Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy

Further information regarding this policy can be found in the Policy on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity & Diversity and the College's Title IX webpages where the MCC Title IX team's contact information is provided.

a. Introduction

It is the goal of Middlesex Community College to promote an educational environment and workplace that is free of all forms of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment of students or employees occurring in the classroom or the workplace is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the Community College. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated. To achieve our goal of providing a workplace free from sexual harassment, the conduct that is described in this policy will not be tolerated and we have provided a procedure by which inappropriate conduct will be dealt with, if encountered by students or employees.

Because Middlesex Community College take allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment seriously, we will respond promptly to complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment and where it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and impose such corrective measures, including disciplinary action where appropriate and consistent with applicable collective bargaining agreements.

The College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that it operates, and it is required by Title IX and 34 C.F.R Part 106, §106.8 (b) not to discriminate in such a manner.

b. Definition of Sexual Harassment

Title IX Sexual Harassment is defined under the "Definitions" section of this Policy.

All employees and students should take special note that, as stated above, retaliation against an individual who has complained about Title IX Sexual Harassment, or retaliation against individuals who have cooperated with an investigation of Title IX Sexual Harassment is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the Community Colleges.

c. Complaints of Sexual Harassment

All Formal Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment shall proceed under this Policy's Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Process. To file a complaint a person may do so by contacting the College's Title IX Coordinator, or designee. A report of an allegation of sexual harassment may also be presented to other "Responsible Employees" at the College. These persons are also available to discuss any concerns a person may have and to provide information about the Policy.

 

d. Sexual Harassment Investigation

A Formal Complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment will be promptly investigated in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. Our investigation will be conducted in accordance with this Policy's Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Process and may include a private interview with the person filing the complaint and with witnesses. The person alleged to have committed Title IX Sexual Harassment will also be interviewed. Once the investigation is completed, the College will, to the extent appropriate, inform the parties of the results of that investigation.

If it is determined that a violation of this Policy has occurred, the College will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct, and where it is appropriate also impose disciplinary action.

e. Disciplinary Action

Discipline for violating this Policy may include, but is not limited to, mandatory counseling or training, verbal or written warnings, suspension, termination from employment, or expulsion from the College.

f. Consensual Relationships

Faculty/Administrator/Staff Member Relationships with Students

A romantic and/or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, between a faculty member, administrator or staff member and a student is looked upon with disfavor and is strongly discouraged. No faculty member shall have a romantic and/or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, with a student who is being taught or advised by the faculty member or whose academic work is being supervised or evaluated, directly or indirectly, by the faculty member. No administrator or staff member shall have a romantic and/or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, with a student who the administrator or staff member supervises, evaluates, advises, or provides other professional advice or services as part of a College program or activity.

Relationships Between Supervisors, Subordinates or Co-Workers

A consenting romantic and/or sexual relationship between a supervisor and subordinate or co-workers may interfere with or impair the performance of professional duties and responsibilities and/or create an appearance of bias or favoritism. Further, such relationships could implicate state ethics laws and/or result in claims of sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation. Therefore, such workplace relationships are strongly discouraged.

g. Identification

Personal identifiable information about parties of sexual violence will be treated as confidential and only shared with persons with a specific need to know and/or who are investigating and/or adjudicating the complaint, delivering resources or support services to the Complainant or as public safety requires. The College does not publish the names or other identifiable information of parties of sexual violence in the campus police department's Daily Crime Log, in any Timely Warnings issued or online. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, an individual may request that no directory information maintained by the College be released absent his/her prior, written consent.


h. Supportive Measures

Title IX requires the College to take non-disciplinary/non-punitive reasonable steps to preserve or restore equal access to its education programs and activities and protect individuals from any Title IX Sexual Harassment or other Prohibited Conduct, including offering supportive measures before the final outcome of an investigation, irrespective of whether the complainant ever chooses to file a Formal Complaint. 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 College's educational environment, or deter all forms of sexual harassment. The College shall take these steps promptly once it has notice of an allegation of Title IX Sexual Harassment, including sexual violence. Examples of interim protective measures include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Counseling;
• Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments (for example: changing class schedule, withdrawal without penalty, providing student services such as tutoring, alternate class completion options);
• Modifications of work schedules or job assignments;
• Campus escort services;
• Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties;
• Changes in work or housing locations (if applicable);
• Leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus; and
• Other similar measures.
The specific supportive measures implemented and the process for implementing those measures will vary depending on the facts of each case. The College will consider a number of factors in determining what supportive measures to take, including, for example, the specific needs expressed by either party; the severity or pervasiveness of the allegations; any continuing effects on either party; whether the parties share the same classes, dining hall schedule, transportation, or job location; and whether other judicial measures have been taken to protect either/both parties (e.g., civil protection orders).

In general, when taking supportive measures, the College shall minimize the burden on either party. The College must maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to either party, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College to provide the supportive measures.

i. Amnesty

Students may be hesitant to report sexual violence out of concern that they, or witnesses, might be charged with violations of the College's drug/alcohol policy and/or the Student Code of Conduct. While the College does not condone such behavior, it places a priority on addressing allegations of sexual violence. Accordingly, the College may elect not to pursue discipline against a student who, in good faith, reports, witnesses or possesses personal knowledge of an incident of sexual violence.

j. Protections for Complainant Regarding Sexual Violence

A person subjected to sexual violence shall:

• Be provided with a copy of the College's Sexual Violence – Complainant's Rights and Information Advisory, which shall include information concerning counseling, health, and mental health services, victim advocacy and support, law enforcement assistance, and other services available on and off campus;

• Have the right to pursue, or not pursue, assistance from campus administration officials or campus law enforcement;

• Not be discouraged by College officials from reporting an incident to both on-campus and off-campus authorities;

• Be provided assistance in contacting local law enforcement if requested and have the full and prompt assistance and cooperation of campus personnel should a civil and/or criminal complaint be pursued;

• Be free from any suggestion that they somehow contributed to or had a shared responsibility in the violent act;

• Receive the same level of support at any proceeding before College officials as is permitted to the accused party, including the presence of an advisor during any disciplinary proceeding and the right to be notified in a timely manner of the outcome of such proceedings and any appeal right available;

• Receive full and prompt cooperation from College personnel in obtaining and securing evidence (including medical evidence) necessary for any potential criminal proceedings;

• Have access to existing College counseling and medical professionals, victim support services, and to obtain referrals to off-campus counseling and support services if desired;

• Be permitted to attend classes, work and participate in College activities free from unwanted contact or proximity to the respondent insofar as the College is permitted and able;

• Be permitted to request changes to an academic schedule if such changes are requested by the alleged victim and are reasonably available; and

• Be informed of any no-contact or no-trespass orders issued to the respondent by the College and the College's commitment to honor any court-issued restraining or protective orders, to the extent permitted by law.


k. Recommended Procedures for a Victim of Sexual Violence
For a person subjected to an act of sexual violence, there can be time-sensitive decisions to make about sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and collecting physical evidence in the event of prosecution. Individuals who have been victims of sexual violence are advised as follows:

• Protect Yourself and Get Medical Attention – A victim should be advised to go to a safe place as soon as possible and seek medical attention immediately. Injuries and exposure to disease may not be immediately apparent. A medical examination can provide necessary treatment and collect important evidence. It is recommended that a physical exam be conducted within 72 hours of the violence. Submitting to a physical exam does not mean that a victim is required to press charges. This action merely preserves the option to do so. Designated College personnel can assist in providing transportation to the hospital.

• Preserve Evidence - It is important to preserve all physical evidence following an act of sexual violence. Physical evidence may be necessary in the event criminal prosecution is pursued. If possible, a victim should be advised not to wash, eat, drink, douche, clean, use the bathroom, or change clothes. If clothes are changed, all clothes that were worn at the time of the incident should not be cleaned and should be placed into an unused or a clean paper bag.

• Health and Support Services - Various health and support services are available on and off campus for students and employees who have experienced sexual violence. For information about such services, including counseling, please contact the Affirmative Action and/or Title IX Coordinator.


l. Rape Crisis Center Contact Information

The following is a list of Rape Crisis Centers in Massachusetts. As the following contact information may be subject to change, current contact information on rape crisis centers in Massachusetts can be found at the Commonwealth's Executive Office of Health and Human Services' Website under "Consumer" information at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/.

Greater Boston Area
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Cambridge, 617-492-7273 Hotline, 617-492-6434 TTY

Northeastern Massachusetts
North Shore Rape Crisis Center, Beverly, 800-922-8772 Hotline, 978-921-8729 TTY
Rape Crisis Services of Greater Lowell, 800-542-5212 Hotline, 978-452-8723 TTY
YWCA of Greater Lawrence, 877-509-9922 SA Hotline, 978-686-8840 TTY

Central Massachusetts
Rape Crisis Center of Central Mass., Worcester, 800-870-5905 Hotline, 508-852-7600 TTY
Rape Crisis Center of Central Mass., Fitchburg, 800-870-5905
Wayside Victim Services, Milford, 800-511-5070 Hotline, 508-478-4205 TTY
Voices Against Violence, Framingham, 800-593-1125 Hotline, 508-626-8686 TTY

Southeastern Massachusetts
A Safe Place, Nantucket, 508-228-2111 Hotline, 508-228-0561 TTY
Independence House, Hyannis, 800-439-6507 Hotline, 508-778-6782 TTY
Women Support Services, Vineyard Haven, 508-696-7233
Greater New Bedford Women Center, New Bedford, 888-839-6636 Hotline, 508-996-1177 TTY
New Hope, Attleboro, 800-323-4673 Hotline/TTY
Stanley Street Women Center, Fall River, 508-675-0087 Hotline, 508-673-3328 TTY
Womansplace Crisis Center, Brockton, 508-588-8255 SA Hotline, 508-894-2869 TTY

Western Massachusetts
Elizabeth Freeman Center, Pittsfield, 413-443-0089 Hotline, 413-499-2425 TTY
Everywoman Center, Amherst, 413-545-0800 Hotline, 888-337-0800 TTY
NELCWIT, Greenfield, 413-772-0806 Hotline/TTY
YWCA, Springfield, 800-796-8711
YWCA of Western Mass, Westfield, 800-479-6245 Hotline/TTY

These Rape Crisis Centers offer FREE services to survivors of sexual violence, including:

• 24/7 hotline counseling, information, and referral;
• Will go with survivors to hospitals and/or police stations 24/7;
• Will go with a survivor to court;
• Provide one-to-one counseling and support group counseling; and
• Provide primary prevention education; professional training; outreach.

 

m. State and Federal Remedies
In addition to the above, if you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you may file a formal complaint with the governmental agencies set forth below. Filing a complaint under this Policy does not prohibit you from filing a complaint with these agencies. Each of the agencies has a short time period for filing a claim (EEOC - 300 days; MCAD - 300 days).

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC")
One Congress Street
10th Floor Boston, MA 02114
(617) 565-3200.

The Office For Civil Rights ("OCR")
U.S. Department of Education
John W. McCormack Post
Office and Courthouse, Room 222
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 223-9662

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination ("MCAD")
Boston Office: 
One Ashburton Place 
Rm. 601 
Boston, MA 02108 
(617) 994-6000

Worcester Office:
Worcester City Hall
484 Main St., Rm. 320
Worcester, MA 01608
(508) 799-8010

Springfield Office:
436 Dwight St., Rm. 220
Springfield, MA 01103
(413) 739-2145

New Bedford Office:
800 Purchase St., Rm. 501
New Bedford, MA 02740
(508) 990-2390

 

Last Modified: 10/21/20