Sexual Harassment and Title IX Policy Review Page

PURPOSE

The purpose of this Sexual Harassment and Title IX Policy is ensure all students, employees and community members of Hudson County Community College (“College”) a working and learning environment free from sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex in all programs and activities of the College.

POLICY

The College and the Board of Trustees (“Board”) seek to foster a safe and healthy working and learning environment built on mutual respect and trust.  At the foundation of the College’s mission is the recognition of the equal and inviolable dignity and worth of every person.  Sexual Harassment of any kind is a serious violation of these principles and will not be tolerated in any form, including any action that jeopardizes equal access to education on the basis of sex, as may be outlined under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, with the accompanying federal regulations and guidance, the Clery Act, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and any relevant federal, state, county laws and regulations that may be added or amended from time to time. Any member of the College community, who encourages, aides, assists or participates in any act of Sexual Harassment against another is in violation of the College’s disciplinary policies, VAWA and Title IX. Violence that is not of a sexual nature is also incompatible with the College’s mission and a violation of College policies. Policies and procedures governing incidents of violence that are not of a sexual nature are covered separately.

The Board delegates to the President the responsibility to develop procedures and guidelines for the implementation of this policy. The Office of Human Resources will ensure compliance with this policy, including training.

Approved: November 2018; Amended November 2019; Amended September 2020; October 2022
Approved by: Board of Trustees
Category: Sexual Harassment
Responsible Department: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Human Resources, Student Affairs
Scheduled for review: October 2024

 

Procedures

Introduction

The College and Board of Trustees (“Board”) seek to foster a safe and healthy learning and working environment built on mutual respect and trust as outlined in the Sexual Harassment and Title IX Policy. This procedure outlines the process for students and employees to follow as they experience and respond to sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct occurrences. It also highlights the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved in the process, defines important related terms, and provides additional resources and references.

Commitment to an Inclusive and Welcoming Campus Environment

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) aspires to maintain an organizational culture in which all constituent groups acknowledge their differences and identify commonalities while celebrating both. Our shared experiences inspire and inform our commitment to ensuring all communities are served with inclusive, high-quality educational programs that promote student success and upward social and economic mobility. The foundation of the College's mission is recognizing every person's equal and inviolable worth and dignity, independent of their situation, background, or lived experiences. The College is committed to an environment where every person is welcomed and empowered to contribute to shaping HCCC's institutional climate. Sexual harassment is an unacceptable practice in which these principles are compromised. Sexual harassment is unbecoming of HCCC’s core principles and aspirations. As such, this behavior is not tolerated in any of its forms.

Sexual harassment may include sexual exploitation, sex-based harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment follows no patterns as it can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Additionally, sexual misconduct can be committed by any individual regardless of their sex/gender identity or expression, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex/gender identities or expressions. For additional information about these and other terms, please see APPENDIX A: DEFINITIONS.

Any member of the College community who encourages, aids, assists, or participates in any act of sexual harassment against another violates established policy. While this procedure does not fully cover non-sexual violence or discrimination based on a protected class, these conditions are addressed by other policies and procedures governing incidents of that nature.

Training and Education 

The College provides sexual harassment and relationship abuse primary prevention programs, and information about valuable resources regarding sexual harassment through regular training. The College also implements prevention and awareness campaigns and offers programs to reduce the risk of non-compliant behavior in the College community. The College encourages students, faculty, administrative and staff employees to learn about sexual harassment.

The Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators are valuable resources for students, faculty, administrative and staff employees who have experienced sexual harassment or are interested in learning more about how it affects the campus and society. Additionally, all members of the Title IX team receive annual training on issues related to sexual harassment, which includes domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. For additional information about the Title IX Team, please see APPENDIX B: TITLE IX TEAM.

Reporting Incidents

If you have experienced sexual harassment off-campus, you can call local police by dialing 911. You should go to a safe location as soon as possible and seek immediate medical attention if you are injured. If you need immediate assistance on campus, please see the contact information and location of the Title IX Team and Resources in APPENDIX C: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES.

HCCC’s proactive prevention of sexual harassment affects all members of the College community, including visitors, who are required to report incidents of perceived sexual harrasment. All perceived sexual misconduct/harassment incidents can be reported online by completing a Care and Concern Form or by email, mail, phone call, or in-person through direct contact with the College’s Title IX Coordinator or designee. This type of global engagement in responding to sexual harassment incidents, violations, and misconduct is instrumental in fostering a safe and welcoming environment for all. 

Responsible employees, including faculty members, administration, and staff, are required to immediately report any incidents or perceived incidents of such conduct involving any member of the College community or third party. Even if the person making the report requests confidentiality, the employee must report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator(s), or designee(s). Please see the section below titled “Confidentiality” for additional information.

A report may be considered a formal complaint when provided as a physical document or an electronic submission containing the Complainant’s physical or digital signature or otherwise indicating that the Complainant is the person filing the complaint.

The College Title IX Coordinator may also sign the formal complaint, but in that case, the Title IX Coordinator is not a Complainant or a party to the complaint. The College is required by New Jersey state law to report alleged incidents of sexual assault to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. When a student, employee, or third party seeks to make a complaint but perceives a conflict of interest with the Title IX team members, they may contact the Title IX Coordinator, a Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or any other members of the Title IX team. 

Investigation and Disciplinary Process

Preliminary Determination

Following the receipt of a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will make a preliminary determination as to whether the complaint falls within the purview of the Sexual Harassment Policy and whether there appears to be a sufficient basis to conduct a full investigation. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator, designee, or trained investigators may schedule initial meetings with both the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) to gather additional details about the incident in order to arrive at the case’s preliminary determination. The burden of proof and gathering sufficient evidence to determine responsibility rests on the investigators, not the parties. For more information about the preliminary determination, please read the section titled “Initial Assessment.”

Written Notice

Upon receiving a formal complaint of sexual harassment and determination of Title IX applicability and jurisdiction, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will provide written notice to all known parties. This notice will include:

  • Notice of the College’s grievance process that complies with this section, including any informal resolution process.
  • Notice of the allegations of sexual harassment potentially constituting sexual harassment as defined in this policy, including sufficient details known at the time and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview, including:
    • The identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known;
    • The conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment as defined in this policy;
    • The date and location of the alleged incident, if known;
    • A statement noting that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made after the grievance process;
    • A notice informing the parties that they may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, who may inspect and review evidence;
    • A notice informing the parties of any provision in the HCCC code of conduct that prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process; and,
    • A notice informing the parties of any additional allegations added after the initial notice to the parties whose identities are known.

Investigation

The Title IX Coordinator and designees will adhere to the following guidelines during the investigatory process:

  • Secure the party’s voluntary written consent for accessing their records made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professionals or paraprofessionals acting or assisting in their professional or paraprofessional capacity.
  • Obtain written permission from a minor’s parent or guardian to access privileged records if a party is a minor.
  • Provide equal opportunity for the parties to present witnesses, including facts, expert witnesses, and other evidence.
  • Implement a policy that does not restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.
  • Provide the parties with the same opportunities to have an advisor of choice present during any grievance proceeding.
    • The advisor is not permitted to speak on behalf of the parties or actively participate in the investigation beyond providing advice directly to the party.
    • Advisors who continuously violate this stipulation may be barred from participating further, upon which the party may select another advisor.

Investigative Report

After the investigation, the investigative team will prepare a draft report summarizing the relevant evidence obtained.

Before completing the investigative report, the Title IX Coordinator or designees will send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, all evidence obtained that is directly related to the complaint to review in an electronic format or a hard copy. The document submitted may also include evidence upon which the College does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility.

Opportunity to Respond

The parties will have ten (10) calendar days to submit a written response that the investigator will consider before finalizing the investigative report. All the evidence, independent of whether it is relevant to the investigation, will be available for the parties’ inspection and review. The report will also be available to each party at the hearing to provide an equal opportunity to reference the evidence during the hearing, including for purposes of cross-examination.

Final Report

After allowing the parties to respond, and considering any comments received, the investigator may amend the draft report or conduct further investigation. At least ten (10) calendar days before a hearing (if a hearing is required), or at least ten (10) calendar days prior to a determination regarding responsibility, the investigator will send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, the draft investigative report, in an electronic format or a hard copy, for their review and submission of any formal written response(s) or objections. Any such formal written objections will be added to the final report. The final report shall fairly summarize all relevant evidence.

Initial Assessment

The Title IX Coordinator or designee may assist the Complainant with understanding the procedure, their options, and accessing resources. If the Complainant chooses to file a complaint and move forward with a formal or informal resolution process, the next step is an Initial Assessment. The Title IX Coordinator assesses the allegations to determine appropriate jurisdiction and applicable policies/procedures.

Under the federal Title IX regulations, the Title IX Coordinator is required to dismiss any formal complaint if one or more of the following is true:

  • The alleged conduct would not constitute sexual harassment as defined within the Sexual Harassment policy, even if proved;
  • The alleged conduct did not occur in HCCC’s education program or activity;
  • The alleged conduct did not occur against a person in the United States; or
  • The Complainant is not participating or attempting to join in HCCC’s education program or activities when filing the complaint.

The Title IX Coordinator may dismiss any formal complaint if one or more of the following is true:

  • At any time during the investigation or hearing, a Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that he or she would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein;
  • The Respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by HCCC; or
  • Specific circumstances prevent HCCC from gathering sufficient evidence to determine the formal complaint or allegations.

Upon a dismissal required or permitted under the federal Title IX regulations, the Title IX Coordinator will simultaneously send the parties written notice of the decision with the rationale. The parties can appeal this decision by following the procedures outlined below. If dismissal occurs, the Title IX Coordinator may refer or reinstate the allegations for resolution under an alternative campus process, policy, or procedure, if appropriate.

Supportive Measures

Upon filing an incident report of any alleged violations of the College’s Sexual Harassment Policy, the Title IX Coordinator may take specific measures. They may include reaching out and providing support to the person filing the complaint, providing supportive and interim measures, as outlined below, and explaining the overall process and how to file a formal complaint if one has not been filed.

Supportive measures will be provided equitably to the Complainant and the Respondent continuously throughout the process. Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or the Respondent before or after filing a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the recipient’s educational environment, or to deter sexual harassment. Supportive measures may include:

  • Counseling;
  • Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments;
  • Modifications of work or class schedules;
  • Campus escort services;
  • Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties;
  • Changes in work or housing locations;
  • Leaves of absence;
  • Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus; and
  • Other similar measures that may be required.

The College will maintain confidentiality of any supportive measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability to provide the support.

Student respondents may be removed from the College’s education program or activity on an emergency basis. Emergency removal may be undertaken after an individualized safety and risk analysis and a determination of an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or another individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment justifying removal. This process will be respectful of all rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, as may be applicable. An employee Respondent may be placed on administrative leave during the grievance process.  Upon removal, Respondents will be provided an immediate decision notice and all pertinent details highlighting the opportunity and steps to challenging the decision.

Informal and Formal Mechanisms for Complaint Resolution

Informal Resolution Process

After a formal complaint has been filed, before a written determination of responsibility, and upon all parties’ voluntary, informed, written consent (except when the respondent is an employee), the College will offer the opportunity to engage in an informal resolution process. The informal resolution provides the Complainant the opportunity to address the respondent in the presence of a well-trained facilitator and communicate their feelings and perceptions regarding the alleged incident, the impact of the incident, and expectations regarding protection in the future. The Respondent will have an equal opportunity to respond and address any concerns as well.

The Complainant and the Respondent may select an advisor to accompany them throughout the informal resolution process. During the informal resolution stage, the advisor may not speak on behalf of the Complainant or Respondent nor question the other parties involved. Informal resolution cannot result in the formal sanctions of suspension or expulsion from the College of the Respondent. Informal resolution may result in imposing protective actions agreed upon by the parties. Either party may elect to end such proceedings and initiate the formal grievance process prior to the conclusion of the informal resolution. In such cases, statements of the parties elicited during the informal resolution process may be used as evidence in the formal grievance process. The Title IX Coordinator or designee may determine that additional supportive measures are necessary until all formal College grievance procedures are completed, including the appeals process.

In order to promote honest and direct communication, information disclosed during informal resolution will remain confidential while the informal resolution is pending, except where disclosure may be required by law or authorized in connection with duties on behalf of the College. The investigation informal resolution process should conclude within sixty (60) calendar days with a written resolution.

Formal Grievance Process

Upon the conclusion of the investigation, if the formal complaint is not dismissed or the informal resolution does not result in a mutual agreement, the complaint will progress to a formal live hearing.

Live Hearings

The hearing will be led by a trained individual or individuals (hereafter referred to as the decision-maker(s) separate from the Title IX Coordinator or designee and any individuals involved in the investigation). All parties will have the opportunity to have others present, including an advisor of their choice. If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, the College will provide a trained advisor without fee or charge to that party to be determined by the College.

At the request of either party, the College will arrange for the live hearing to occur virtually, with the parties located in separate rooms equipped with technology that enables the decision-maker(s) and parties to simultaneously see and hear the party or the witness answering questions. Hearings may be conducted with all parties physically present in the same geographic location, or all parties, witnesses, and other participants may appear at the live virtual hearing. An audio or audiovisual recording, or transcript, of any live hearing will be made available to the parties for inspection and review.

At the live hearing, the parties can present statements, witnesses, and evidence supporting those statements. Both parties, as well as their designated advisor, will be permitted to address statements made by the other party and any witnesses under the following conditions:

  • Only relevant questions, including in the cross-examination, may be asked of a party or witness;
  • Before a Complainant, Respondent, or witness answers a cross-examination or other question, the decision-maker(s) must first determine whether the question is relevant and explain any decision to exclude a question as inappropriate;
  • Questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant unless they are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior concerning the Respondent and are offered to prove consent.
  • Such questioning at the live hearing must be conducted directly, orally, and in real-time by the party’s advisor of choice and never by a party personally.

Written Determination and Appeals

Within 14 calendar days of the conclusion of formal live hearings, the decision maker(s) will simultaneously issue a written determination to the parties. The written determination will include:

  • Identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment;
  • Description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the formal complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held;
  • Findings of fact supporting the determination;
  • Conclusions regarding the application of the College’s Code of Conduct (policies) to the facts; and
  • Statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including:
    • Any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the respondent.
    • Whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity will be provided to the Complainant.

All parties are permitted to file an appeal from a determination regarding responsibility or dismissal of a formal complaint or individual allegations on the following basis:

  • Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter.
  • New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made that could affect the outcome of the matter.
  • Title IX Coordinator, the investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

Appeals must be received, in writing, by the Title IX Coordinator(s) within one week (7 calendar days) of the date of the notice of dismissal or the determination. Appeals may be submitted by email, mail, or in person.

The determination regarding responsibility becomes final on the date that the College provides the parties with the written decision of the result of the appeal, or if an appeal is not filed, the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely.

Disciplinary Measures

The College will cooperate with Complainants who seek criminal prosecution under New Jersey State Penal Law to the permitted level. Any student Respondent under investigation for violating the Sexual Harassment Policy may face disciplinary action under the College’s Student Conduct process.

Any faculty, staff, or third party accused of sexual harassment may also be prosecuted under New Jersey State criminal statutes. Any faculty, administrative, or staff employee charged with such an offense will also be subject to the rules and procedures outlined in the Sexual Harassment Policy and/or provisions of other applicable College policies or procedures, including those outlined in the Employee Handbook or Faculty Handbook, as amended from time to time, irrespective of collective bargaining agreements, which apply independently of any legal proceedings.

The College has the right and obligation to report instances of alleged sexual harassment to criminal authorities without the express consent of the complainant, and where a legal obligation mandates such reporting (e.g., if there is suspected assault and/or abuse or neglect of a minor).

Confidentiality

The resolution process is confidential. The College will protect the confidentiality of all parties throughout the resolution process, consistent with state and federal law provisions. Any required release of information about a resolution will be accomplished without including identifying information about the Complainant. Information about the Respondent will only be released to the extent permitted by law.

To protect the safety and inclusion of the individuals involved in the incident, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will make every effort to maintain the confidentiality of all parties involved during the inquiry or investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. If a Complainant or Respondent requests confidentiality of name(s), the Title IX Coordinator or designee will weigh that person’s request with the College’s obligation to provide a safe learning and working environment. Although the College will try to honor those requests, there may be instances where disclosure on an as-needed basis is necessary to ensure the safety and security of the College community.

Retaliation

No member of the College community may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under Title IX. The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation.

Approved: November 2018; Amended November 2019; October 2022
Approved by: President’s Cabinet
Category: Sexual Harassment
Responsible Department: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Human Resources, Student Affairs
Scheduled for Review: October 2024

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APPENDIX A: DEFINITIONS

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational programs and activities operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment jeopardizes equal access to education, and Hudson County Community College’s Sexual Harassment and Title IX Procedure provides guidelines for addressing alleged acts of sexual harassment. The procedure may be applied to handle other forms of sexual misconduct that fall within the definitions outlined below:

Sexual Harassment: Unwanted conduct that is based on an individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression and that:

  • Conditions the provision of an educational or employment aid, benefit, or service on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (otherwise known as “quid pro quo”);
  • A reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to an educational program or activity (otherwise known as “hostile environment”).

Complainant: An individual who is alleged to be, or who alleges themselves to be, the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. The Complainant may be treated as a party even if the Complainant chooses not to participate in the grievance process.

Formal Complaint: A formal complaint means a written and signed document filed by the Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator or designee alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that HCCC investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. An investigation may include at a minimum an initial assessment.

Respondent: An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. The Respondent is a party for the purposes of this procedure.

Actual knowledge: Notice of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment to the College’s Title IX Coordinator(s) or any College official who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the College. This would include personal observation of sexual harassment conduct by an employee or student.

Officials with Authority: Includes Title IX Coordinator(s) or any College official who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the College. Upon actual knowledge, officials with authority must take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate and take prompt and effective action to stop harassment, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects.

Responsible employees: An employee who has authority to take action to redress the harassment; has the duty to report harassment or other types of misconduct to appropriate officials; or someone a student could reasonably believe has this authority or responsibility. The College requires all responsible employees to report harassment or discrimination to the Title IX Coordinator.

Remedy(ies): Where a determination of responsibility for sexual harassment has been made against the respondent, the College may provide remedies to the complainant. The remedy(ies) may be designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s educational program or activity. Remedies may include individualized services and supportive measures, and can be disciplinary or punitive, and need not avoid burdening the respondent.

Standard of Evidence: The College uses a “preponderance of the evidence” standard for all formal complaints of sexual harassment, which means that the evidence more likely than not supports or does not support the allegations made. The same standard of evidence is used for complaints against students and employees, including faculty.

Discrimination: The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex. Under Title IX, discrimination may include allegations of sex or gender discrimination, or program equity.

Harassment: Under Title IX, sexual harassment may include quid pro quo, hostile environment, or retaliation.

Sexual Assault:

  • Any attempted or actual sexual act directed against another person, without consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
  • Any attempted or actual sexual act directed against another person, without consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
    • Rape is the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus, with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. This offense includes the rape of any individual, regardless of their sex or gender identity/expression.
    • Include the crime as Rape, regardless of the age of the victim, if the victim did not consent or if the victim was incapable of giving consent.
    • Fondling is the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
    • Incest is sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
    • Statutory Rape is sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Sexual Exploitation: Occurs when a person takes nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her/their own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute sexual assault, sexual misconduct, or sexual harassment.  Examples of sexual exploitation include but are not limited to making public sexual activity with another person without that other person’s consent; prostituting another person; nonconsensual video or audio recording of sexual activity; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting someone hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex); viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s consent; and/or knowingly transmitting HIV or an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) to another member of the campus community.

Sex-Based Harassment: Includes sexual harassment and gender-based harassment.

Gender-Based Harassment: Includes unwelcomed conduct of a nonsexual nature based on a person’s actual or perceived sex, including behavior based on gender identity, gender expression, and gender nonconforming behavior that creates a hostile environment for the student or employee.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment or Request for Sexual Favors: Unwanted conduct of a sexual nature in which submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly (or a factor affecting) a term of condition of an individual’s education, living environment, employment, or participation in a school activity or program.

Hostile Environment: A “hostile environment” exists when sex-based harassment is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive  to deny or limit the person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s programs or activities. A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a College’s program or activity (e.g., administrators, faculty members, students, and campus visitors). In determining whether sex-based harassment has created a hostile environment, the College considers the conduct in question from both a subjective and objective perspective.  It will be necessary, but not enough, that the conduct was unwelcome to the person who was harassed.  However, the College will also need to find that a reasonable person in the person’s position would have perceived the conduct as undesirable or offensive in order for that conduct to create or contribute to a hostile environment. To make the ultimate determination of whether a hostile environment exists for any member of the College community, the College considers a variety of factors related to the severity, pervasiveness, objectively offensiveness of the sex-based harassment including: (1) the type, frequency, and duration of the conduct; (2) the identity and relationships of persons involved; (3) the number of individuals involved; (4) the location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred; and, (5) the degree to which the conduct affected a student’s education, an employee’s employment and/or a visitor’s purpose on campus. The more severe the sex-based harassment, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to find a hostile environment. Indeed, a single instance of sexual assault may be sufficient to create a hostile environment. Likewise, a series of incidents may be sufficient even if the sex-based harassment is not particularly severe.

Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the Complainant’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition:

  • Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
  • Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence: Violence is committed:

  • By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
  • By a person with whom the 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 victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred;
  • 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 in which the crime of violence occurred.
  • To be categorized as an incident of Domestic violence, the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim must be more than just two people living together as roommates. The people cohabitating must be current or former spouses or have an intimate relationship.

Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

  • Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
  • Suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition:
    • “Course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
    • “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circum- stances and with similar identities to the victim.
    • “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Cyberstalking: Is a non-physical form of stalking and is a violation of this policy.  Therefore, using electronic media such as the internet, social networking sites, cell phones or similar devices or mediums to pursue, track, harass, monitor or make unwanted contact with another person is a violation of the Sexual Harassment Policy.

Consent: With all cases of a sexual nature, consent is granted only when a person freely, actively, and knowingly agrees at the time to participate in a particular sexual act with another person. Consent exists when mutually understandable words and/or actions demonstrate a willingness to participate in a mutually agreed upon activity at every stage of that sexual activity. Either party can verbally or non-verbally withdraw consent at any stage. Consent cannot be assumed from partner silence, manner of dress, or be based on a previous or ongoing sexual relationship.

Incapacity: A person is considered incapable of giving consent if he/she/they is:

  • Under the age of consent, which is 16 in New Jersey;
  • Asleep, unconscious, and/or losing and regaining consciousness;
  • Under threat of physical force or coercion, intimidation, or duress; or
  • Mentally or physically incapacitated; for example, by medication, alcohol and/or other drugs. Evidence of physical or mental incapacity will be determined by assessing context clues such as:
    • A witness or the respondent may know how much the other party has consumed.
    • Slurred speech.
    • Bloodshot eyes.
    • The smell of alcohol on the breath.
    • Shaky equilibrium.
    • Outrageous or unusual behavior.

Lack of protest does not imply consent. Under no circumstance does a current or previous dating relationship constitute consent.

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APPENDIX B: TITLE IX TEAM

All incidents or perceived sexual misconduct/harassment incidents can be reported by completing an online Care and Concern Form, or can be reported directly to the College’s Title IX Coordinator or any designees listed below by email, mail, phone call, or in-person.

A staff member will meet with you to provide support and immediate interventions, which may include:

  • Referrals to appropriate law enforcement agencies.
  • Referrals for medical treatment and/or counseling at the Counseling Center, and/or other on and off campus resources.
  • Alternative accommodations for employment arrangements or academics.

Title IX Coordinator:
Yeurys Pujols, M.A.
Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
71 Sip Avenue -6th Floor, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Jersey City, NJ  07306
(201) 360-4628
ypujolsFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE

In addition, incidents or perceived incidents of Sexual Harassment may also be reported to any of the College’s Deputy Title IX Coordinators:

Anna Krupitskiy, J.D., LL.M., SHRM-SCP
Vice President for Human Resources
70 Sip Avenue – 3rd Floor, Human Resources
Jersey City NJ 07306
(201) 360-4071
akrupitskiyFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE

Lisa Dougherty, Ed.D., MHRM
Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment
70 Sip Avenue – 1st Floor
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 360-4111
ldoughertyFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE

David D. Clark, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Student Affairs
81 Sip Avenue – 2nd Floor- Student Life and Leadership
Jersey City NJ 07306
(201) 360-4189
dclarkFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE

Christopher Conzen, Ed.D.
Executive Director of the Secaucus Center
1 High Tech Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094
(201) 360-4386
cconzenFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE

John Quigley, B.A.
Executive Director of Safety and Security
71 Sip Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 360-4081
jquigleyFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE

Joseph Caniglia, M.A.
Executive Director of the North Hudson Campus
4800 Kennedy Blvd. – 7th Floor
Union City, NJ  07087
(201) 360-5346
jcanigliaFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE

In the event that the incident, policy, or procedure about which a student, employee, faculty member, or third party seeks to file a report or complaint creates the appearance of a conflict of interest with any one of the members of the Title IX compliance team, complainants may contact any other member of the team directly.

OFFICES AND EMERGENCY RESOURCES:

ON–CAMPUS

Office of Student Services
81 Sip Avenue - 2nd Floor
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 360-4602

Executive Director North Hudson Campus
4800 Kennedy Blvd. – 7th Floor
Union City, NJ 07087
(201) 360-5346

Executive Director of Secaucus Center
1 High Tech Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094
(201) 360-4386

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APPENDIX C: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Office of Human Resources
70 Sip Avenue – 3rd Floor
Jersey City NJ 07306
(201) 360-4073

Safety and Security Coordinator
Journal Square Campus
81 Sip Avenue – Mezzanine Level
Jersey City NJ 07306
(201) 360-4080

Safety and Security Coordinator
North Hudson Campus
4800 Kennedy Blvd. – 2nd Floor
Union City NJ 07087
(201) 360-4777

OFF–CAMPUS RESOURCES

Jersey City Police – West District Office
1 Jackson Street
Jersey City, NJ 07304
Office: (201) 547-5450
Fax: (201) 547-5077

Union City Police Department
3715 Palisade Ave.
Union City, NJ 07087
Office: (201) 348-5790
Fax: (201) 319-0456
http://unioncitypd.org

Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Office: (201) 915-2000
http://www.libertyhealth.org

Hackensack Meridian, Palisades Medical Center
7600 River Road
North Bergen, NJ 07047
Office: (201) 854-5000
http://www.palisadesmedical.org

Hudson SPEAKS
(Supports Prevents Educates Advocates to Keep Strong)
Formerly Hudson County Rape Crisis Center
Christ Hospital and CarePoint Health
179 Palisades Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
24 Hr. Hotline: (201) 795-5757
Office: (201) 795-8741 or (201) 795-5816
Fax: (201) 795-8761 or (201) 418-7017

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000

Saint Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000

Mountainside Hospital
1 Bay Avenue
Glen Ridge, NJ 07028
(973) 429-6000

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES AND INFORMATION

Bystander Intervention Information

If someone suspects that another individual may be in a high-risk situation to become a victim of any form of Sexual Harassment. It is important to decide whether there is a safe and reasonable way to intervene effectively as a bystander.

There is no legal obligation in New Jersey State for a bystander of a potentially violent situation or crime to intervene or act.  Bystanders are encouraged to act if there are safe and reasonable ways to intervene and/or discourage people from being uncivil towards each other in an effort to foster a safer environment for everyone.

Bystander Tips

  • Remind others that “consent” is the difference between sex and sexual assault and that someone can be too intoxicated, or otherwise physically or mentally incapacitated, to consent.
  • Take the initiative to help others who are not thinking clearly from becoming targets of violence (or) take steps to stop a friend who chooses to use violence.
  • Prevent an intoxicated person from going to a private location with a stranger or an acquaintance.
  • Do not leave anyone, whether a friend or an acquaintance, alone at a party or a bar.
  • Ask anyone, whether an acquaintance or stranger, who is attempting to engage in Sexual Harassment to stop and leave the location.
  • Recognize dating or domestic partners who cause fear or physical pain to their partner, and voice your concerns where appropriate; one suggestion is referring the student to the appropriate counselors, and faculty, administrators or staff to Human Resources.
  • Contact Campus Security, Human Resources, Dean of Student Affairs, and Executive Directors of the North Hudson Campus and Secaucus Center or another person of authority who can assist.

Contact Information or Questions about Bystander Intervention

  • Office of Human Resources: (201) 360-4073
  • Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: (201) 360- 5399
  • Dean of Student Affairs: (201) 360-4602
  • Executive Director North Hudson Campus: (201) 360-5346
  • Executive Director of Secaucus Center: (201) 360-4386
  • Office of Safety and Security Department (Journal Square Campus): (201) 360-4080
  • Office of Safety and Security Department (North Hudson Campus): (201) 360-4777
  • Counseling Center: (201) 360-4155

What You Can Do if You have Experienced Sexual Assault

The College is committed to providing confidential, nonjudgmental and appropriate support services for all sexual assault survivors, regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, age, ability, immigration status or whether or not they are reluctant to report the crime.  It is important to understand that you are not at fault for the assault in any way. No one ever deserves to be assaulted and persons who commit sexual assault do so out of a need to control, dominate, abuse and humiliate.

Get to a safe space immediately

You need to find a place where you feel comfortable and safe from harm. This could be your home, a hospital, the police station, a friend’s room or your home. If you are on campus and need assistance, you can call Safety and Security at (201) 360-4080 (Jersey City) or (201) 360-4777 (North Hudson). If you are off campus, you can call 911.

Seek medical attention as soon as possible

Even if you do not want to report the sexual assault to the police, or if it has been a while since the assault, you may still benefit from medical attention. Evidence collection may be possible through a “rape kit” if you have been sexually assaulted in the past 96 hours/4 days. The hospitals listed in this policy have Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs, which utilize specially trained nurses to collect evidence and administer care.  In addition to collecting evidence, health concerns such as sexually transmitted infections (STI), pregnancy, and treatment of injuries will be addressed. It is important to have the evidence collected. Although you may not want to pursue criminal action immediately, you may change your mind in the future.

If you want evidence to be collected at the hospital, do not shower, bathe, douche, wash your hands, brush your teeth, or comb your hair.  Even though you may desperately want to clean yourself, you may destroy important evidence if you do so. If you have done any of the things mentioned, it is okay and it may still be possible to find evidence. You are encouraged to bring a change of clothing if you choose to have medical personnel collect evidence.

Report the Incident

The College encourages individuals to report all cases of Sexual Assault. Reporting an incident to the College is different from legal prosecution. You are not obligated after reporting an incident to cooperate in a criminal investigation; however, the College is obligated to report the incident to appropriate law enforcement agencies.

To report an assault, contact any one of the following Offices:

  • Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: (201) 360-5399
  • Office of Human Resources: (201) 360-4073
  • Dean of Student Affairs: (201) 360-4602
  • Executive Director of North Hudson Campus: (201) 360-5346
  • Executive Director of Secaucus Center: (201) 360-4386
  • Office of Safety and Security (Journal Square Campus): (201) 360-4080
  • Office of Safety and Security (North Hudson Campus): (201) 360-4777
  • Counseling Center: (201) 360-4155

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