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 investigated and, if necessary, disciplinary sanctions will be imposed.
- Legal and Behavioral Definition of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact resulting from force, threat, or coercion, or when the victim is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless. State of Michigan statutes will be the guide in defining sexual assault and are available in the office of the Coordinator of Campus Security.
- Reporting Sexual Assault
The following campus offices may be contacted to report a sexual assault: Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services; Residence Life Office; Student Life - Counseling ; Student Health Services; local law enforcement 911; Campus Safety & Security. The option of reporting to a supervisor in any discipline or department is also available.
- Student Rights
- The student has the right to be apprised of sources for counseling support, including community agencies and campus resources. Campus contacts: Student Life - Counseling; Student Health Services; Residence Life Office; or Campus Safety & Security.
- The student has the right to be apprised of the opportunities and implications of campus due process. For specific details contact: Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services.
- The student has the right to make his/her own choices about reporting to campus or civil authorities.
- The student has the right to full and prompt cooperation from College personnel in reporting the alleged assault to law enforcement authorities.
- The student 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.
- The student has the right to receive assistance in changing academic and living situations which are reasonably available after an alleged assault.
- The student has the right to have a support person or advisor of their choice involved throughout the process.
- The student has the right to be informed of the rights and remedies accorded to all campus crime victims.
- The student has the right to have the same rights of legal representation (assistance) as the accused in College disciplinary proceedings.
- The student has the right to be made aware of Michigan law regarding mandatory testing of sexual assault suspects for communicable diseases, including notice of the results of the testing.
- The student has the right to request that the College take reasonable action to prevent unnecessary or unwanted contact with an alleged perpetrator. For further explanation of any of these rights contact the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services for a copy of the Students Rights and Responsibilities Policy.
- Alleged Perpetrator’s Rights
The alleged perpetrator will have the right to a fair investigation and review. In the event administrative officials find reasonable cause to believe a student may be the perpetrator, that student may be suspended with all of the rights of due process as outlined in the NMC Policy on Student Rights and Responsibilities.
- 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:
If the victim is under 18 years of age, College staff must report the suspected abuse to the Assistant Director of Campus Safety & Security and Child Protective Services (Department of Human Services). If the victim is over 18 years of age but deemed vulnerable (defined as unable to act on his or her own behalf), College staff must report the suspected abuse to the Coordinator of Campus Safety and Adult Protective Services (Department of Human Services).
- Local law enforcement 911
- Third Level Crisis Center
- Women’s Resource Center (24 hour hotline)
- Munson Medical Center SANE – Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program for Rape Victims
- Release of Information to the Campus Community
Neither the names of the victims nor the alleged perpetrator (nor information which would lead directly to their identities) will be released. If sufficient evidence is found to lead the Assistant Director of Campus Safety & Security and the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services to believe that a sexual assault has been committed, and confidentiality is not violated, the following information as deemed appropriate, will be released in a timely way:
- When and where the alleged incident occurred.
- If an alleged rape was by an acquaintance.
- If alcohol and/or other drugs were allegedly involved.
- If an investigation is under way.
- If action is being taken by the College officials.
- If there are significant developments in the case.
- When there is a disposition of the review.
- College Responsibilities
- NMC will provide on-campus programs on the nature and prevention of sexual assault.
- New students: The College will make information on sexual assault and resources available to all students.
- 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.
- Staff: All NMC faculty and staff will have access to periodically scheduled seminars on sexual assault. Campus Safety & Security Staff and resident assistants will be required to attend. This training may include: providing an effective and caring response, referral, sensitivity to the trauma for the victim, procedures to follow, confidentiality, mandatory reporting, questions to ask the victim, and securing counseling for the victim.
- Files and investigations: The office of the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services will maintain files of all incidents of reported sexual assault. If the victim prefers that said reports be kept confidential, the reports will not contain names of the victim or the information source. An investigation will be conducted by the Assistant Director of Campus Safety & Security if the victim is over the age of 18 and wishes to come forward. An investigation must be conducted for victims under the age of 18.
- Reporting: While the victim may file the anonymous incident report, it may also be filed by a staff member. The victim’s permission is not necessary. It is Residence Hall policy that RH staff must file an anonymous incident report of a sexual assault if the victim takes no other action.
- 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, and student newspaper. It will also be made available to each person who makes a complaint.
- NMC will not:
- Stop the victim from reporting the incident to the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services, Residence Life Office, Student Life – Counseling , Student Health Services, Campus Safety & Security or local law enforcement.
- Request that the assault be reported as a lesser offense to law enforcement.
- Stop the victim from talking about it to others.
- Require the victim to report the incident to the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services, Residence Life Office, Student Life - Counseling, Student Health Services, Campus Safety & Security or the police if it is against his/her will.
- Suggest that the victim withhold reporting because:
- of a suggestion that the victim is responsible for the assault;
- the victim may have been contributorily negligent or assumed the risk for the assault; or
- the College may incur unfavorable publicity if the sexual assault is reported.
- Interfere with law enforcement authorities in obtaining, securing, and maintaining evidence.
- NMC will provide on-campus programs on the nature and prevention of sexual assault.
- Disciplinary Action
- NMC will follow its disciplinary procedures as described in the Student Rights & Responsibilities Policy D-602.01. The victim and the alleged perpetrator shall be notified in writing of the reasons for any decision and of the disciplinary sanctions to be imposed.
- Sanctions: A sanction is an action taken when the student code of conduct has been violated. One or more of the sanctions listed below may be applied:
- Warning: Notice, orally or in writing, that continuation or repetition of conduct found wrongful may be cause for more severe disciplinary action.
- Censure: A written reprimand, including the possibility of more severe disciplinary sanctions in the event of a subsequent violation of a College regulation within a stated period of time.
- Probation: Exclusion from participation in privileges or extra-curricular College activities for a period not exceeding one academic year from date of offense or infraction.
- Restitution: Reimbursement for defacement, damage to, or misappropriation of property, or personal injury expenses.
- Community service: The individual performs an appropriate amount of public service that is both beneficial to the community and likely to assist the individual in understanding the harm caused by his or her conduct.
- Attendance: The individual enrolls in and completes a class that helps the person understand the harm caused by his or her conduct. May be required for alcohol, substance abuse or psychological assessments.
- Restricted student status: The individual will be allowed to go to and from classes only and will not be allowed to participate freely in any other campus activity. Campus security services may be required as deemed appropriate. Restricted student status may remain in effect until completion of the Judicial Process.
- Disciplinary suspension: Exclusion from classes and other privileges or activities as set forth in the notice for a definite period of time. A disciplinary suspension will be held in abeyance during an appeal.
- Emergency suspension: Exclusion from campus and/or classes and/or other privileges or activities for the purposes of investigation, and/or relieving the tension of the student body or class due to a serious infraction of the all-campus rules; or removing a threat to the well-being of the students, or removing for the good of the order of the College a student or students whose presence would prevent the continued normal conduct of the academic community.
Emergency suspension may be imposed immediately by the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services or by his/her designee. Emergency suspension will continue for its duration or until the case at hand has been reviewed by the College Review Board. If the Emergency suspension is continued for more than three business days, the student shall have the right to a College Review Board review within seven business days of the emergency suspension or when the accused is prepared. Students who are suspended for disciplinary reasons will receive a grade of W for all classes in which he/she is enrolled. If the suspension is overturned and the student does not wish to finish the semester, tuition and fees paid for that semester may be applied toward future enrollments.
- Expulsion: Termination of the student status. Re-admission may not be sought before the expiration of one academic year from the date of expulsion.
- Permanent Expulsion: Permanent expulsion is for the most severe cases, with no rights for future re-admission considered.
The Vice President for Educational Services and the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services, 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 provisions(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 provisions(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