Senate Proposal: No
Responsible University Officer: President
Responsible Office: Institutional Equity
1: Policy Statement
Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) is committed to creating and maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from unlawful discrimination based on sex in accordance with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities; Title VII of the Civil Rights act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits sex discrimination in employment; and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, Clery Act, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Sexual Harassment and Retaliation under this Policy will not be tolerated by Michigan Tech and is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including, permanent dismissal from Michigan Tech and/or termination of employment.
Michigan Technological University does not discriminate in its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities on the basis of sex and gender. Michigan Tech also prohibits retaliation against any person opposing discrimination or participating in any discrimination investigation or complaint process internally or externally. Reports of misconduct, questions regarding Title IX, and concerns about noncompliance should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator. For a complete copy of the policy or more information, please contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Assistant Secretary of Education within the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). https://www.mtu.edu/title-ix/
Michigan Tech takes all reported sexual misconduct and harassment seriously. Michigan Tech will promptly discipline any individuals within its control who are found responsible for violating this Policy. Additionally, reported sexual misconduct, harassment, and retaliation that does not meet the definitions and jurisdiction of this policy will be referred for review under the Student Code of Community Conduct and Board of Trustees Policy 5.3 in compliance with VAWA and Clery Act.
This Policy applies to students and employees as follows:
To Students: Where the Respondent is a student at Michigan Tech at the time of the alleged conduct, the alleged conduct includes Sexual Harassment under this Policy, the alleged conduct occurs in Michigan Tech's Education Program and Activity, the alleged conduct occurs against a person in the United States, and the Complainant is participating in or attempting to participate in Michigan Tech's Education Program or Activity.
To Employees: Where the Respondent is an employee at Michigan Tech at the time of the alleged conduct, where the alleged conduct includes Sexual Harassment under this Policy, the alleged conduct occurs in Michigan Tech's Education Program and Activity, the alleged conduct occurs against a person in the United States, and the Complainant is participating in or attempting to participate in Michigan Tech's Education Program or Activity.
Title IX Coordinator and Key Title IX Officials: The Title IX Coordinator is the Michigan Tech administrator who oversees Michigan Tech's compliance with Title IX. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for administrative response to reports and Formal Complaints of Sexual Harassment. The Title IX Coordinator is available to discuss the grievance process, coordinate supportive measures, explain Michigan Tech policies and procedures, and provide education on relevant issues. The Title IX Coordinator may designate one or more Deputy Title IX Coordinators to facilitate these responsibilities.
Any member of the Michigan Tech community may contact the Title IX Coordinator with questions. Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinator contact information is as follows:
Kirsti Arko, PhD
Title IX Coordinator
Assistant Director, Institutional Equity
Administration Building, Room 307
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Executive Director, Institutional Equity
Administration Building, Room 308
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Assistant Director, Institutional Equity
Administration Building, Room 304
In addition to the Title IX Coordinator, Michigan Tech appoints investigators (see section 2, definitions), decision makers (see section 2, definitions), and informal resolution facilitators (see section 8, informal resolution process) who have roles in the formal grievance process.
The Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decisionmaker(s), and informal resolution facilitators will receive annual training in compliance with Title IX. All administrators in these roles will not rely on sex and gender stereotypes and will provide impartial investigations and adjudications of Formal Complaints of Sexual Harassment. All materials used to train these administrators will be publicly made available on Michigan Tech's website in accordance with Title IX requirements.
The Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and informal resolution facilitators shall not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent.
Michigan Tech will use University electronic mail (email) for purposes of communication and notification under this Policy.
Freedom of speech and principles of academic freedom are central to the mission of institutions of higher education. Constitutionally protected expression cannot be considered Sexual Harassment under this Policy.
Dissemination of Policy
This Policy will be made available to all Michigan Tech administrators, faculty, staff, and students both online and in Michigan Tech student catalog(s) and any employee handbook of operating procedures.
Modification and Review of Policy
Michigan Tech reserves the right to modify this policy to take into account applicable legal requirements. Michigan Tech will regularly review this policy to determine whether modifications should be made.
Retaliation and False Statements Prohibited
Neither Michigan Tech nor any other person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or this Policy 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 this Policy.
Alleged violations of Retaliation will be referred to the Office of Academic and Community Conduct for students and Human Resources for employees.
The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation prohibited under this Policy.
Charging an individual with a Student Code of Community Conduct violation or Employee Discipline/Discharge provision for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this policy does not constitute retaliation prohibited under this policy, but it may be considered false reporting. However, a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement in bad faith.
Reporting Sexual Harassment is encouraged at Michigan Tech. Thus, it is imperative that individuals share information when participating in an investigation without fear of potential consequences for minor policy violations including, but not limited to, underage consumption of alcohol or the use of illicit drugs. Michigan Tech offers parties and witnesses amnesty from such minor violations but may include educational opportunities for individuals in lieu of a finding of responsibility or punitive sanctions.
Related Policy Information
This Policy takes precedence over other University policies and procedures concerning Sexual Harassment under Title IX in the event of a conflict.
- Student Code of Community Conduct
- Board of Trustees Bylaw and Policy 5.4 Discrimination Based on Sex
- General University Policy 1.03 - Consensual Relations
Alleged violations of the Student Code of Community Conduct and/or the Board of Trustees Policy 5.3 that arise from the same events as alleged sexual misconduct under this Policy will be investigated and resolved under the grievance process in this Policy unless the Sexual Harassment has been dismissed (see grievance process).
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 Statement
Michigan Tech is committed to the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities and to the continuous improvement of the accessibility of our campus, programs and activities.
A student requesting any accommodations related to filing a report and/or participating in the grievance process should contact Disability Services as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made. For more information go to: www.mtu.edu/success/disability
An employee requesting any accommodations related to filing a report and/or participating in the grievance process should contact Institutional Equity as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made. From more information go to: https://www.mtu.edu/equity/access-disability/
A non-university witness requesting any accommodations related to their participation in the grievance process should contact Institutional Equity as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made. From more information go to: https://www.mtu.edu/equity/access-disability/
|Office/Unit Name||Telephone Number|
|Title IX Coordinator||487-3310|
|Public Safety and Police Services||487-2216|
Definitions of Prohibited Conduct Under this Policy
Sexual Harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
- An employee of the recipient conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the recipient on an individual's participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
- Unwelcome conduct determined by a Reasonable Person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient's education program or activity1; or
- Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence or Stalking as defined in this Policy.
Sexual Assault2 means an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including Rape, Fondling, Incest, and Statutory Rape as defined in this Policy.
Rape3 means 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.
Fondling4 means 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
Incest5 means sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
Statutory Rape6 means sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
Dating Violence7 means violence committed by a person—who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
- The length of the relationship,
- The type of relationship,
- The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
Domestic Violence8 includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by:
- a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim,
- a person with whom the victim shares a child in common,
- a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner,
- a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Michigan, or
- 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 Michigan.
Stalking9 means engaging in a Course of Conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a Reasonable Person to—
- fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or
- suffer Substantial Emotional Distress.
Definitions Related to Sexual Harassment: Consent, Course of Conduct, Incapacitation, Reasonable Person, Substantive Emotional Distress
Consent is the affirmative, conscious, and voluntary expression to engage in sexual activity through clear words or actions. Consent is ongoing and can be revoked by words or actions at any point during the interaction. When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.
It is the responsibility of each person to ensure they have consent from the other to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest, lack of resistance, or silence do not, alone, constitute consent.
The existence of a dating relationship or past sexual relations between the Complainant and Respondent will never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent (nor will subsequent sexual relations or dating relationship alone suffice as evidence of consent to prior conduct).
The Respondent's belief that the Complainant consented will not provide a valid defense unless the belief was actual and reasonable. In making this determination, the decision maker(s) will consider all of the facts and circumstances the Respondent knew, or by a reasonable person standard, should have known at the time.
In particular, the Respondent's belief is not a valid defense where:
- The Respondent's belief arose from the Respondent's own intoxication or recklessness;
- The Respondent did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the Respondent at the time, to ascertain whether the Complainant affirmatively Consented; or
- The Respondent knew, or by a reasonable person standard should have known at the time,
that the Complainant was unable to knowingly and willingly consent because the Complainant
was incapacitated, in that the Complainant was:
- asleep or unconscious,
- involuntarily restrained,
- unable to understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, and/or
- unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition
Course of Conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the individual 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.
Incapacitation means that a person lacks the ability to actively agree to sexual activity because the person is asleep, unconscious, under the influence of alcohol or other drugs such that the person does not have control over their body, is unaware that sexual activity is occurring, or their mental, physical or developmental abilities render them incapable of making rational informed decisions. Incapacitated is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. A person is not necessarily incapacitated merely as a result of drinking, using drugs, or taking medication.
A person violates this policy when they engage in sexual activity with another person who is incapacitated and a reasonable person in the same situation would have known that the person is incapacitated. Incapacitation can be voluntary or involuntary. Signs of incapacitation may include, without limitation: sleep; total or intermittent unconsciousness; lack of control over physical movements (e.g., inability to dress/undress without assistance; inability to walk without assistance); lack of awareness of circumstances or surroundings; emotional volatility; combativeness; vomiting; incontinence; unresponsiveness; and inability to communicate coherently. Incapacitation is an individualized determination based on the totality of the circumstances.
Reasonable Person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances 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.
Other Defined Terms
Advisor is an individual who supports a Complainant or Respondent through a Title IX process. Parties may have an advisor that may serve in a limited role during the investigation of a Formal Complaint. During the investigation phase of the grievance process, advisors may review the investigation report and attend meetings with their party. Advisors must be provided to parties in a live hearing that adjudicates an allegation of sexual harassment. In the hearing, advisors are responsible for asking questions of other parties or witnesses. In addition to participating in the hearing, the advisor may meet with their complainant or respondent and review the investigative report and any information or evidence gathered to prepare relevant questions for the hearing. Parties may choose their own advisor, which can be a trained Michigan Tech Title IX Advisor or an advisor of their choice not affiliated with Michigan Tech, including but not required to be an attorney.
Business Day means any weekday not designated by Michigan Tech as a holiday or administrative closure day. When calculating a time period of business days specified in this policy, the business day of the event that triggers a time period is excluded.
Complainant means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. Complainants and respondents are referred to collectively as "parties" throughout this policy.
Confidential Employee means an individual who will not report any information about an incident to the Title IX Coordinator without the complainant's permission. Counselors in the Center for Student Mental Health and Well-Being, Director of Student-Athlete Wellness and Clinical Counselor, Michigan Tech Ombuds, and Michigan Tech Employees Assistance Program (EAP) counselors are confidential employees.
Decision Maker(s) are responsible for conducting the live Title IX hearing to adjudicate allegations of sexual harassment against students, faculty, or staff and/or reviewing appeals of the hearing or dismissal of a formal complaint. During live hearings, the decision maker(s) is responsible for ensuring that it is conducted in an orderly manner, controls the conduct of all participants and attendees of the hearing, determines relevance of cross-examination questions, and renders a written determination regarding the responsibility of the respondent's alleged conduct charges in an impartial, neutral, and objective manner. During the hearing, this responsibility may fall to one individual or a panel of individuals. Title IX decision makers must be trained in Title IX regulations and require annual training. Michigan Tech may use an outside independent contractor as a decision maker.
Disciplinary Sanctions are imposed only after a finding of responsibility through the grievance process or an agreement through the informal resolution process.
Education Program or Activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which Michigan Tech exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs. This includes conduct that occurs on Michigan Tech property, during any Michigan Tech activity, or in any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by Michigan Tech.
Formal Complaint means a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that Michigan Tech investigate the allegation of sexual harassment.
Official with Authority means an individual who has the authority to institute corrective measures and is required to report Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Coordinator. Officials with Authority include: Beth Lunde-Stockero, Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Susan Sullivan, Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Laura Putwen, Assistant Director of the Office of Academic and Community Conduct, Renee Hiller, Director of Human Resources.
Remedies are designed to restore or preserve equal access to Michigan Tech's Education Program or Activity. Remedies may include, but are not limited to, the same individualized services as supportive measures; however, remedies need not be nondisciplinary or non-punitive and need not avoid burdening the respondent.
Respondent means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. Complainants and respondents are referred to collectively as "parties" throughout this Policy.
Retaliation Engaging in any adverse action, directly or indirectly, including through someone else, that is intended to coerce, harass, intimidate, threaten, harm, or improperly influence any person because they:
- make, or intend to make, a report, complaint, grievance, or allegation of prohibited conduct under any University policy or rule, or under any law;
- participate in or cooperate with any University proceedings such as, but not limited to, a conduct or grievance proceeding; or
- appear as a witness.
Supportive Measures means 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 the filing of a Formal Complaint or where no Formal Complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to Michigan Tech's Education Programs or Activities without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or Michigan Tech's educational environment, or deter sexual harassment. Supportive measures may include, but are not limited to, 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.
Title IX Investigator Formal complaints of sexual harassment under Title IX must be properly investigated. Investigators are neutral and impartial fact-finders who gather evidence regarding an allegation against students, faculty, or staff. It is the investigators responsibility to adhere to prescribed timelines. The investigators are responsible for completing an investigative report at the conclusion of the investigation that fairly summarizes all relevant evidence and information gathered during the investigation. Title IX investigators are required to be trained annually under the regulations.
- 1: A severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive assessment includes, but is not limited to, a consideration of the frequency of the offensive conduct, the nature of the unwelcome sexual acts or words, such as whether the harassment was physical, verbal or both; whether the harassment was merely an offensive utterance; and the number of victims involved and the relationship between the parties including, but not limited to, the ages of the harasser and the victim. In evaluating whether conduct is severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, Michigan Tech will look at the totality of the circumstances, expectations and relationships.
- 2: See Appendix B
- Rape as defined in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) includes:
- Forcible Rape: The carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against that person's will or not forcibly or against the person's will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Forcible Sodomy: Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will or not forcibly or against the person's will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Sexual Assault with and Object: —To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will or not forcibly or against the person's will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- 4: Fondling is referred to as Forcible Fondling in the UC
- 5: Incest is a Nonforcible Offense in the UCR. See Appendix B
- 6: Statutory Rape is a Nonforcible Offense in the UCR. See Appendix B
- 7: See Appendix B
- 8: See Appendix B
- 9: See Appendix B
3: Reporting Sexual Harassment and Preservation of Evidence
Reporting to Michigan Tech
Reporting to Title IX Coordinator: Reports of Sexual Harassment may be made to the Title IX Coordinator in any of the following ways, by anyone, at any time: email, phone, online form, or mail. Reports may be made to the Title IX Coordinator in person at the Title IX Office, Administration Building, Room 307, during normal business hours. After Title IX Sexual Harassment has been reported to the Title IX Coordinator, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly offer supportive measures to the complainant, regardless of whether the complainant was the reporter of the Sexual Harassment.
Reporting to Officials with Authority: The following positions are Officials with Authority: Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators, Director of Human Resources, Assistant Director of the Office of Academic and Community Conduct. If Officials with Authority are notified of Sexual Harassment, they will promptly report such Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Coordinator.
Reporting to Confidential Employees: Counselors of the Center for Student Mental Health and Well-Being, Director of Student-Athlete Wellness and Clinical Counselor, Michigan Tech Ombuds, and Michigan Tech Employees Assistance Program (EAP) counselors are confidential employees. Reports made to confidential employees are considered confidential reports and will not be reported to the Title IX Coordinator without the complainant's permission and will not constitute actual notice to Michigan Tech.
Notification to All Other Michigan Tech Employees10: All Michigan Tech employees, including faculty and staff, are strongly encouraged to report allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking to the Title IX Coordinator(s) to maximize the institution's ability to investigate and potentially address and eliminate the misconduct.
Anonymous Reporting: Anonymous reports may be made by telephone or online to Michigan Tech's Public Safety and Police Services Tip Line https://www.mtu.edu/tips/, or electronically to the Title IX Coordinator https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?MichiganTech&layout_id=15. A decision to remain anonymous, however, may greatly limit Michigan Tech's ability to stop the alleged conduct, collect evidence, or take action against parties accused of violating this Policy.
Reporting to Law Enforcement
Reports may be filed with Michigan Tech Public Safety and Police Services and local law enforcement agencies. The Title IX Coordinator can assist with contacting law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement investigations are separate and distinct from Michigan Tech Title IX investigations.
Michigan Tech Department of Public Safety and Police Services
206 MacInnes Drive, Houghton, MI 49931
906-487-2216 or 911
Houghton City Police Department
616 Shelden Ave, Unit 101, Houghton, MI 49931
906-482-2121 or 911
Houghton County Sheriff
403East Houghton Avenue, Houghton, MI 49931
906-482-0055 or 911
Reporting to Outside Agencies
Students and employees may report to external agencies.
Reporting to Outside Agencies for Students:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
1350 Euclid Avenue, Suite 325
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
47420 State Hwy M26, Suite 62
Houghton, MI 49931
Reporting to Outside Agencies for Employees:
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Patrick V. McNamara Building
477 Michigan Avenue, Room 865
Detroit, Michigan 48226
Michigan Department of Civil Rights
Capitol Tower Building
110 West Michigan Avenue, Suite 800
Lansing, MI 48933
To file a complaint call: 899-482-3604
Outside Agency Confidential Support and Resources:
Dial Help, Inc.
Call: 800-562-7622 or Text: 906-356-3337
Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter
Michigan Tech Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
For additional information regarding benefit, visit:
Michigan Sexual Assault Hotline
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services
Domestic Violence Helpline, 888-799-7233
Sexual Assault Helpline, 800-656-4673
Time Limits on Reporting
There are no time limits on reporting Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Coordinator or Michigan Tech. If the respondent is no longer subject to Michigan Tech's Education Program or Activity or significant time has passed, Michigan Tech will have limited ability to investigate, respond and/or provide disciplinary remedies and sanctions.
Michigan Tech Federal Reporting Obligations
Certain Michigan Tech employees, called Campus Security Authorities, have a duty to report certain incidents of misconduct to comply with the Clery Act. Campus Security Authorities are not required to report personally identifiable information for Clery Act purposes, but statistical information must be sent regarding the type of incident that occurred and its general location (e.g., on or off-campus) for publication in an annual report of crime statistics, called the Annual Security Report. Statistics published in the Annual Security Report help to provide the campus community with a clearer picture of the extent and nature of campus crime, but the statistics do not personally identify complainants or respondents. Reports by Campus Security Authorities are not official police reports and do not initiate criminal investigations. When Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and/or Stalking are reported under the Clery Act, Michigan Tech must issue timely warnings for such incidents that pose a serious or continuing threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. Michigan Tech will not disclose a complainant's name and other identifying information in a timely warning but will provide sufficient information for Michigan Tech community members to make informed safety decisions in response to potential danger.
Preservation of Evidence
Michigan Tech recognizes that a complainant may need time to decide whether to report an incident of Sexual Harassment to the police and/or Michigan Tech. The purpose of this section is to provide complainants with suggestions on preserving evidence while they decide whether to report an incident. Michigan Tech encourages complainants, as soon as possible after experiencing Sexual Assault to take steps to preserve evidence such as:
- Have a forensic sexual assault nurse examination performed as soon as possible after the incident, but no later than 72-96 hours after the incident.
- When possible, prior to having a forensic sexual assault nurse examination performed, avoid: changing clothing, bathing, showering, using a douche, using the bathroom, brushing one's teeth, drinking liquids, washing one's hands or face, or combing one's hair;
- Preserve any clothing, sheets, or other materials (items containing bodily fluids should be stored in cardboard boxes or paper bags);
- Preserve or capture electronic communications such as text messages, e-mails, social media posts or exchanges (e.g., Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter);
- Preserve or capture video, audio (e.g., voice mail messages), or photographs, including those stored on smartphones or other devices; and
- Preserve any other physical, documentary, and/or electronic data that might be helpful to an investigator.
- 10: See Appendix A for more information on employee reporting requirements.
4: Initial Response to Reported Sexual Harassment
Upon receipt of a report of Sexual Harassment, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly contact the complainant, regardless of whether the complainant was the individual who initiated the report. During the initial contact with the complainant, the Title IX Coordinator will:
- Provide the complainant with notice of their rights and options.
- Explain the process for filing a Formal Complaint;
- Explain the Grievance Process;
- Discuss the availability of supportive measures regardless of whether a Formal Complaint is filed;
- Consider the complainant's wishes with respect to supportive measures.
5: Formal Complaint
Michigan Tech will investigate all allegations of Sexual Harassment in a Formal Complaint.
Filing a Formal Complaint
A Formal Complaint must:
- Contain an allegation of Sexual Harassment against a respondent;
- Request that Michigan Tech investigate the allegation; and
- Be signed by the Complainant or Title IX Coordinator. To file a formal complaint:
https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?MichiganTech&layout_id=28 In limited circumstances, if a complainant does not sign a Formal Complaint, the
Title IX Coordinator may sign a Formal Complaint. In determining whether to sign a
Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will consider factors that include but
are not limited to:
- Whether there have been other reports of Sexual Harassment or other relevant misconduct concerning the same Respondent whether or not the incidents occurred while the Respondent was an Michigan Tech student or employee;
- Whether the Respondent threatened further Sexual Harassment or other misconduct against the complainant or others;
- Whether the alleged Sexual Harassment was committed by multiple perpetrators;
- The nature and scope of the alleged Sexual Harassment including whether the Sexual Harassment was perpetrated with a weapon;
- The ages and roles of the complainant and the respondent;
- Whether Michigan Tech can pursue the investigation without the participation of the complainant (e.g., whether there are other available means to obtain relevant evidence of the alleged Sexual Harassment such as security cameras or physical evidence);
- Whether the report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., perpetration involving illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.
Dismissal of a Formal Complaint
The Title IX Coordinator will dismiss a Formal Complaint for purposes of Sexual Harassment if:
- The conduct alleged in the Formal Complaint would not constitute Sexual Harassment as defined in this Policy even if proved;
- The conduct alleged did not occur in Michigan Tech's Education Program or Activity; or
- The Conduct alleged in the Formal Complaint did not occur against a person in the United States. Dismissal of a Formal Complaint does not preclude action under other provisions of the Michigan Tech's policies and procedures. If a Formal Complaint is dismissed under Title IX, the matter will be reviewed to determine whether the matter will be pursued under Michigan Tech's Student Code of Community Conduct, Board of Trustees Policy 5.3 or other Michigan Tech Policies.
The Title IX Coordinator may dismiss a Formal Complaint or any allegations within the Formal Complaint, if at any time during the investigation or hearing:
- A Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the Formal Complaint or any allegations within the Formal Complaint,
- The Respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by Michigan Tech, or
- Specific circumstances prevent Michigan Tech from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the Formal Complaint or allegations within the Formal Complaint.
Appeal of Dismissal
Either party may appeal the dismissal of a Formal Complaint or any allegations therein. See Bases and Process for Appeal.
Consolidation of Formal Complaints
The Title IX Coordinator may consolidate Formal Complaints as to allegations of Sexual Harassment against more than one Respondent or by more than one Complainant against one or more Respondents where the allegations arise out of the same facts or circumstances.
6: Grievance Process
The grievance process within this Policy is designed to treat complainants and respondents equitably. Remedies are provided to a complainant where a determination of responsibility for Sexual Harassment has been made against the respondent and Disciplinary Sanctions are not imposed against a respondent prior to the completion of the grievance process.
General Grievance Process Information
Burden of Proof and Burden of Gathering Evidence: All investigations and proceedings, including hearings, relating to Sexual Harassment will be conducted using a "preponderance of the evidence" (more likely than not) standard. The burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility rest on Michigan Tech, not the parties.
Presumption of Not Responsible: The respondent is presumed to be not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the end of the grievance process.
Time Frames for Grievance Process: Michigan Tech strives to complete the grievance process within one hundred and twenty (120) business days. Temporary delays and/or extensions of the time frames within this policy may occur for good cause. Written notice will be provided to the parties of the delay and/or extension of the time frames with explanation of the reasons for such action. Examples of good cause for delay/extensions include but are not limited to considerations such as the absence of a party, a party's advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities.
Medical Records: Michigan Tech will not access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use party's records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the professional's or paraprofessional's capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which ar made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party, unless Michigan Tech obtains that party's voluntary, written permission to do so for the grievance process within the Policy.
Privileged Information: Michigan Tech will not require, allow, rely upon, or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege, unless the person holding the privilege has waived the privilege.
Range of Disciplinary Sanctions and Remedies
- Student Sanctions: Written Warning, Probation, Suspension, Expulsion
- Student Remedies Student remedies may include but are not limited to: education training, change in living location, limited campus access, no contact order, counseling, well-being assessment, loss of privileges, community service.
- Employee Sanctions Sanctions may include but are not limited to: informal warning, progressive formal discipline, suspension and/or termination. The decision maker may consult with Michigan Tech Human Resources.
- Employee Remedies Employee remedies may include but are not limited to: education training, change in supervisor, change in shift and/or job duties, relocation of office, counseling, well-being assessments, no-contact order.
Notice of Meetings, Interviews, and Hearings: Parties and witnesses will be provided notice of any meeting, interview, and/or hearing with sufficient time to prepare to participate. This notice will include the date, time, location, participants and purposes of the meeting, interview and/or hearing.
Notice of Allegations: Upon receipt of a Formal Complaint, the investigator will provide Notice of Allegations to the parties who are known.
The Notice of Allegations will include:
- Notice of the party's rights and options;
- Notice of Michigan Tech's grievance process;
- Notice of Michigan Tech's informal resolution process and options;
- Notice of the allegations of Sexual Harassment including:
- the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known,
- the conduct allegedly constituting Sexual Harassment, and
- the date and location of the incident, if known;
- Notice that the Respondent is presumed not responsible of the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process;
- Notice that the parties may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be an attorney, and that the advisor may inspect and review evidence as explained in section 6 of this policy;
- Notice of the Michigan Tech Student Code of Community Conduct and the Employee Discipline/Discharge provision that prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.
The Notice of Allegations will be updated and written notice provided to the parties if at any time during the investigation, Michigan Tech decides to investigate allegations about the complainant or respondent that are not included in the initial Notice of Allegations.
Investigation of Formal Complaint
Michigan Tech will conduct an investigation following a Formal Complaint and Notice of Allegations. During all meetings and interviews the parties may be accompanied by an advisor of their choice, which can be, but is not required to be an attorney. During the investigation stage of the grievance process, the advisor's role is limited to assisting, advising, and/ or supporting a complainant or respondent. An advisor is not permitted to speak for or on behalf of a complainant or respondent or appear in lieu of a complainant or respondent during the investigation phase of the grievance process.
Opportunity to Provide Information and Present Witnesses: Each party will be provided an equal opportunity to provide information to the investigator and present witnesses for the investigator to interview. The information provided by the parties can include inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. The witnesses can include both fact witnesses and expert witnesses.
Opportunity to Inspect and Review Evidence: Each party will be provided an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the Formal Complaint, including evidence upon which Michigan Tech does not intend to rely upon in reaching a determination regarding responsibility. This review includes inculpatory and exculpatory evidence that is obtained by a party, witness, or other source. Each party and their advisor (if any) will be provided an electronic copy of the evidence for inspection and review. The parties will have ten (10) business days to review and submit a written response to the investigator. The investigator will consider the written responses prior to completing an investigative report. All evidence provided during the inspection and review phase will be available at any hearing for the parties to use during the hearing, including for purposes of cross examination.
Investigative Report: Following the opportunity to inspect and review evidence directly related to the allegations raised in the Formal Complaint, the investigator will create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence obtained during the investigation.
Review of the Investigative Report: At least ten (10) Business Days prior to a hearing, the investigator will provide each party and the party's advisor (if any) an electronic copy of the investigative report for their review and written response.
Investigation Timeframe: The investigation of a Formal Complaint will be concluded within 90 Business Days of the filing of a Formal Complaint. The parties will be provided updates on the progress of the investigation, as needed.
After the investigation, Michigan Tech will provide for a live hearing for all Formal Complaints of Sexual Harassment that have not been dismissed per Section 5 or resolved by informal resolution under Section 8. At the request of either party, or at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, Michigan Tech will provide for the live hearing to occur with the parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the decisionmaker(s) and parties to simultaneously see and hear the other party or witness answering questions.
Information at the Hearing: The following information/evidence will be available in electronic form at the hearing:
- Evidence from the investigation, including the evidence directly related to the allegations that was reviewed by the parties, regardless of whether it was incorporated into the report.
- The investigation report and any attachments/appendices.
Decision-maker(s): The decision-maker(s) will be appointed by Michigan Tech and will not be the Title IX Coordinator or investigator. The decision-maker(s) will be trained, impartial, and without a conflict of interest. The decision-maker(s) will be a Michigan Tech employee or external individual designated by Michigan Tech.
Challenge to the decision maker(s): Either party may challenge the appointment of a decision-maker(s), based on conflict of interest or bias, in writing to the Title IX Coordinator, no less than five (5) Business Days prior to the scheduled hearing.
Advisor's Role at the Hearing: Each party must have an advisor present at the hearing. The advisor's role is limited to supporting, advising, and assisting the party during the hearing and conducting questioning (cross-examination) of participants. Advisors are required to follow rules of decorum enforced by the decision-maker(s). Failure to follow the rules of decorum by an advisor may result in removal of an advisor from the hearing. If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, Michigan Tech will appoint the party with an advisor without fee or charge.
Recording of the Hearing: Michigan Tech will create an audio or audiovisual recording of all live hearings and make the recording available to the parties for inspection or review upon request.
Hearing Process Facilitator: Michigan Tech may designate a hearing process facilitator to coordinate the hearing, including, but not limited to, coordination and scheduling of the hearing; the logistics of physical or virtual rooms for parties and/or witnesses, including separation of the parties; ensuring all technology is working appropriately; ensuring the parties have access to electronic documents during the hearing; distributing materials; etc. The facilitator may also be the Title IX Coordinator. The facilitator may invite the parties and their advisors, separately, to a meeting prior to the hearing to review the hearing process for the purpose of ensuring a smooth hearing. This meeting is separate from the pre-hearing conference discussed below.
Pre-Hearing Matters: In order to streamline the hearing process, the decision-maker(s) may request the submission of questions prior to the hearing through electronic submission and/or a pre-hearing conference.
- Pre-Hearing Submission of Questions: The decision-maker(s) may request the parties to submit questions, in writing prior to the hearing. This submission does not preclude the Advisor from asking additional questions live during the hearing. The decision-maker(s) may allow for the pre-hearing submission of questions regardless of whether a prehearing conference occurs.
- Pre-Hearing Conference: The decision-maker(s) may hold a pre-hearing conference. During the pre-hearing conference, parties and their Advisors will be asked to submit, in writing, any questions they wish to ask during the live hearing so that the decisionmaker(s) can be prepared to respond to relevancy at the hearing. This conference does not preclude the Advisor from asking additional questions live during the hearing. At the pre-hearing conference, the decision-maker(s) may also hear arguments regarding the relevance of the evidence identified in the investigation report as relevant or not relevant, and/or directly related to the allegations.
Participants in the Hearing: Participants at the hearing include the decision-maker(s), the investigator(s) who conducted the investigations, the parties, advisors to the parties, witnesses and anyone providing authorized accommodations. In addition, Michigan Tech may have a hearing facilitator present. Any witnesses scheduled to participate in the hearing must have been first interviewed by the investigator(s) or have provided a written statement or answered questions from the investigator in writing.
Hearing Process and Phases: The live hearing will include the following phases:
- Notice of Hearing: After the investigative report has been completed and at least ten (10) business days prior to the date set for the hearing, the parties and their Advisors (if any) will be provided with a Notice of the Hearing. The Notice will include the date, time, location, name of the decision-maker(s), names of all participants in the hearing, and the location (virtual or in person) of the hearing.
- Opening Statements: Each party will have the opportunity to present an opening statement to the decision-maker(s).
- Questioning of Hearing Participants (Parties and Witnesses):
- By the Decision-maker(s): The decision-maker(s) will ask initial questions of the participants at the hearing.
- By the Advisors: After the decision-maker(s) asks questions of a participant, each party's advisor
will be permitted to ask relevant questions and follow up questions orally, directly,
and in real time of the participant. The parties are never permitted to ask questions
of participants directly. The questioning of participants by advisors will be conducted
in the following manner:
- A question is asked by an advisor.
- Before participant answers the questions, the decision-maker(s) determines whether the question is relevant.
- If the question is determined relevant by the decision-maker(s), the participant answers the question. If the question is determined not to be relevant by the decision-maker(s), the decision-maker(s) must explain the decision to exclude a question as not relevant.
- Evidence and Questions Excluded:
- Sexual Predisposition or Prior Sexual Behavior of the Complainant: Questions and evidence about the complainant's sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence about the complainant's prior sexual behavior 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 with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent.
- Privileged Information: No person will be required to disclose information protected under a legally recognized privilege. The decision-maker(s) must not allow into evidence or rely upon any questions or evidence that may require or seek disclosure of such information, unless the person holding the privilege has waived the privilege. This includes information protected by the attorney-client privilege.
- Medical Records: Evidence or records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the professional's or paraprofessional's capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which are made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party, are not permitted to be used during a hearing unless the party provides voluntary, written permission to do so for the grievance process within this Policy.
- Party or Witness Does Not Submit to Cross-examination: If a party or witness declines to submit to cross-examination by an advisor at the live hearing, the decisionmaker(s) will not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility. The decision-maker(s), however, will not draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a party's or witness's absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.
- Closing Statements: Each party will have the opportunity to present a closing statement to the decision-maker(s).
Determination Regarding Responsibility: After the live hearing, the decision-maker(s) will issue a written determination regarding responsibility using the preponderance of the evidence standard. The decision-maker(s) will provide the complainant and the respondent with the written determination simultaneously. The determination regarding responsibility becomes final either on the date that Michigan Tech provides the parties with the written determination of the result of the appeal, if an appeal is filed, or, if an appeal is not filed, the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely. The written notice will include:
- Identification of the allegations potentially constituting Sexual Harassment.
- A 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 this Policy to the facts.
- A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions that Michigan Tech imposes on the respondent, and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to Michigan Tech's education program or activity will be provided by Michigan Tech to the complainant. 11
- The procedures and permissible bases for the complainant and respondent to appeal.
Grievance Process Footnotes
- 11: The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for the implementation of any remedies.
Either party may appeal the determination regarding responsibility, or the dismissal of a Formal Complaint or any allegations therein within three (3) Business Days of the receipt of the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal. The appeals must be made in writing and delivered to the Title IX Coordinator.
Bases for Appeal
Appeals of the determination of responsibility or the dismissal of a Formal Complaint may be made on the following bases:
- 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.
- The Title IX Coordinator, investigator, or decision-maker 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.
- Severity of Sanction and remedy appeals will be considered on the "severity of sanction and remedies" by the explanation of why the sanction and remedies should be reconsidered. The appeal must show that the degree of the outcome leveled was not within the exercise of good faith discretion by the University, and therefore should result in a stated lesser or greater sanction.
If an appeal is submitted, Michigan Tech will:
- Notify the other party in writing when an appeal is filed and implement appeal procedures equally for both parties.
- Ensure that the decision-maker(s) for the appeal is not the same person as the decisionmaker(s) that reached the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal, the investigator or the Title IX Coordinator.
- Provide the non-appealing party with five (5) Business Days from receipt of the notification of appeal to submit a written statement in support of the outcome of the determination or dismissal.
- Issue a written decision describing the result of the appeal and the rationale for
the result which can be one of the following:
- Affirm the decision-maker's determination regarding the respondent's responsibility and affirm the disciplinary sanctions and remedies, if applicable;
- Affirm the decision-maker's determination regarding the respondent's responsibility and amend the disciplinary sanctions and remedies, if applicable;
- Remand the process back to the hearing stage for the decision-maker to remedy any procedural irregularity or consider any new evidence;
- Reverse the decision-maker's determination of the respondent's responsibility and amend the disciplinary sanctions and remedies, if applicable; or
- Affirm or amend the sanctions and/or remedies outlined in the determination issued under this Policy.
- Provide the written decision simultaneously to both parties.
The appellate decision-maker(s) will release the written decision within ten (10) Business Days of receiving the appeal.
8: Informal Resolution Process
At any time after a Formal Complaint has been signed and before a determination regarding responsibility has been reached, the parties may voluntarily agree to participate in an informal resolution facilitated by Michigan Tech, that does not involve a full investigation and adjudication. Types of informal resolution include, but are not limited to, mediation, facilitated dialogue, conflict coaching, and restorative justice and resolution by agreement of the parties.
Informal Resolution Notice
Prior to entering the informal resolution process, Michigan Tech will provide the parties a written notice disclosing:
- The allegations;
- The requirements of the informal resolution process, including the right of any party to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process and the circumstances which preclude parties from resuming a Formal Complaint arising from the same allegations;
- Consequences resulting from the informal resolution process, including that the records will be maintained for a period of seven (7) years but will not be used by investigators or decision-makers if the formal grievance process resumes.
Informal Resolution Agreement
Prior to entering the informal resolution process, the parties must voluntarily agree, in writing to the use of the informal resolution process.
Informal Resolution Availability
The informal resolution process is not permitted to resolve allegations that an employee committed Sexual Harassment against a student.
Informal Resolution Timeframe
Informal resolutions of a Formal Complaint will be concluded within 45 days of notice to Michigan Tech that both parties wish to proceed with the informal resolution process. Such notice that the parties wish to proceed with an informal resolution process will "pause" the counting of the timeframe to conclude the Grievance Process of this Policy, should the informal resolution process fail and the parties continue with the Grievance Process.
Informal Resolution Documentation
Any final resolution pursuant to the Informal Resolution process will be documented and kept for seven (7) years. However, no recording of the informal resolution process will be made and all statements made during the informal resolution process will not be used for or against either party (and the decision-maker(s) and/or appellate decision-maker(s) may not consider any such statement made during informal resolution) should the parties resume the grievance process. Failure to comply with an informal resolution agreement may result in disciplinary action.
9: Emergency Removal and Administrative Leave.
At any time after the Title IX Coordinator is on notice of Sexual Harassment, Michigan Tech may remove a respondent on an emergency basis.
Michigan Tech will only conduct an emergency removal after:
- Undertaking an individualized safety and risk analysis,
- Determining that an immediate threat the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of Sexual Harassment justifies removal, and
- Providing the Respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision to the Title IX Coordinator, within two (2) Business Days following the removal.
Michigan Tech may place a non-student employee respondent on administrative leave during the pendency of the grievance process in this Policy.
Michigan Tech will maintain all of the documentation related to reports of Sexual Harassment, Formal Complaints, the grievance process, and information resolution process for seven years in accordance with state and federal records laws and requirements. The documentation of all records are private and confidential to the extent possible under law. Student records of the grievance process are disciplinary records under Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Employee records of the grievance process are subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and applicable state laws, and included in the employee's official employment record.
11: Additional Conduct Violations Related to This Policy
Alleged violations of the terms in this section will be sent to the Office of Academic and Community Conduct for student respondents or Human Resources for employee respondents for investigation and adjudication. Alleged violations include:
- False Reporting,
- Interference with Grievance Process (Disruptive Behavior),
- No Contact Directive Violations.
12: The State School Aid Act of 1979 (Excerpt) Act 94 of 1979
388.1865b Reduction of operations funding; failure to submit title IX certification for sexual assault training. See Appendix B.
Title IX Coordinator— Monitoring and oversight of overall implementation of Title IX and VAWA compliance at the University.
Public Safety and Police Services— Monitoring and oversight of overall implementation of the Clery Act and VAWA compliance at the University.
|12/16/2016||Approved by the University President|
|08/14/2020||Policy renamed to Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and rewritten in accordance with new federal legislation.|
|12/21/2018||Sexual Harassment definition update|
|8/28/2018||Annual updates to the Sexual Harassment/Sex Discrimination policy. The previous wording of this policy can be found in the previous policy verbiage pdf.|
|04/25/2018||Institutional Equity department name change|
|11/03/2017||Annual updates to the Sexual Harassment/Sex Discrimination policy|
|04/10/2017||Transfer of policy page from HTML to CMS. General Policy numbers renamed from "2.1000" to "1.00 General University". Specifically from "2.1014—Sex/Gender Discrimination, Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct" to "1.14—Sex/Gender Discrimination, Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct".|