Title IX Policies & Procedures

NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION

The School of Advertising Art does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, sex, gender identity and expression, disability, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, veteran status, familial status, national origin, or any other protected category under applicable local, state or federal law, ordinance, or regulation in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding SAA’s non-discrimination policies:

Melissa Ferguson
Vice President of Student Affairs
937-294-0592 x107
melissa@saa.edu

TITLE IX STATEMENT

The School of Advertising Art complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) based on gender in SAA’s educational programs and activities, including admissions and employment. Title IX also prohibits retaliation for asserting or otherwise participating in claims of sex discrimination. Inquiries regarding Title IX and the Title IX regulations should be directed to SAA’s designated Title IX Coordinator:

Melissa Ferguson
Vice President of Student Affairs
937-294-0592 x107
melissa@saa.edu

Individuals may also seek additional information on Title IX or file a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding an alleged violation of Title IX by visiting the U.S. Department of Education’s website or calling 1-800-421-3481.

TITLE IX POLICY & PROCEDURES

The School of Advertising Art does not discriminate against or deny admission to any person on the grounds of race, age, creed, color, sex, gender identity and expression, disability, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, veteran status, familial status, national origin, or any other protected category under applicable local, state, or federal law, ordinance, or regulation.

Anyone who believes they have been subjected to gender based or sexual discrimination and harassment is encouraged to report these incidents. Upon receiving a report, the School of Advertising Art will respond promptly to resolve the complaint. SAA is committed to providing a learning environment free from discrimination or harassment. To that end, SAA complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in education programs and activities.

The grievance procedures below are designed to resolve complaints of sex and gender-based discrimination and/or harassment, when such complaints involve SAA students, faculty, staff, and/or third parties and SAA’s educational programs and activities. This includes complaints of sexual violence. Inquiries regarding Title IX can be referred to the Title IX Coordinator or to the Office of Civil Rights.

Title IX Coordinator
Melissa Ferguson
Vice President of Student Affairs
937-294-0592 x107
melissa@saa.edu

Office of Civil Rights
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html
1-800-421-3481

Important Note About Confidentiality

SAA will make all reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of the parties involved in sexual harassment or discrimination investigations. Breaches of confidentiality will be reviewed and may be considered a violation of the Policy and may result in additional disciplinary action. Any action that could be deemed retaliatory will be dealt with according to this procedure (see ‘Retaliation’).

Definitions and Examples

Gender-based Misconduct

Gender-based misconduct comprises a broad range of behaviors focused on sex and/or gender discrimination that may or may not be sexual in nature. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, gender-based harassment, stalking, and intimate partner violence are forms of gender-based misconduct under the policy. Sex and gender-based misconduct can be committed by men or by women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex.

Examples of gender-based misconduct

• Pressure for a date or a romantic or intimate relationship

• Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging

• Pressure for or forced sexual activity

• Unwelcome references to various parts of the body

• Belittling remarks about a person’s gender or sexual orientation based on gender-stereotyping

• Inappropriate sexual innuendoes or humor

• Videotaping and/or photographing activity of a sexual or personal nature without consent of those being recorded

• Obscene gestures of a sexual or gender-based nature

• Offensive sexual graffiti, pictures, or posters

• Sexually explicit profanity

• Use of email, the Internet, or other forms of digital media to facilitate any of the above referenced behaviors

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, which can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Thus, sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX can include conduct such as touching of a sexual nature; making sexual comments, jokes, or gestures; writing graffiti or displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials; calling students sexually charged names; stalking; spreading sexual rumors; rating students on sexual activity or performance; or circulating, showing, or creating emails or websites of a sexual nature.

Responsible Employee

Responsible Employee is any employee who meets at least one of the following criteria: (1) has the authority to take action to redress sexual violence or other misconduct; (2) has been given a duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or other misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator (or designee); or (3) is an employee whom an individual could reasonably believe has the above authority or duty.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Alcohol and other drugs can lower inhibitions and create confusion over whether consent is freely and affirmatively given. The perspective of a reasonable person will be the basis for determining whether one should have known about the impact of alcohol and other drugs on another person’s ability to give consent. Providing alcohol or other substances to another person without their knowledge or for the purpose of incapacitation to coerce sexual activity is a violation of the Policy. The personal use of alcohol and other drugs never makes someone at fault for being sexually assaulted.

Filing a Report

Any SAA official (e.g., faculty member, administrator, etc.) informed of an allegation of sexual harassment or discrimination involving students or other members of the SAA community is required to file a report with the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) within one business day. All SAA employees (with one exception, listed below) are designated as mandatory reporters and must report any instance of possible harassment or discrimination. The SAA college counselor is not required to file a report with the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) because conversations with the counselor are confidential, except in certain situations as defined by law.

Students are advised that the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) is obligated to investigate any report of alleged sex and gender-based misconduct and ensure measures are taken to stop adverse behavior that is found and prevent its recurrence, as appropriate. It is important to note, however that not every report leads to a disciplinary process. Each report is reviewed individually.

Individuals reporting criminal acts of sexual or gender-based misconduct may also choose to file a report with the Kettering Police Department. SAA’s disciplinary system and the police/legal system work independently from one another. Individuals can file reports with SAA, or with the police, or with both. Individuals also have the right to decline reporting. Because the standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards in this policy, criminal investigations or reports are not determinative of whether gender-based misconduct, under this policy, has occurred.

SAA encourages prompt reporting, but does not limit the time frame for filing a report of sex and gender-based misconduct. Reports can be submitted at any time following an incident, although SAA’s ability to take any action may be negatively affected by the length of time between the alleged incident and its reporting. The current relationship to the alleged perpetrator may also limit the available range of disciplinary actions (e.g. if an individual is no longer employed by SAA or no longer enrolled as a student).

Jurisdiction

SAA is able to respond formally to alleged incidents of sex and gender-based misconduct:

• that occurred on campus,

• that were part of official SAA programs or activities (regardless of location), or

• where the Complainant and Respondent are students, members of the faculty, staff, or administration of the School of Advertising Art (regardless of location).

If the offender is unknown or is not a member of the SAA community, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will assist individuals in identifying local authorities if the individual desires to file a report. SAA will provide a list of potential community resources.

Reports from Others or Anonymous Reports

In cases where the sex and gender-based misconduct is reported anonymously or by an observer/concerned individual to the Title IX Coordinator (or designee), those allegedly involved will be notified by the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) that a report has been received. The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will meet with the Complainant to discuss her/his options and available resources at SAA and in the community. SAA faculty and staff cannot report these incidences anonymously.

Self-Help

An individual who believes that she or he is the subject of discriminatory or harassing behavior may choose to deal with the alleged offender directly through a face to face discussion, a personal phone conversation, email correspondence, or other written correspondence. In some cases, this approach may resolve the situation; in others, it may be ineffective or place the individual in an uncomfortable, insecure, or compromised position. Under no circumstances should an individual feel pressured to address the alleged offender directly or otherwise handle the matter alone, and a decision not to confront an individual she or he believes to be discriminatory or harassing will not be viewed negatively. An individual may always choose to report the situation and pursue other methods of resolution as described in these procedures.

Complainant Request for Anonymity

A Complainant may make a request for anonymity. This type of request means that the Complainant does not want his/her identity known to the respondent or witnesses, or that the Complainant wishes that the institution not pursue the investigation. In these situations, SAA will make all reasonable attempts to comply with this request; however, the college’s ability to investigate and respond may be limited.

In addition, Title IX requires SAA to weigh the Complainant’s request for anonymity with the college’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment. This means that the identities of a Complainant and an accused may be subject to disclosure during the investigation or resolution of a report. If SAA cannot maintain a Complainant’s request for anonymity she/he will be notified by the Title IX Coordinator (or designee). In situations where a member of the college community becomes aware of a pattern of behavior by a single Respondent, SAA will take appropriate action in an effort to protect the college community. There may be the rare circumstance where the institution is required to conduct an investigation.

Retaliation

Any attempt by a member of the School of Advertising Art community to penalize, intimidate, harass, or retaliate in any way against a person who makes a report of or who is otherwise involved in an investigation of discrimination or harassment is completely prohibited. Any person who believes that he or she has been the victim of retaliation for reporting discrimination or harassment or cooperating in an investigation should immediately contact the Title IX Coordinator (or designee). Any person who retaliates against a person in response to a report or cooperation in an investigation will be in violation of policy and will be subject to SAA’s discipline processes.

Interim Measures

During the investigation and until resolution of the matter, interim measures may be issued, including but not limited to: restrictions on contact between the Complainant and the Respondent, bans from areas of campus, and/or appropriate changes in academic course schedule. Failure to adhere to the parameters of any interim measures is a violation of policy and may lead to additional disciplinary action.

Mediation

Mediation is not an option for resolution in cases involving allegations of sexual assault. In cases involving other forms of alleged sex and gender-based misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will determine whether mediation is an appropriate mechanism for resolution based on information provided about the incident.

In cases where mediation is deemed to be an option, parties wishing to pursue this form of resolution will confirm such request in writing addressed to the Title IX Coordinator (or designee). The parties should not contact each other to discuss mediation. Mediation will be pursued only with the consent of both parties. If the mediation results in a resolution, the formal disciplinary procedure will be concluded and the case will be closed. If the parties are unable to reach a resolution in a timely manner, or if either party requests to terminate mediation, the investigation and disciplinary process will proceed. It is anticipated that mediation efforts can be completed within thirty (30) calendar days, unless both parties agree to an extension of time and such extension is approved by the Title IX Coordinator (or designee).

Informal Resolution

In instances where it is deemed possible and safe, reports may be resolved through informal means. If it is determined that an informal resolution may be appropriate, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will speak with the Complainant about this option. If the Complainant agrees, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will speak with the Respondent. If a satisfactory resolution is reached through this informal conversation, the matter will be considered closed. If these efforts are unsuccessful, or if either party requests to terminate informal resolution or mediation, a formal investigation process may commence. It is anticipated that informal resolution efforts can be completed within sixty (60) calendar days.

Investigation

Following the receipt of a report, information will be reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) to determine if there may be a reason to believe that a policy may have been violated, or if further information is necessary to determine if a formal investigation must commence. If investigation is to commence, the Respondent will be notified that a report has been filed and he/she will have the opportunity to submit a written response statement within five (5) business days, whenever possible. The Respondent and Complainant will be given the opportunity to meet separately with the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) to review the Policy and procedure.

The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will interview the Complainant, Respondent, and, as applicable, any witnesses.

The Complainant and Respondent may each have a “support person” present at all interviews in which they participate. The support person may be a licensed attorney, but the support person is only permitted to sit and observe, and not speak. The Investigator will also gather any pertinent evidentiary materials (this may include, but is not limited to, emails, written documents, or photographs). During the investigation process, both the Complainant and the Respondent will have the opportunity to provide the investigator with evidence and/or specify witness information. The Investigator will then prepare a report detailing the relevant content of the interviews and the documentation materials gathered. It is anticipated that the investigation can be completed within thirty (30) calendar days. Complex investigations may require a longer investigatory period, but any extension will be reasonable and in accordance with the circumstances presented.

Directly following the conclusion of the investigation, a determination of whether to proceed to the next step will be made by the Title IX Coordinator (or designee). This determination will be based on whether reasonable cause exists to believe that a policy violation may have occurred. The next step, the Adjudication process, is described below. If reasonable cause to proceed does not exist, the report will not be forwarded to the Adjudicator (as defined below). Such outcome will be communicated in writing to the Complainant and Respondent. However, the college will implement educational initiatives and/or trainings, as appropriate under the circumstances.

Administrative Resolution

If sufficient information exists to proceed to the next step, the Respondent and Complainant will each individually have the opportunity to review the investigative report in the presence of the Title IX Coordinator (or designee). All names and identifying information not bearing directly on the validity of the grievance will be removed from the records viewed by the parties. Federal and state law may also prevent the Respondent and Complainant from reviewing all of the information.

Following this review, the Respondent will be given the opportunity to respond to the alleged violation of policy in the following ways: 1) No response; 2) Not Responsible; or 3) Responsible.

If the Respondent accepts responsibility, SAA’s Vice President of Education will be notified. The Vice President of Education will determine the appropriate sanctions and corrective action. The Complainant and Respondent will be made aware of the decision within five (5) business days, whenever possible. The reason for any delay will be communicated to both parties. The Respondent and Complainant will then have the opportunity to appeal the Vice President of Education’s sanctioning decision. The acceptance of responsibility, however, is not appealable (see Appeals Process). If the Respondent declines responsibility, or chooses not to respond, the case will be reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) to determine the next steps.

Adjudication Process

Upon a review of the investigative materials, the Vice President of Education will determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence, whether it is more likely than not that an SAA policy has been violated. If a violation is found, the Vice President of Education will then determine the appropriate sanction to be imposed.

Review of Investigative Materials

SAA’s Vice President will review the materials within five (5) business days of receiving the investigative file. If the Vice President of Education requires clarification on any of the materials, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will assist the President in obtaining such clarification. Though it is typically not necessary, the Vice President of Education may consult with the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) to request to meet with the Respondent, Complainant, and/or any of the witnesses (separately) in order to clarify information in the investigative materials. However, if the Vice President of Education requests to meet with either the Complainant or the Respondent, the other party will also be given an opportunity to meet with the Vice President of Education.

Final Findings

The Vice President of Education will decide, based on a preponderance of the evidence, whether there has been a violation of any sex and gender-based misconduct policies upon a complete review of the investigative report and materials. Preponderance of evidence means that the adjudicator is convinced based on the information provided that a violation of policy was more likely to have occurred than not have occurred. The Vice President of Education will render a decision within fifteen (15) business days following the delivery of the investigative materials.

If the Vice President of Education determines that a violation has occurred, the Vice President of Education will then determine the appropriate sanctions and corrective action. Consideration may be given to the nature of and the circumstances surrounding the violation, prior disciplinary violations, precedent cases, SAA safety concerns, and any other information deemed relevant by the Vice President of Education. The Vice President of Education will render a sanctioning decision within five (5) business days of the date the decision is rendered. Both Respondent and Complainant will be notified in writing of the outcome and sanctions (if applicable), and/or remedies.

Range of Sanctions

Faculty, staff, or administrators who are found in violation of any sexual or gender-based misconduct policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Students are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion. Sanctions may include reassignment of work duties; reassignment of class meetings; restrictions on contact with Complainant; access restrictions to SAA property and/or events, disciplinary probation, or expulsion. Guests and other persons who are alleged to have engaged in sex or gender-based misconduct are subject to corrective action, which may include removal from campus, ban from campus, and/or termination of contractual arrangements. Vendors or other agencies in contract with SAA will be promptly notified if any of their employees are alleged to have violated policy, and such employees may be banned from any or all SAA properties and may also be subject to action deemed appropriate by their respective employer. Restrictions regarding access to SAA property or events may also be imposed.

Regardless of how a matter proceeds in this process, remedies may be made by SAA as appropriate to its commitment to provide a learning environment free from discrimination and harassment, such as reviewing protocol, providing or enhancing training to staff and/or students, issuing no-contact directives or access restrictions, or considering request for accommodations. Accommodation requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The Appeals Process

The Respondent or Complainant may request an appeal of the decision and sanctions rendered by the Vice President of Education. The three grounds upon which an appeal of the decision or sanctions may be made are:

1. The party believes a procedural error occurred, which the party feels may change or affect the outcome of the decision;

2. The party has substantive new evidence that was not available to the investigator at the time of the hearingand that may change the outcome of the decision;

3. The party feels that the severity of the sanction is inappropriate given the details of the case.

Disagreement with the finding or sanctions is not, by itself, grounds for appeals.

The request for an appeal, including the grounds upon which the request is based, should be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) within five (5) business days following the date listed on the outcome letter. Each party will be notified if an appeal request will be considered and be provided the opportunity to respond.

Any Appeals process will be conducted in an impartial manner by SAA’s President. The President will review the information relating to the report and investigation and make a final decision. This appeals decision is final. Appeals decisions will be rendered within ten (10) business days after the receipt of the formal appeal request. Both parties will be notified in writing of the appeal’s outcome.

Outcome Notification

Every effort will be made to ensure that both the Complainant and Respondent are updated at several points during the investigation and process. Both the Complainant and Respondent will be simultaneously notified, in writing, of the following events:

• Upon approval of request for mediation and upon resolution (or termination) of such mediation;

• Upon completion or termination of an Informal Resolution process;

• After the conclusion of the investigation; If the Respondent accepts responsibility for being “in violation”;

• The sanctions and corrective action determined by the Vice President of Education after the Respondent accepts responsibility;

• The Vice President of Education’s finding of “in violation” or “not in violation” of SAA policy;

• If the finding is “in violation,” the sanctions and corrective action determined by the Vice President of Education;

• If an appeal has been filed by either party at any point in the outcome phase; and

• The final resolution of the appeals process, if applicable.

Time Frames

If the time frames provided in this procedure cannot be met, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will notify the Complainant and Respondent in writing of the delay and will provide a date by which the appropriate undertaking will be completed.

Resources for Anyone Who Experiences Gender-Based Misconduct

SAA’s primary concern is the health, safety, and well-being of the members of our community. If you or someone you know may have experienced any form of gender-based misconduct, we urge you to seek immediate assistance. Student assistance can be obtained from:

• SAA’s Title IX Coordinator

• SAA’s College Counselor

• Kettering Police Department

• Dialing 911 for emergencies

• Dialing 937-296-2555 for non-emergencies

• Kettering Medical Center3535 Southern Blvd.Kettering, OH 45429937-298-4331For Emergencies, dial 911

Relevant Government Resources

Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX and its implementing regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator (or designee). The government agencies below may provide additional resources for anyone wishing to file a complaint of gender-based misconduct:

U.S. Department of Education

Office for Civil Rights

Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-1100

Telephone: 800-421-3481

FAX: 202-453-6012;TDD: 800-877-8339

Email: OCR@ed.gov

U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women

http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/

Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office- Victim/Witness Division

8:30AM – 4:30PM M-F

P.O. Box 972

Dayton, OH 45422

24 Hotline: (937) 225-5623

Phone: (937) 225-5623

http://www.mcohio.org/Prosecutor/Divisions/Victim_Witness

Complainant and Respondent Rights

The following rights are available to both parties in this process:

• To be treated with respect, dignity, and sensitivity throughout the process.

• To seek support services at the College or referrals for support services off campus.

• To privacy and protection under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as applicable. SAA will make all reasonable efforts to ensure preservation of privacy, restricting information to those with a legitimate need to know.

• To be informed of SAA’s Policies and Procedures related to Gender-Based Misconduct.

• To a prompt and thorough investigation of the allegations.

• To have a support person in the Title IX processes, including an attorney (this support person can only listen and observe, not speak).

• To present witnesses and evidence in any investigation.

• To review all applicable documents and information, consistent with federal and state law.

• To challenge the Vice President of Education and/or President if a conflict of interest is present.

• To participate or decline to participate in these Title IX processes. However, the Vice President of Education and/or President will determine their outcomes with the information available to them.

• To discuss alternatives to procedures, where alternatives may be reasonable and acceptable to involved parties.

• To refrain from making self-incriminating statements. However, the Vice President of Education and President will make determinations based upon the information available to him/her.

• To appeal the decision made and the sanctions and action determined by the Vice President of Education.

• To be notified, in writing, of the case resolution — including the outcome of any appeal.

• To report the incident to law enforcement if she/he wishes to do so.

• To understand that information collected in this process may be subpoenaed in criminal or civil proceedings.

Independent Investigation

The School of Advertising Art, at its discretion, may conduct an investigation independent of, or in addition to, the procedures provided herein at any time. The investigation may involve complaints or allegations concerning gender-based misconduct against SAA or any of its employees or students.