similar to filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment under this policy and shall be forwarded to the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration for review.
In accordance with federal regulations, it is unlawful to retaliate against individuals within the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration in any occasion, including but not limited to, when individuals within the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration file a complaint alleging a violation of Title VII, Title IX, or other related regulations, participate in an investigation, hearing, or proceeding, or advocate for others’ rights. Federal regulations also protect individuals within the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration from discrimination, intimidation, threats, and coercion for the purpose of interfering with the performance of their job responsibilities. It is prohibited to interfere with the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration participation in complaint investigations and monitoring of the institution’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under federal laws, such interference or attempted retaliation can result in employment dismissal, enrollment suspension/dismissal from the College, or other actions deemed appropriate by the Institution.
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Falsification of claims, false statements, and false allegations, in furtherance of these policies or other GGC or USG policies is prohibited, and may lead to disciplinary actions, including but not limited to employment dismissal or enrollment suspension/dismissal from the College.
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This policy statement is hereby incorporated to ensure that the employees and students of Georgia Gwinnett College are informed of their responsibility to participate in investigative activities. An employee/student of Georgia Gwinnett College shall cooperate to the fullest extent possible in any internal investigation conducted by the College or the Board of Regents thereof when directed to do so by persons who have been given investigative authority by the President of the institution, or his/her designee. Failure to cooperate fully shall be grounds for adverse personnel or enrollment actions, including but not limited to job termination, suspension, or dismissal from the College. Further a student may be subject to adverse enrollment actions under this Policy without the need of further Office of Student Integrity/Student Conduct action.
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Investigative findings concerning students under these policies may be forwarded to: the President, the Chief Academic Officer, Chief Public Safety Officer, and/or to Student Affairs for implementation of disciplinary actions. Investigative findings concerning faculty and staff under the College’s discrimination and harassment policies may be forwarded to the President and to the applicable Vice President, where appropriate. If disciplinary actions are recommended under this Policy, concerning an employee or student, the President’s decision shall govern. In accordance with Board of Regents policy, the standard Employee Grievance Policy is not available for appeal of investigative findings and disciplinary decisions resulting from actions taken in accordance with the College’s harassment/discrimination policies. For further guidance, refer to the Appeals section of this Policy.
Georgia Gwinnett College shall take the necessary steps to prevent recurrence of prohibited conduct. Employee and student sanctions for violations of this policy may range from verbal reprimand, suspension, termination/dismissal/expulsion from the College, or other actions.
The College may also remedy the effects of discrimination and harassment on the victims, such as issuance of no contact orders, academic and employment accommodations, referrals to on- and off-campus resources, etc. Remedial measures for the campus community as a whole include, but are not limited to, the provision of increased monitoring or supervision in locations where misconduct occurs, the provision of training for students and employees, and/or increased publication and dispensation of educational materials to the campus community.
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Georgia Gwinnett College follows the University System of Georgia Sexual Misconduct Policy 4.1.7. The University System of Georgia is committed to ensuring a safe learning environment that supports the dignity of all members of the University System of Georgia community. The University System of Georgia does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in any of its education or employment programs and activities. To that end, this policy prohibits specific forms of behavior that violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The University System of Georgia will not tolerate sexual misconduct, which is prohibited, and which includes, but is not limited to, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, and stalking. The University System further strongly encourages members of the University System community to report instances of sexual misconduct promptly. These policies and procedures are intended to ensure that all parties involved receive appropriate support and fair treatment, and that allegations of sexual misconduct are handled in a prompt, thorough and equitable manner.
Prevention is one of the primary mechanisms used to reduce incidents of sexual violence on campuses. USG institutions are required to provide prevention tools and to conduct ongoing awareness and prevention programming and training for the campus community including students, faculty, and staff. Such programs are designed to stop sexual violence through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors. Programming will educate the campus community on consent, sexual assault, alcohol use, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, bystander intervention, and reporting.
The effective date for the University System of Georgia, governing all institutions’ policies and procedures is July 1, 2016.
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Community: Students, faculty and staff, as well as contractors, vendors, visitors, and guests.
Complainant: An individual lodging a complaint. The complainant may not always be the alleged victim.
Consent: Words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary willingness to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent cannot be gained by force, intimidation or coercion, by ignoring or acting in spite of objections of another, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another, where the respondent knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacitation. Consent is also absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of consent previously given. Past consent does not imply present or future consent. Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Minors under the age of 16 cannot legally consent under Georgia law.
Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the alleged victim.
Domestic Violence: Violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the alleged victim, by a person with whom the alleged victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the alleged victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction, or by 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.
Incapacitation: The physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments, and can result from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from intentional or unintentional taking of alcohol and/or other drugs. Whether someone is incapacitated is to be judged from the perspective of an objectively reasonable person.
Nonconsensual Sexual Contact: An intentional sexual touching upon a person, without consent or where the person is incapacitated, and/or by force, by another person or with any object. Sexual contact includes but is not limited to, intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with these body parts, or making another touch the alleged victim or themselves with or on any of these body parts.
Privileged Employees: Individuals employed by the institution to whom a complainant or alleged victim may talk in confidence, as provided by law. Disclosure to these employees will not automatically trigger an investigation against the complainant’s or alleged victim’s wishes. Privileged Employees include those providing counseling, advocacy, health, mental health, or sexual-assault related services (e.g., sexual assault resource centers, campus health centers, pastoral counselors, and campus mental health centers) or as otherwise provided by applicable law. Exceptions to confidentiality exist where the conduct involves suspected abuse of a minor (in Georgia, under the age of 18) or otherwise provided by law, such as imminent threat of serious harm. Further, Privileged Employees must still submit anonymous statistical information for Clery Act purposes.
Respondent: Individual who is accused to have engaged in conduct that violates this Policy.
Responsible Employees: Those employees who must promptly and fully report complaints of or information regarding sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. Responsible Employees include any administrator, supervisor, faculty member, or other person in a position of authority who is not a Privileged Employee. Student employees who serve in a supervisory, advisory, or managerial role are in a position of authority for purposes of this Policy (e.g., teaching assistants, residential assistants, student managers, orientation leaders, etc.). Responsible Employees are not required to report information disclosed at public awareness events (e.g., “Take Back the Night,” candlelight vigils, protests, “survivor speak-outs” or other public forums in which students may disclose incidents of prohibited conduct).
Sexual Assault: An umbrella term referring to a range of nonconsensual sexual contact, which can occur in many forms including but not limited to rape and sexual battery.
Sexual Exploitation: “Sexual Exploitation” occurs when an individual takes nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own advantage or benefit, or to the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Invasion of sexual privacy;
- Prostituting another individual;
- Non-consensual video or audio of sexual activity;
- Non-consensual distribution of video or audio of sexual activity, even if the sexual activity or video or audio taken of sexual activity was consensual;
- Intentional observation of unconsenting individuals who are partially undressed, naked, or engaged in sexual acts;
- Knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another individual;
- Intentionally and inappropriately exposing one’s breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals in non-consensual circumstances; and/or
- Sexually-based bullying.
Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, based on sex or gender stereotypes, that: is implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of employment or status in a course, program, or activity; is a basis for employment/educational decisions; or has the purpose or effect of interfering with one’s work or educational performance creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment, or interfering with or limiting one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an institutional program or activity.
Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed toward another person based upon sex that would cause a reasonable person (i) to fear for his or her safety or the safety of immediate family members or close acquaintances, or (ii) to suffer substantial emotional distress.
Reporting Sexual Misconduct
A complainant of sexual misconduct can choose among several reporting options at Georgia Gwinnett College: filing a criminal complaint with law enforcement officials; filing an administrative report with the institution; or filing an anonymous report at the institution. These processes are detailed below. An individual who believes he/she is a victim of sexual misconduct is encouraged to report allegations of sexual misconduct promptly.
Complainants of sexual misconduct who wish to file a report with Georgia Gwinnett College should notify a Responsible Employee or the Office of the Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration. Responsible Employees informed about sexual misconduct allegations involving any student must notify the Office of the Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration as soon as practicable. Responsible Employees should not attempt to resolve the situation, but must notify and report all relevant information to the Title IX Coordinator. Privileged Employees are not bound by this requirement but may, consistent with their ethical and legal obligations, be required to report limited information about incidents without revealing the identities of the individuals involved to the Office of the Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration. All members of the University System of Georgia institutions’ communities are encouraged to report incidents of sexual misconduct promptly.
Georgia Gwinnett College encourages complainants to report their complaints in writing, though oral complaints will be accepted, taken seriously, and investigated, to the extent possible. While complaints should be made as quickly as possible following an alleged incident of sexual misconduct, all reports are accepted regardless of when reported.
Complaints should include as much information as possible – that is: (1) the type of sexual misconduct experienced; (2) the name of the respondent; (3) the date(s), time(s), and place(s) of the sexual misconduct; (4) the name(s) of any individual(s) with knowledge of the incident; (5) whether any tangible evidence has been preserved; and (6) whether a criminal complaint has been made.
Information from complaints will be shared only as necessary to investigate and to resolve the alleged sexual misconduct. Complaints will be investigated and resolved as outlined below. Georgia Gwinnett College, through the Title IX Coordinator, will assess the need for and institute interim measures as described below as appropriate and where reasonable, as well as work with the appropriate institutional department to determine the need to issue a broader warning to the community in compliance with the Clery Act or to report activity to the authorities.
Institutional reports will be investigated and adjudicated separately from any criminal complaints.
- Confidentiality: Where a complainant or alleged victim requests that his or her identity be withheld or the allegation(s) not be investigated, the institutions should consider, through the Title IX Coordinator, whether this request can be honored while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the institution. Honoring the request may limit the institution’s ability to respond fully to the incident and may limit the institution’s ability to discipline the respondent.
- Retaliation: Anyone who, in good faith, reports what she or he believes to be misconduct under this Policy , or who participates or cooperates in, or is otherwise associated with any investigation, shall not be subjected to retaliation. Anyone who believes he or she has been the target of retaliation for reporting, participating or cooperating in, or otherwise being associated with an investigation should immediately contact the Title IX Coordinator for the institution. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of this Policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.
- False Complaints: Individuals are prohibited from intentionally giving false statements to an institution official. Any person found to have intentionally submitted false complaints, accusations, or statements, including during a hearing, in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.
- Amnesty: Individuals should be encouraged to come forward and to report sexual misconduct notwithstanding their choice to consume alcohol or to use drugs. Information reported by an individual during an investigation concerning use of drugs or alcohol will not be used against the particular individual in a disciplinary proceeding or voluntarily reported to law enforcement; however, individuals may be provided with resources on drug and alcohol counseling and/or education, as appropriate.
Law Enforcement Reports
Because sexual misconduct may constitute criminal activity, a complainant also has the option, should he or she so choose, of filing a report with campus or local police, for his or her own protection and that of the surrounding community.
Complainants considering filing a report of sexual misconduct with law enforcement should preserve any evidence of sexual misconduct, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Clothing worn during the incident including undergarments;
- Sheets, bedding, and condoms, if used;
- Lists of witnesses with contact information;
- Text messages, call history, social media posts;
- Pictures of injuries; and/or
Georgia Gwinnett College provides a mechanism by which individuals can report incidents of alleged sexual misconduct anonymously. Please contact the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration.
Interim Protective Measures
The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee may impose interim protective measures before the final outcome of an investigation and until final resolution of the allegations if failure to take the interim measures would constitute an immediate threat to the safety and well-being of the alleged victim or other members of the institution, or to ensure equal access to the institution’s education programs and activities. Before any such measures are instituted, however, the Title IX Coordinator should, where practicable, provide the respondent with an initial opportunity to respond to the allegations and to the imposition of any interim protective measures specifically.
Imposing interim protective measures does not indicate that a violation of this Policy has occurred, and is designed to protect the alleged victim and community, and not to harm the respondent. To the extent interim measures are imposed, they should minimize the burden on both the alleged victim and the respondent, where feasible. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to:
- Change of housing assignment;
- Issuance of a “no contact” directive;
- Restrictions or bars to entering certain institution property;
- Changes to academic or employment arrangements, schedules, or supervision;
- Interim suspension; and
- Other measures designed to promote the safety and well-being of the parties and the institution’s community.
An interim suspension should only occur where necessary to maintain safety, and should be limited to those situations where the respondent poses a serious and immediate danger or threat to persons or property. In making such an assessment, the institution should consider the existence of a significant risk to the health or safety of the alleged victim or the campus community, the nature, duration, and severity of the risk, the probability of potential injury, and whether less restrictive means can be used to significantly mitigate the risk.
Before an interim suspension is issued, the institution must make all reasonable efforts to give the respondent the opportunity to be heard on whether his or her presence on campus poses a danger. If an interim suspension is issued, the terms of the suspension take effect immediately. When requested by the respondent, a hearing to determine whether the intermediate suspension should continue will be held within three (3) business days of the request.
Once an individual makes a complaint, or receives notice that a complaint has been made against him or her, that individual will receive information about support services, such as counseling, advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, disability services, health and mental services, and legal assistance, as is available at Georgia Gwinnett College.
Available support services are listed on the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration’s website.
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Jurisdiction: Georgia Gwinnett College shall take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of its community. Accordingly, sexual misconduct perpetrated against students by Georgia Gwinnett College students, faculty, or staff should be addressed whenever such acts occur on a campus, in connection with a Georgia Gwinnett College program or activity, or in a manner that creates a hostile environment for members of the Georgia Gwinnett College community. Further, the policy is applicable to all Georgia Gwinnett College students, faculty, and staff, as well as contractors, vendors, visitors, guests or other third parties.
Advisors: Both the alleged victim and respondent, as parties to the matter, shall have the opportunity to use an advisor (including an attorney) of his/her choosing for the express purpose of providing advice and counsel at his/her own expense. The selected advisor shall not otherwise be a party or witness involved in the investigation. The advisor may be present during any meetings and proceedings involved in the investigatory or resolution process in which the advisee is also eligible to be present. The advisor may advise the advisee, including providing questions, suggestions, advice on the proceedings, and guidance on responses to any questions of the participant, but shall not participate directly. Georgia Gwinnett College shall not prohibit family members of any party from attending if the party requests such attendance, but may limit the number to two family members.
Timeframe: Reasonable efforts will be made to complete the investigation and resolution within 60 calendar days of the initial complaint, though a longer period of time may be needed in some cases. The Title IX Coordinator will notify the respondent and the alleged victim, in writing, of any extension of this timeframe.
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- The Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration is primarily responsible for directly overseeing the investigation and resolution of complaints, and coordinating possible remedial actions or other responses reasonably designed to minimize the recurrence of the alleged conduct as well as mitigate the effects of any misconduct. The Title IX Coordinator will ensure prompt, fair, and impartial investigations and resolutions of complaints alleging violations of the sexual misconduct policy. The Title IX Coordinator shall be responsible for ensuring any individual participating in the investigation, resolution, or appeal of any sexual misconduct case has received regular training on issues pertaining to sexual misconduct.
- The Title IX Coordinator shall designate an investigator to conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation into each complaint received. The investigation shall consist of interviews of the complainant, alleged victim, respondent, and witnesses, and the collection and review of documents or other physical or electronic information, as well as other steps, as appropriate.
- Unrelated charges and cases shall be investigated separately, unless the respondent consents to having them aggregated.
- The respondent shall be provided with written notice of the complaint, pending investigation, possible charges, possible sanctions, and available support services. The notice should also include the identity of the Title IX Coordinator and any investigator(s) involved. Notice shall be provided via institution email. If confirmation of receipt is not received by the Title IX Coordinator or the investigator, the Title IX Coordinator or the investigator shall engage in other measures to ensure notice is received by the respondent. A copy shall also be provided to the alleged victim via the same means.
- The investigator will timely begin the investigation and will schedule an initial interview with the complainant, alleged victim, respondent and any known relevant witnesses. The investigator should retain written notes and/or obtain written or recorded statements from each interview. The investigator shall also keep a record of any proffered witnesses not interviewed, along with a brief, written explanation.
- Each party shall have three (3) business days to submit a written statement to supplement the notice of complaint and the verbal interview. In that response, the respondent shall have the right to admit or to deny the allegations, and to set forth a defense with facts, witnesses, and documents – whether written or electronic – in support. If respondent has not otherwise responded, a non-written response will be considered a general denial of the alleged misconduct.
- Based on this response and other relevant information, the investigator shall continue to interview witnesses for both sides, to re-interview parties where necessary, and to collect and review documents or other physical or electronic information, as well as other steps, as appropriate.
- Where the respondent is a student, the respondent has the right to remain silent during the investigation and resolution process, without an automatic adverse inference resulting. If the respondent chooses to remain silent, the investigation may ultimately still proceed and policy violation charges may still result, which may be resolved against the respondent.
- The respondent and/or alleged victim may challenge the participation of the investigator on the grounds of personal bias by submitting a written statement to the Title IX Coordinator setting forth the basis for the challenge no later than three (3) business days after the party reasonably should have known of the bias. The Title IX Coordinator will determine whether to sustain or deny the challenge, and if sustained, to appoint a replacement.
- At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will issue to the parties a written report setting forth charges and possible sanctions, as well as an explanation of the evidence against the respondent.
- The parties shall have at least three (3) business days to respond to the report in writing. The respondent’s written response should outline his or her plea in response to the charge(s), and where applicable, his or her defense(s), and the facts, witnesses, and documents – whether written or electronic – in support.
- The investigator shall, as necessary, conduct further investigation and update the report as warranted by the response(s), and will update the report as necessary.
- Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will review the evidence with the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will ensure policies have been followed.
- The Title IX Coordinator will contact the alleged victim(s) and the respondent(s) and schedule an opportunity to meet with each party individually. During these meetings, the Title IX Coordinator shall review the report with the parties (individually). Should the report be acceptable to all parties, an informal resolution may be made, which would not require the parties to move to the hearing phase of these procedures. If, however, the parties agree on the conduct, but not on the sanctions, then the sanctions shall be addressed by the hearing panel.
- Allegations of sexual misconduct involving a student that are brought against an institution’s faculty or staff will be investigated as outlined above, but will be further addressed and/or resolved through the institution’s applicable employment policies, and in accordance with the procedures for dismissal outlined in the Board of Regents Policy including procedures for appealing such decisions.
- Where the respondent(s) is a student, a hearing, as well as corresponding procedures/rights to appeal, shall be set and administered as set forth below, and a final report shall be provided to all parties, which will also provide a date, time, and location for a hearing on the matter.
- The final report should also be provided to the panel for their consideration in adjudicating the charges brought against the respondent. The investigator may testify as a witness before the panel regarding the investigation and findings, but shall otherwise have no part in the hearing process and shall not attempt to otherwise influence the panel outside of providing testimony during the hearing.
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- The hearing will be conducted by the Title IX Coordinator and/or his/her designee(s). The Panel must be composed of at least three (3) members.
- The investigator shall not serve on the Panel.
- No student shall serve on the Panel.
- Both the alleged victim and respondent shall have the opportunity to present witnesses and evidence to the Panel. Both parties shall have the right to confront any witnesses, including the other party, by submitting written questions to the Title IX Coordinator and/or his or her designee for consideration. Witness testimony, if provided, shall pertain to knowledge and facts directly associated with the case being heard. Advisors may actively assist in drafting questions. The Panel shall ask the questions as written, and will limit questions only if they are unrelated to determining the veracity of the charge leveled against the respondent(s). In any event, the Panel shall err on the side of asking all submitted questions, and must document the reason for not asking any particular questions.
- The Title IX Coordinator reserves the right to allow a party to testify in a separate room, when determined to be necessary. Where such a determination is made, special measures must be put in place to ensure no party is unfairly disadvantaged by this procedure. A party must still give testimony in the presence of the Panel, and the opposing party must have the opportunity to view the testimony remotely and to submit follow-up questions.
- Similarly, where the Title IX Coordinator determines that a witness or party necessary to the proceedings is unavailable and unable to be present due to exigent circumstances (e.g., on a study abroad program, medical restrictions on travel, etc.), he or she may establish special procedures for providing testimony from a separate location. In doing so, the Title IX Coordinator must determine there is a valid basis for the unavailability, ensure proper sequestration in a manner that ensures the testimony has not been tainted, and make a determination that such an arrangement will not unfairly disadvantage any parties. Should it be reasonably believed that a party or witness who is not physically present has presented tainted testimony to the Panel, the Panel will disregard the testimony of that witness.
- The standard of review shall be a preponderance of the evidence; however, any decision to suspend or to expel a student must also be supported by substantial evidence at the hearing.
- The civil rules of evidence do not apply to the investigatory or resolution process.
- Both the respondent and alleged victim shall be provided a written report via institution email of the outcome and any resulting sanctions. The written report must summarize the evidence in support of the sanction. The report should include details on how to appeal, as outlined below.
The severity of sanctions or corrective actions may depend on the severity, frequency and/or nature of the offense, history of past discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory conduct, the respondent’s willingness to accept responsibility, previous institutional response to similar conduct, and the institution’s interests. The Panel will determine the sanction after review of the investigatory findings.
The broad range of sanctions includes but is not limited to: expulsion; suspension for an identified time frame or until satisfaction of certain conditions, or both; temporary or permanent separation of the parties (e.g., change in classes, reassignment of residence, no contact orders, limiting geography of where parties can go on campus) with additional sanctions for violating orders; required participation in sexual or relationship sensitivity training/awareness education programs; required participation in alcohol and other drug awareness and abuse prevention programs; counseling or mentoring; volunteering/community service; loss of institutional privileges; delays in obtaining administrative services and benefits from the institution (e.g., holding transcripts, delaying registration, graduation, diplomas); additional academic requirements relating to scholarly work or research on sexual misconduct; financial restitution; or any other discretionary sanctions directly related to the violation or conduct.
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Parties shall have the right to appeal the outcome on any of the following grounds: (1) to consider new information, sufficient to alter the decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information was not known or knowable to the person appealing during the time of the hearing; (2) to allege a procedural error within the hearing process that may have substantially impacted the fairness of the hearing, including but not limited to whether any hearing questions were improperly excluded or whether the decision was tainted by bias; or (3) to allege that the finding was inconsistent with the weight of the information. Appeals may be made by the alleged offender for the above reasons in any case where sanctions are issued – even those in which such sanctions are held “in abeyance,” such as probationary suspension or expulsion.
The appeal must be made in writing, and must set forth one or more of the bases outlined above, and must be submitted within five (5) business days of the date of the final report.
Where the respondent or alleged victim appealing the outcome is not a student, the appeal should be made to the President, as described in the Appeals section of APM 4.1.2 GGC Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Non-Discrimination, and Harassment Policies and Complaint Procedures. Where the respondent or alleged victim appealing the outcome is a student, the appeal should be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee. The appeal shall be a review of the record only, and no new meeting with the respondent or alleged victim will be held. The non-appealing party shall be given the opportunity to respond to the appellant’s submission. The applicable Vice President, or his/her designee, may affirm the original finding and sanction; affirm the original finding but issue a new sanction of greater or lesser severity; remand the case back to the Title IX Coordinator to correct a procedural or factual defect; or reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand. The Vice President or his/her designee shall then issue a decision in writing to both the respondent and alleged victim simultaneously within a reasonable time period.
The decision of the Vice President or his/her designee may be appealed in writing within five (5) business days (as determined by the date of the decision letter) to the President of the institution solely on the three grounds set forth above.
The President may affirm the original finding and sanction; affirm the original finding but issue a new sanction of greater or lesser severity; remand the case back to the Title IX Coordinator to correct a procedural or factual defect; or reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand. The President’s decision shall be issued in writing to both the respondent and alleged victim and shall be issued within a reasonable amount of time. The President’s decision shall be the final decision of the institution.
Should the respondent or alleged victim wish to appeal the President’s decision, he or she may appeal to the Board of Regents in accordance with the Board of Regents Policy 8.6.
Recusal /Challenge for Bias
Any party may challenge the participation of any institution official or employee in the process on the grounds of personal bias by submitting a written statement to the institution’s designee setting forth the basis for the challenge. The written challenge should be submitted within a reasonable time after the individual reasonably should have known of the existence of the potential bias. The institution’s designee will determine whether to sustain or deny the challenge, and if sustained, the replacement to be appointed.
Sexual misconduct is just one topic under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. The upcoming statements provide further information on federal requirements under Title IX.
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What is Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was the first comprehensive federal law to prohibit sex discrimination against students and employees of educational institutions. Title IX states, in part:
No person…shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance...
he policy of Georgia Gwinnett College is to implement affirmative action and equal opportunity for all employees, students and applicants for employment or admission without regard to sex, sexual orientation, or marriage status.
How do co-curricular, student affairs, athletics or other College programs comply with Title IX?
Educational institutions that receive federal funding are required under Title IX to provide equal opportunities for members of both sexes in all areas of the College. Georgia Gwinnett College is also required under Title IX to prohibit sex discrimination in all College programs and activities receiving federal funding.
Under Title IX who is protected from sex discrimination?
In accordance with federal regulations, Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in education. Sexual harassment is a form of prohibited sex discrimination. This policy protects students, participants in the College’s programs, faculty, staff, and affiliates, visitors, and patrons to the College from discrimination on the basis of sex. This policy applies regardless of the status of the accused with respect to the College. Parties to a complaint under this policy may be of the same or opposite sex, may be acquaintances or strangers to each other, and may identify as any gender. Incidents which occur off-campus may fall under the purview of this policy and shall be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Who is responsible for enforcing Title IX?
The Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration is responsible for enforcing Title IX, and related regulations issued by the Department of Education. Faculty, staff, and students can file complaints of Title IX sex discrimination with the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration. Retaliation against complainants is prohibited. As required by federal law, inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration or OCR. In accordance with federal regulations, the official designee of the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration has the full support of the institution. The designee shall have the appropriate authority, resources, and support necessary to carry out their duties and use their expertise to help the College comply with Title IX and the related regulations. For purposes of Title IX, the head of the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration shall coordinate Title IX efforts and responses to complaints involving possible sex discrimination for the campus. In accordance with federal regulations, the head of the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration shall report directly to the President. Furthermore, the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration shall have access to information regarding employment including employee file information, enrollment in particular subject areas, participation in athletics, administration of school discipline, and incidents of sex-based harassment.
Where can I find the Title IX Coordinator for Georgia Gwinnett College?
The Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration coordinates the campus Title IX efforts. Please Contact the Title IX Program Administrator:
Building B, Room 3075
1000 University Center Lane
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Office: (678) 407-5010
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For immediate emergency assistance, complainants are advised to contact the Georgia Gwinnett College Office of Public Safety at (678) 407-5333 or 911.
Victims of sexual assault and/or sexual violence are strongly encouraged to seek medical treatment for injuries, preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and other health services as needed, for their own safety and well-being as well as for the preservation of evidence, which is crucial if and when a victim decides to file a complaint and/or criminal charges. See below for off-campus medical resources available to assist with such matters.
Victims of sexual assault and/or sexual violence are also encouraged to consult with Georgia Gwinnett College Wellness and Health Services at (678) 407-5675, as well as Georgia Gwinnett College Counseling and Psychological Services at (678) 407-5592, regardless of whether or not the individual chooses to file an institutional report or criminal charges.
Individuals may also contact the Title IX Program Administrator to file an internal campus Title IX Sexual Assault and/or Sexual Violence Complaint at (678) 407-5010.
Are there any off-campus resources which are available to complainants?
Yes, there are non-campus affiliated organizations which are available to assist complainants alleging sexual harassment, discrimination, and/or assault. Certain organizations may offer confidential services. Individuals are encouraged to utilize any and all resources below:
- Lawrenceville Police Department: 300 Jackson Street Lawrenceville, GA 30046
- Lawrenceville Police Department Dispatch Phone Number: 770-963-2443
- Lawrenceville Police Department Emergency Phone Number: 911
- Gwinnett County Police Headquarters: 770 Hi Hope Rd Lawrenceville, GA 30044
- Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center (Duluth, GA): Hotline/Phone: 770-476-7407
- Day League DeKalb Rape Crisis Center (Decatur, GA): Hotline/Phone: 404-377-1428
- Hall County Rape Response, Inc. (Gainesville, GA): 770- 503-7273
- Rape Response, Inc. Hotline Outside of Hall County: 1-800-721-1999
- Grady Rape Crisis Center (Atlanta, GA): Hotline/Phone: 404-616-4861
- Gwinnett Medical Center (Lawrenceville): Medical Center: 678-312-1000
- Gwinnett Medical Center Women’s Pavilion: 678-312-3600
- Region IV Office of Civil Rights (OCR) – Atlanta Phone: 404-331-2779
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This Policy is intended to provide direction to the College community about the potential professional risks associated with even consensual amorous relationships between members of the campus community. This policy is not intended to preclude couples from working together as long as there are no supervisory or evaluative oversight duties. Georgia Gwinnett College is committed to providing a harassment free environment for all faculty, staff and students. A sense of fairness by supervisors and teaching faculty is a fundamental prerequisite for fulfilling the College mission. When one party has a professional relationship towards the other, or stands in a position of authority over the other, even an apparently consensual amorous relationship may lead to allegations of sexual harassment or other breaches of professional obligations. Even the appearance of impropriety should be avoided under the Georgia Gwinnett College Amorous Relationship Policy.
Georgia Gwinnett College prohibits all faculty, staff and administrators, including teaching assistants, interns, externs, tutors, volunteers, contractors, etc., from pursuing or accepting advancements for amorous relationships with students whom they currently supervise, teach, evaluate, or with whom a professional power/status advantage could potentially exist. This prohibition also includes, but is not limited to, students whom they are mentoring, advising, tutoring, or working with through student clubs, student publications, student affairs projects and initiatives, enrollment management and/or other campus-related functions, programs, and activities.
An employee is prohibited from having an amorous relationship with any other employee if either employee supervises, evaluates, or in any other way directly affects the terms or conditions of the other’s employment. This includes but is not limited to faculty or administrators, interns/externs, other professional/graduate students from other areas who may be completing service requirements on our campus, student employees who supervise other students, or student employees engaged in the ordinary course of campus business.
Requirement to Disclose Amorous Relationship
Anyone with a current or past involvement in an amorous relationship with someone over whom he or she has supervisory/instructional power or influence over their work or scheduling of their assignments must immediately recuse himself or herself and are required to disclose the relationship to the appropriate individual. All staff and administrators must report the relationship to their supervisor. All faculty members must report the relationship to their dean. The supervisor/dean will take the appropriate steps to ensure compliance under this policy.
If a situation arise in which parties who are or have been involved in any amorous relationship comes into a position in which they would be called upon to supervise, review, recommend, or evaluate one another, the individual in authority must immediately recuse himself or herself and promptly report this fact to his or her supervisor. The supervisor will then make arrangements to see that those who are or have been involved in any amorous relationship do not evaluate each other. In particular, if a faculty member has had or comes to have an amorous relationship with a student over whom the faculty member has authority as described above, the faculty member must immediately recuse himself or herself and promptly report this to the dean who will make arrangements for an alternate evaluation mechanism.
Disciplinary Actions for Violation of Amorous Relationship Policy
All available sanctions shall be considered for violations under this policy, including, but not limited to, dismissal from the College and cancellation of contractual obligations.
Any faculty member, staff, and administrator including student employees, teaching assistants, interns, externs, tutors, volunteers, contractors, etc., who fail to promptly report an otherwise prohibited amorous relationship to the appropriate individual is in violation of College policy and is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Any faculty member found in violation of this policy may be subject to dismissal before the end of his/her contract term. Faculty violations under this section shall be deemed as a criteria invoking Removal For Cause. See Georgia Gwinnett College Administrative Policy Manual 18.104.22.168 Grounds for Removal and BOR Policy 22.214.171.124 Grounds for Removal
Complainants who feel they are victims under this policy should follow the complaint filing procedures outlined above except that students may also contact the Dean of Students, who will notify the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration.
For more information about the procedures for reporting potential violations, contact Office of Human Resources at (678) 407-5070.
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Harassing behavior can seriously interfere with the work or study performance of the person(s) to whom it is addressed. It is indefensible when it makes the work, study, or service environment hostile, intimidating, or demeaning. In determining whether an act constitutes harassment, the College must carefully review the totality of the circumstances that pertain to a given incident. In addition, protection of individual rights, freedom of speech, and academic freedom is of utmost importance.
An educational institution must allow the free inquiry into ideas and the free expression of opinions by those within it as part of the basic process of education. Yet, in the presence of harassing behavior, a person’s learning or working ability may be impaired. The right to free speech, although fundamental to our democratic system of government and essential to the exchange of ideas in a college, is not absolute. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that certain categories of speech are not protected by the First Amendment. Some of these categories include obscenity and “fighting words” (words that tend to threaten violence, incite an immediate breach of the peace or provoke a violent response based on a reasonable person standard). Discriminatory expressions of this nature based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy/parental status, age, handicap, national origin, religion, veteran status or other protections under the law will not be tolerated on Georgia Gwinnett College campus.
This discriminatory harassment policy acknowledges protection of free speech, while at the same time requiring that the dignity and worth of the individual be protected.
Among the factors that will be considered in reviewing discriminatory harassment in words or actions: repetition or pattern of objectionable behavior; and intent of the behavior.
Speech or other expression (words, pictures or symbols) constitutes discriminatory harassment if it constitutes “fighting words” and is also sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere, limit or deny one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or service. “Fighting words” may include, but are not limited to, words, pictures or symbols. In the context of discriminatory harassment, “fighting words” are those which are commonly understood to convey direct hatred or contempt for a human being(s).
Conduct will be evaluated on a case by case basis from the perspective of a reasonable person in the victim’s position, considering all the circumstances involved. Under this policy, when determining whether speech is such that it could provoke a violent response or incite an immediate breach of the peace, it is not necessary to show that the person(s) addressed by the speech was actually incited to hostile action or violence.
Complainants who feel they are victims under this policy should follow the complaint filing procedures outlined above except that students may also contact the Dean of Students, who will notify the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration.
or more information about the procedures for reporting sexual harassment, contact the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration at (678) 407-5010.
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Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Request for Reasonable Accommodations Policy and Procedures
Georgia Gwinnett College as an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action institution is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for any person with a disability who meets the definition of disabled as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Georgia Gwinnett College reserves the right to require documentation for accommodation requests from: 1) current and prospective students; 2) student participants in co-curricular activities; 3) patrons and visitors to College-sponsored events; 4) registered participants in College-sponsored training sessions, programs, conferences, and workshops; 5) persons using the services of the Testing Center; 6) classified, faculty or other job applicants and employees; 7) authorized users of campus facilities and 8) other persons requesting accommodations under ADA.
To Request Accommodation:
Contact the appropriate personnel below for guidance. Further documentation may be requested.
- Visitor Accommodations – Visitors to College-sponsored events or registered participants in College-sponsored, fee-related events (e.g., training sessions, programs, conferences, and workshops) should contact the sponsor of the event for assistance in arranging accommodation.
- Testing Accommodations – Persons wishing to take examinations administered by the Georgia Gwinnett College Testing Center should request specific accommodation through the testing agent; the Student Disability Services at (678) 407-5883; or the Testing Office at (678) 407-5322.
- Employment Applicant Accommodations – Upon request made to the Office of Human Resources at (678) 407-5216, persons applying for positions as employees at Georgia Gwinnett College will be provided reasonable accommodations in completing the application and/or interview process.
- Current Employee Accommodations – Contact the Office of Benefits at (678) 407-5054.
- Student Accommodations – Students requiring accommodation due to a disability should contact the Office of Student Disability Services for assistance at (678) 407-5883.
Georgia Gwinnett College Current Employee Requests for Reasonable Accommodation:
- An employee must submit the appropriate forms for Reasonable Accommodation Request to the Office of Benefits. A copy of the forms may be obtained by contacting the Office of Benefits at the number posted in this policy document. The completed campus Reasonable Accommodation forms, including medical release and physician certification forms, must be submitted before a Reasonable Accommodation Request can be processed for review.
- Completed Reasonable Accommodation Forms and supporting documentation for reasonable accommodations will then be reviewed by the Office of Benefits for final determination. Any medical documentation from the employee’s physician should be submitted directly to the Office of Benefits by the treating physician.
- Once the request has been submitted, it is the responsibility of the employee to then verbally discuss the request with their supervisor, where appropriate.
- In addition to the documentation submitted by the employee requesting reasonable accommodation, the supervisor may forward a written departmental provision as to whether the accommodation itself appears reasonable within the scope of the employee’s job responsibilities and requirements. However, a final determination can only be made by the Office of Benefits.
- The Office of Benefits will review all documentation, including medical data submitted in support of the request. Every attempt will be made by the College to coordinate a reasonable accommodation, where warranted.
- If the accommodation request is deemed reasonable, an approval notice detailing the accommodation approval guidelines will be given to the employee.
- If the accommodation request is denied, a written notice of denial will be given to the employee. If an employee wishes to request reconsideration of denial, an appeal may be filed with the Office of Benefits. Any appeal must be received within 10 calendar days from the date of the denial notice.
- Reasonable Accommodation appeals may be presented to the President by the Office of Benefits or Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration for final determination, in accordance with campus Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Non-Discrimination, and Harassment Policies and Complaint Procedures standards. A decision from the President shall represent the final institutional decision on the matter.
- Any further appeals to the Board of Regents, if applicable, shall be made in accordance with Board of Regents Policy and applicable timelines. Appeals to outside agencies shall be governed by their procedural timelines.
Questions concerning Georgia Gwinnett College’s ADA disability accommodations should be directed to the individuals noted herein.
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- Director, Student Disability Services, 678-407-5883
- Director of Payroll and Benefits, 678- 407-5054
- Executive Director of Diversity, Institutional Equity Officer, and Title IX Program Administrator, 678-407-5010
- Executive Director of Legal Affairs, 678-407-5919
- Associate Vice President for Human Resources, 678-407-5216
- Director, Testing Services, 678-407-5240
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