Staff Policy D-602.05
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Champion

Student Sexual Assault

Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) prohibits sexual misconduct, which includes but is not limited to: rape, acquaintance rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence, and domestic violence. Sexually violent acts, termed sexual misconduct by NMC are violations of NMC’s Student Rights & Responsibilities, and can be crimes as well. All reported incidents will be handled according to the procedure outlined in NMC Student Rights and Responsibilities Procedures D-602.01, specifically to Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Resolution Procedure.

  1. Legal and Behavioral Definition of Sexual Assault
    Sexual assault (often known as rape) is forcing or coercing an individual to engage in any non-consensual sexual contact or sexual penetration .It is gender neutral and includes marital, stranger, date, and acquaintance assaults.
  2. Reporting Sexual Assault
    Sexual Assaults can be reported to the Title IX Coordinator or any NMC employee, who will then report the alleged incident to the Title IX Coordinator on behalf of the Complainant.
  3. Right of the Complainant
    1. The Complainant has the right to be apprised of sources for counseling support, including community agencies and campus resources.
    2. The student has the right to be apprised of the NMC Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Resolution Procedure and process for filing a formal complaint with the NMC Title IX Coordinator
    3. The Complainant has the right to make their own choices about reporting to campus or civil authorities and will be made aware that without a formal written complaint an investigation will not occur.
    4. The Complainant has the right to full and prompt cooperation from College personnel in reporting the alleged assault to law enforcement authorities.
    5. The Complainant has the right to pursue all remedies or services without academic or financial penalty by the College. This may include early withdrawal and/or changing course sections.
    6. The Complainant has the right to receive supportive measures during the process of investigating the allegation of an assault.
    7. Both parties will have an advisor of their choice, or one provided by NMC, involved throughout the Live Hearing process.
    8. If both parties are in agreement, an informal resolution process can be enacted.
    9. The Complainant has the right to be informed of the rights and supportive measures accorded to all campus crime victims.
    10. The Complainant has the right to have the same rights of legal representation as the Respondent in College disciplinary proceedings.
    11. The Complainant has the right to request that the College take reasonable action to prevent unnecessary or unwanted contact with the Respondent.
  4. Respondent's Rights
    The Respondent  will have the right to the presumption of innocence.  In the event that the Hearing Officer or other NMC administrative official find the allegations made by the Complainant to be credible the Respondent could face sanctions with all of the rights of due process as outlined in the NMC Policy on Student Rights and Responsibilities Procedures D601.2. If the allegations meet the definition of a Title IX complaint, the Respondent will have the right to a Live Hearing that includes cross examination of all parties and witnesses, as outlined in the NMC Policy on Student Rights and Responsibilities. If both parties are in agreement, an informal resolution process can be enacted.
  5. Faculty and Staff Responsibilities
    Faculty and staff should be aware that well-intentioned efforts to intervene may increase the risk to the victim. Any questions about appropriate actions should be directed to a counselor in Student Life, Student Health Services, the Assistant Director of Campus Safety & Security, or the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services. If College officials are not available or if the student wishes to contact community resources, the following may be contacted directly:
    1. Local law enforcement 911
    2. Women’s Resource Center (24 hour hotline)
    3. Munson Medical Center SANE – Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program for Rape Victims
  6. If the Complainant is under the age of 18 years of age, an official complaint can be submitted by a parent or guardian. That complaint should be made to the Title IX Coordinator.  
    1. Release of Information to the Campus Community
      If College Officials determine there is an imminent threat to the safety of our Campus Community, the NMC Public Relations office will send a broadcast message accordingly.
  7. College Responsibilities
    1. NMC will provide on-campus programs on the nature and prevention of sexual assault.
      1. New students: The College will make information on sexual assault and resources available to all students.
      2. Residence hall students: Residence hall students will be provided the opportunity to attend an orientation on the prevention of sexual assault with emphasis on the prevention of date rape. Residence hall staff will also provide workshops on building and sustaining quality relationships. In some program areas, instructional staff may choose to require the training for a student in their area.
      3. Staff: All NMC faculty and staff from every department will be required to complete periodic trainings on these processes. NMC Human Resources will manage the training requirements. This training may include: providing an effective and caring response, referral, sensitivity to the trauma for the victim, procedures to follow, confidentiality, mandatory reporting, and questions to ask the Complainant.
      4. Files and investigations: The Title IX Coordinator’s office will maintain files of all incidents of reported sexual assault. An investigation will be conducted by the Title IX Investigation Team once the Complainant files a formal written complaint, per the Student Rights and Responsibilities Procedures D-602.1
      5. Reporting: A Complainant can make a report to the Title IX Coordinator or any NMC staff person who will then make the initial report to the Title IX Coordinator on behalf of the Complainant.
      6. Distribution of the policy: This policy will be made available to students, faculty and staff through campus publications such as the employee newsletter (Intercom), catalog, brochures, and multiple NMC webpages. It will also be made available to each person who makes a complaint.
    2. NMC will not:
      1. Stop or discourage the Complainant from reporting the incident.
      2. Stop the Complainant from talking about the incident to others.
      3. Require the Complainant to report the incident if it is against his/her will.
      4. Suggest that the Complainant withhold reporting.
      5. Interfere with law enforcement authorities in obtaining, securing, and maintaining evidence.
  8. Sanctions and Penalties: Please see Student Rights and Responsibilities Section C Student Code of Conduct, e. Sanctions for a list of possible sanctions.
    1. Sanctions shall be administered consistent with NMC guidelines and procedures on student discipline. Exclusion from campus and/or classes and/or other privileges or activities for the purposes of protecting the Campus Community from an imminent threat, could be imposed by the Title IX Coordinator at the time a formal complaint is made. Any Respondent who is found to have violated this policy may be subject to discipline as appropriate.
    2. Appropriate disciplinary action designed to stop the harassment immediately, remedy the effects, and to prevent its recurrence will be taken against any individual who is found in violation of this policy:
      1. Discipline imposed upon students for violation of this policy may include suspension or expulsion, depending on the nature and severity of the offense. Sexual Assault under this policy may also be regarded and punished as a violation of other rules of student conduct prohibiting assault, threats, intimidation, and/or other misconduct.
      2. When appropriate, referral for criminal investigation and prosecution will be made.

Where sexual assault complaints are substantiated, the Complainant will be informed that supportive measures will be taken to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. Both parties will be apprised of the specific counseling or discipline imposed upon individuals found responsible for the sexual assault. The Vice President for Student Services and Technologies, in conjunction with the appropriate faculty and staff, is responsible for the development and publication of any procedures or guidelines that may be necessary to administer this policy effectively.

If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

Initially adopted as D-405.01 December 9, 1996
Revised August 1997
Revised November 12, 2005
Revised and renumbered D-602.05 December 20, 2006
Revised May 8, 2009
Revised February 25, 2014
Revised October 16, 2020