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Title IX and Policy Against Harassment and Discrimination

Wisconsin Lutheran College, out of love for our neighbor as modeled by Jesus Christ, and in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, does not discriminate and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities.

Title IX states: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

If you are a victim of sexual violence or harassment, get to a safe place, seek medical attention, get support, and consider your reporting options.

  • Title IX and Policy Against Harassment and Discrimination

    This policy of Wisconsin Lutheran College ("College") addresses the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX"), federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally-funded education programs and activities. Title IX states as follows:

    No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

    Discrimination on the basis of sex includes sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, and sexual exploitation/misconduct (as those terms are defined below). Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in both the educational and employment settings.

    This policy also addresses the requirements of the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, or Campus SaVE Act (SaVE), a 2013 amendment to the federal Jeanne Clery Act. The SaVE Act addresses sexual violence in the form of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. For the purpose of this document and the College's handling of such cases, "Title IX" includes the concerns of the Campus SaVE Act.

    Other forms of harassment and discrimination not of a sexual nature will be dealt with under the same policies and procedures outlined here.

    Policy Statement

    It is the policy of the College to provide an educational, employment, and business environment free from all forms of discrimination or harassment. Discrimination or harassment based upon one's race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, sexual identity, age, genetic information, veteran status, or disability as defined in this policy and as otherwise prohibited by state and federal statutes is prohibited at the College. Sexual harassment, including acts of sexual assault, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual exploitation/misconduct, is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited at the College. This policy applies to all College students, faculty, and staff, to other members of the College community, and to contractors, consultants, and vendors doing business or providing services to the College.

    College Statement on Sexuality

    The College holds to the unchanging truth of the Bible that sexual intercourse is reserved for the marriage of one man and one woman as his gift and for the sake of families. The Bible condemns as sin premarital sex and the trivializing of God's gift of sex in pornography, sexually suggestive behavior, or sexual harassment, as well as in homosexual acts.

    Alleged or Suspected Violations of this Policy

    Wisconsin Lutheran College will investigate all possible violations of this policy about which the school knows or reasonably should know (also referred to in this policy as "alleged or suspected violations of this policy"), regardless of whether a complaint alleging a violation of this policy has been filed and regardless of where the alleged conduct occurred. The College's ability to investigate in a particular situation, or the extent of the investigation in any given situation, may be affected by any number of factors, including whether the complainant is willing to file a complaint or to consent to an investigation, the location where the alleged conduct occurred, and the College's access to information relevant to the alleged or suspected violation of this policy. The College is nonetheless committed to investigating all alleged and suspected violations of this policy to the fullest extent.

    Students, faculty or staff who have a complaint against a student, faculty, staff member, or other individual involving allegations of harassment and discrimination (including but not limited to sexual discrimination, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communications constituting sexual harassment, and discrimination or harassment based upon one's race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, age, genetic information, veteran status, or disability) in violation of this policy should contact the Deputy Coordinator. In addition to contacting the Deputy Coordinator, individuals who have experienced sexual harassment or other acts of sexual assault may contact the proper law enforcement authorities such as the local police department.

    Policy Coordinators

    Any inquiries regarding this policy should be directed to one or more of the Policy Coordinators identified below. These Coordinators will be available to meet with students regarding issues relating to Title IX and this policy. All work related to this policy will be conducted by officials who, at a minimum, receive annual training on the issues related to 1) all types of sexual discrimination, harassment, and stalking an on 2) conduction investigations, due process, accountability and the protection and safety of victims.

    Lead Policy Coordinator

    The Lead Policy Coordinator is responsible for implementing and monitoring compliance of the policy on behalf of the College. This includes responsibility for training, education, communication and administration of grievance procedures for the handling of complaints alleging violations of this policy.

    Compliance Coordinator

    The Compliance Coordinator is responsible for implementing and monitoring policy compliance on behalf of the College, and administration of the grievance procedures for the handling of complaints alleging violations of this policy. The Compliance Coordinator is responsible for informing the Lead Policy Coordinator of alleged violations and of procedures to address those violations. The Compliance Coordinator will assist alleged victims in making contact with law enforcement and in accessing an advocate, counseling, or other resources available on campus or elsewhere.

    Adam Volbrecht
    Director of Residence Life
    Fischer Hall RH2113
    adam.volbrecht@wlc.edu
    414.443.8689

    Lead Investigator

    The Lead Investigator will be notified by a Policy Coordinator of a suspected or alleged violation of this policy and will initiate the investigation process to determine if a violation occurred and to recommend resolutions. The Lead Investigator will follow the procedures outlined, while apprising the Compliance Coordinator of the status of the investigation.

    Eric Ulm
    Assistant Registrar
    Greenfield Administration Building A204
    eric.ulm@wlc.edu
    414.443.8817

    Advocates

    The Advocate is responsible for being available and/or physically present to any party involved in a harassment proceeding. The Advocate's role is to inform an individual of available campus support resources and to serve as personal support only in proceedings as requested by a party. Either party may choose to employ an external Advocate at their discretion.

    Kristina Magsig
    Office Coordinator for the School of Teacher Education
    Greenfield Administration Building G212
    kristina.magsig@wlc.edu
    414.443.8818

    Brett Valerio
    Registrar
    Greenfield Administration Building A203
    brett.valerio@wlc.edu
    414.443.8785

    External Advocacy Service

    Aurora Health Care Healing and Advocacy Services

    Definition and Examples of Conduct Prohibited Under this Policy

    Prohibited conduct includes harassment and discrimination, including but not limited to sexual discrimination, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communications constituting sexual harassment, and discrimination or harassment based upon one's race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, sexual identity, age, genetic information, veteran status, or disability.

    The acts listed below are included to clarify examples of acts which would qualify as discrimination or harassment against those with protected status under Title IX.

    1. Discriminatory Harassment

    Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, veteran status, or disability, when:

    • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual's work or educational performance;
    • Such conduct creates or has the intention of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or
    • Such conduct unreasonably interferes with or limits one's ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity.

    2. Sex Discrimination

    Making a distinction in favor of, or against, a person on the basis of sex rather than on individual merit, or making a distinction on the basis of sex that deprives a person of the ability to participate in or benefit from the college's education program or activities.

    3. Sexual Harassment

    Unwelcome, sex or gender-based verbal or physical conduct that unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives someone of the ability to participate in or benefit from the College's education program and/or activities; creates a hostile environment, or involves retaliation.

    Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, repeated propositions or requests for a sexual relationship to an individual who has previously indicated that such conduct is unwelcome, or sexual gestures, noises, remarks, jokes, questions, or comments about a person's gender, sexuality or sexual experience. Sexual harassment may consist of repeated actions or may even arise from a single incident.

    4. Sexual Assault/Sexual Violence

    Sexual assault/sexual violence is a particular type of sexual harassment that includes non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, rape, or other physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent1. Sexual assault/sexual violence includes, but is not necessarily limited to, physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or attempts to commit these acts.

    Non-Consensual Sexual Contact2 is: Any intentional sexual touching

    • However slight,
    • With any object,
    • By a person of any gender to a person of any gender,
    • That is without consent and/or by force.3

    Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse4 is: Any sexual intercourse

    • However slight,
    • With any object or body part,
    • By a person of any gender to a person of any gender,
    • That is without consent and/or by force.

    Domestic Violence is: A pattern of abusive behavior that is used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound.

    Dating Violence is: Defined as 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

    Stalking is: Stalking is defined as a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear.

    Hazing is: Hazing includes but is not limited to any act directed toward an individual, or any coercion or intimidation of an individual to act or to participate in something which a reasonable person would perceive is likely to cause physical or psychological injury and where such act is a condition of initiation into, admission into, continued membership in or association with any group whether that group is a formal or informal entity.

    5. Sexual Exploitation/Sexual Misconduct

    Sexual Exploitation/Sexual Misconduct occurs when a student/employee takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another.

    Examples of sexual exploitation and sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to:

    • Invasion of sexual privacy
    • Prostituting another person
    • Non-consensual video or audio-recording or broadcasting or sharing of sexual activity
    • Engaging in voyeurism
    • Exposing one's genitals in non-consensual circumstances; forcing another to expose their genitals
    • Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying
    • Use or display in the classroom or any facility of the College, including electronic, of pornographic or sexually harassing materials such as posters, photos, cartoons or graffiti without pedagogical justification
    • Sexual activity with someone whom one should know to be - or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be - mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug ingestion, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation of this policy.
    • Sexual activity with someone whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of drugs.
    • Sexual activity of any kind with anyone under the age of 18

    NOTE: Use of alcohol or drugs will never function as a defense for any behavior that violates this policy.

    Report of an Alleged Policy Violation and Its Investigation

    Reporting

     A student, faculty member, or staff member who has a complaint against a student, faculty, staff member or other individual involving a suspected violation of this policy or of retaliation should contact the Compliance Coordinator. All faculty and staff are Mandatory Reporters (except for the campus pastors, counselors, and Theology professors when acting in their capacity as a religious counselor) and are required to report any disclosed or suspected violations of this policy. Although there is no specific time limit for reporting a suspected violation of this policy, an employee or student who believes that s/he has been subjected to conduct that violates this policy is encouraged to contact the Compliance Coordinator as soon as possible after the alleged incident.

    Bodily Harm

    If the Compliance Coordinator receives a report of harassment or assault involving bodily harm, the Deputy Coordinator will contact the local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the College. The report to law enforcement is made in compliance with Section 940.34 Wis. Stats., which states, in part: "Any person who knows that a crime is being committed and that a victim is exposed to bodily harm shall summon law enforcement officers or other assistance or shall provide assistance to the victim." The victim of sexual assault also may choose to file a criminal complaint against the alleged perpetrator. Any pending criminal investigation or criminal proceeding may have some impact on the timing of the College's investigation, but the College will complete its own investigation in a prompt manner. The College reserves the right to commence and/or complete its own investigation prior to the completion of any criminal investigation or criminal proceeding.

    Investigation

    The Lead Investigator will begin an investigation in partnership with trained investigators and other College officials as deemed appropriate by the College. The investigation phase will be completed within sixty (60) days of the filing of a complaint or the date on which the College becomes aware of a suspected violation of this policy. Audio or video recording of any proceedings are prohibited by any party other than the college throughout this process.

    The Complaining and Responding parties will be given written notice in advance of any interview with sufficient time to prepare for meaningful participation. Written notice will be provided to the Respondent regarding the alleged policy violation prior to his/her initial interview in the investigation process.

    As part of the investigation, the investigator(s) will seek separate interviews with the Complainant, the Respondent, and any witnesses to the greatest extent possible. To help ensure a prompt and thorough investigation, interviewees are encouraged to provide as much of the following information as possible:

    • The name, department, and position of the person or persons in alleged violation of this policy
    • A description of any relevant incident(s), including the date(s), location(s), and witnesses
    • The alleged effect of the incident(s) on the Complainant's academic standing, educational benefits or opportunities, position of employment, salary, employee benefits, promotional opportunities, or other terms or conditions of employment
    • The names of other students or employees who might have been subject to the same or similar discrimination, harassment or retaliation
    • Any steps the Complainant has taken to try and stop the discrimination, harassment, or retaliation
    • Any other information the complainant believes to be relevant to the alleged discrimination, harassment, or retaliation

    Interim Protective Measures

    The College reserves the right to suspend or place on immediate administrative leave any member of the campus community in alleged violation of this policy, or to take any other interim measures the College deems appropriate, pending the outcome of the investigation and/or disciplinary proceedings. Interim measures include, but are not limited to: placing an employee on paid or unpaid administrative leave, removing a student from campus housing and/or current classes, modifying course schedules, and issuing a "no contact" order.

    Prohibition against Retaliation

    Retaliation exists when action is taken against a participant in the complaint process that (i) adversely affects the individual's employment or academic status; and (ii) is motivated in whole or in part by the individual's participation, or lack thereof, in the complaint process.

    No individual involved in a complaint alleging a violation of this policy or participating in the investigation or resolution of such a complaint shall be subject to retaliation as a result of such activity or participation. Any acts of retaliation, as defined in this policy, shall be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion/dismissal for students and termination/dismissal for faculty and staff.

    Confidentiality

    To the extent permitted by law, the confidentiality of all parties involved in the resolution of alleged or suspected violations of this policy will be observed, provided that it does not interfere with the College's ability to conduct an investigation and take any corrective action deemed appropriate. While confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, care will be taken to keep investigation discussions appropriately limited to protect the identities of the Complainant and Respondent.

    Resolution of a Filed Grievance

    The Compliance Coordinator and Investigators will review the information gathered in the investigation process and determine next steps. The resolution process typically includes the following elements, which may be modified by the College in its discretion to fit the circumstances of a particular case:

    1. The Compliance Coordinator (and Investigation Team) will be responsible for an investigation either alone or with one or more other College officials as deemed appropriate by the College and as outlined above.

    2. The Compliance Coordinator (and Investigation Team) will conclude the investigation and submit to the Policy Coordinator a report of the investigation and a determination of "violation" or "no violation" as well as a the recommended corrective actions and remedies appropriate for the determination. Unless the Policy Coordinator deems it necessary to question the report and determination or unless the recommendation determines a hearing is necessary, the Investigation Team's report will stand as the Resolution.

    Further action may be required under policies that apply to faculty, staff, or other employees. These additional actions will be delineated in the report provided to the Policy Coordinator by the Compliance Coordinator (and Investigation Team); The Policy Coordinator is responsible for following through with the appropriate College officials in implementing these actions.

    3. The standard used to determine whether this policy has been violated is whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated this policy. This is often referred to as the "Preponderance of Evidence" standard.

    4. Appropriate, corrective action/remedies by the College will serve to: (i) eliminate the policy violation, (ii) prevent the recurrence of the violation, and (iii) address the effects of the violation.

    5. Within seven (7) days of the conclusion of the investigation, both the Complainant and the Respondent will be informed in writing by the Compliance Coordinator of the outcome of the investigation. The letter will state the ruling of "violation" or "no violation" of the policy and any corrective actions/remedies that will be put into place. This written notice will be issued concurrently to the Complainant and Respondent.

    Appeals

    Appeals must be requested in writing to the Policy Coordinator within seven (7) days of receipt of the written outcome of an investigation. The appeals process is outlined below:

    1. Either party may appeal the decision of the hearing in writing to the Policy Coordinator within seven (7) days of receiving the written notice.

    2. Appeals must include relevant new information for consideration by the appeals committee. This would include information that was unavailable at the time of the decision, concerns about procedural errors or concerns about the level of sanction imposed according to the policies of the College. Disagreement with the findings of a hearing is not sufficient grounds for appeal.

    3. The Policy Coordinator personally carries the appeal with a photocopy of the documentation of all investigation proceedings to the Chair of the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee is the final arbiter on all appeals of rulings of violation of the policy. The Chair will lead an appeals committee made up of himself and two other officials who have otherwise not been previously involved in the complaint (drawn from a predetermined pool of candidates at the College's discretion).

    4. Neither the Complainant nor the Respondent will be entitled to further hearing in connection with any appeal, but the Appeals Committee may request written submissions from either party or consider any other information as deemed appropriate by the school. Both parties will be informed in writing of the outcome of any appeal within fourteen (14) days of the date by which all requested information is received unless the Appeals Committee determines that additional time is required.

    5. The President of the College is not part of the appeals process.

    Rights of Complainants and Responding Parties

    Complainants and accused parties shall be provided with the following in connection with any hearing or other proceeding used to reach a decision regarding whether any violation of this policy has occurred:

    Rights of Complainant Parties

    • The opportunity/right to speak on one's own behalf
    • To be accompanied by an Advocate who may take notes and advise the Complainant, but not otherwise participate in the investigation
    • To present witnesses who can speak about the alleged conduct at issue
    • To present other evidence on one's own behalf
    • To review investigation documentation (to the greatest extent possible and consistent with FERPA or other applicable law)
    • To be informed of the outcome of the investigation
    • To appeal the outcome of the investigation

    Rights of Responding Parties

    • The right to a written explanation of the alleged violations of this policy
    • The opportunity/right to speak on one's own behalf
    • To be accompanied by an Advocate who may take notes and advise the accused, but not otherwise participate in the investigation
    • To present witnesses who can speak about the alleged conduct at issue
    • To present other evidence on one's own behalf
    • To review any investigation documentation (to the greatest extent possible and consistent with FERPA or other applicable law)
    • To be informed of the outcome of the investigation
    • To appeal the outcome of the investigation

    Disciplinary/Corrective Actions for Violations of this Policy

    Any violation of this policy involving students, faculty, staff, or other employees of the College is subject to the policy and procedures as stated in this document and is not governed by any other employee or student handbook or policy. The College will take steps to prevent the recurrence of any harassment or other discrimination and to remedy the discriminatory effects on the Complainant (and others, if appropriate).

    Examples of the range of potential sanctions/corrective actions that may be imposed with respect to students may be found in the Student Code of Conduct and any related policies set forth in the College's catalog or Student Handbook. Comparable information with respect to employees can be found in the Faculty Handbook and in the Human Resources documents of the College. The College also may take any other corrective action that it deems appropriate under the circumstances.

    Employees and /or students who are found to have violated this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion or dismissal.

    Faculty and staff who are found to have violated this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge or termination.

    Guests and other third parties who are found to have violated this policy will be subject to corrective action deemed appropriate by the College, which may include removal from College property and termination of any contractual or other arrangements.

    When the College is unable to offer resolution to an alleged violation of this policy because a Complainant insists on confidentiality or for some other reason, the College will nonetheless take steps limit the effects of any actions that violate this policy and will work to prevent any recurrence of violation.

    Adopted: June 2011

    Amended: March 2018


    1 Wisconsin Statute 940.225: Consent is words or overt actions indicating a freely given agreement, intelligent, knowing and voluntary, an affirmative (not the absence of a negative). Consent is not silence, a failure to fight back, or implied. Consent is null and void if: judgment is impaired by drugs or mental illness, someone changes her/his mind, someone under the age of 18 is consenting to sexual intercourse, someone under the age of 16 is consenting to sexual contact, or it was given under pressure/coercion.

    2 Sexual contact includes: Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.

    3 Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion.

    4 Sexual Intercourse includes: vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

  • Reporting Options

    • All faculty and staff are Mandatory Reporters (except for the Campus Pastors, Licensed Campus Counselors, and Theology Professors when acting in their capacity as a religious counselor) and are required to report any disclosed or suspected violations of this policy to the Title IX Compliance Coordinator.
    • Local Emergency Response
      Call 911

    On-Campus Confidential Resources

    • Theology Professors acting in their capacity as a religious counselor in a formal counseling session
    • Licensed Counselor Employed by the College, contracted through Student Health Services

    Advocates

    The Advocate is responsible for being available and/or physically present to any party involved in a harassment proceeding. The Advocate’s role is to inform an individual of available campus support resources and to serve as personal support only in proceedings as requested by a party.

    Other Community Resources