Title IX: Sexual Violence

Title IX Policy Statement

It is the policy of the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, which prohibit discrimination based on sex in the College’s Programs and Activities. Title IX and its implementing regulations also prohibit retaliation for asserting claims of sex discrimination. ARCOM has designated the Director of Human Resources (Employees) and Director of Student Services (Students) to coordinate its compliance with Title IX and to receive inquiries regarding Title IX, including complaints of sex discrimination. It is the responsibility of the Title IX coordinator to coordinate dissemination of information and education and training programs to:

  • Assist members of the College community in understanding that sex discrimination and sexual harassment are prohibited by this policy
  • Ensure that investigators are trained to respond to and investigate complaints of sex discrimination and sexual harassment
  • Ensure that employees and students are aware of the procedures for reporting and addressing complaints of sex discrimination and sexual harassment
  • To implement the Complaint Resolution Procedures or to designate appropriate persons for implementing the Complaint Resolution Procedures

Title IX issues regarding students will be forwarded to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. Title IX claims by employees of ARCOM, and not regarding students, will be forwarded to the Director of Human Resources.

Because ARCOM recognizes sex discrimination and sexual harassment as important issues, it offers educational programming to a variety of groups such as campus personnel, incoming students participating in orientation, and members of student organizations.

Title IX Complaint Resolution Procedures

The complaint resolution procedures are the exclusive means of resolving complaints alleging violations of the Title IX: Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.  To the extent there are any inconsistencies between these complaint resolution procedures and other ARCOM grievance, complaint, or discipline procedures, these complaint resolution procedures will control the resolution of complaints alleging violations of the Title IX: Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.

Anti-Harassment Policy

ARCOM is committed to maintaining study and work environments that are free from discriminatory harassment in any form. Any act of harassment (i.e., physical, psychological, verbal or sexual) that threatens a person or persons is considered a serious offense and will not be tolerated or condoned. Any person or group who commits acts of harassment on or off campus will be subject to disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal from the COM.

Filing A Complaint

It is the responsibility of administrators, deans, department chairs and other managers (i.e., those that formally supervise other employees) to:

  • Inform employees under their direction or supervision of this policy
  • Work with the Title IX Coordinator to implement education and training programs for employees and students
  • Implement any corrective actions that are imposed as a result of findings of a violation of this policy

All Employees

It is the responsibility of all employees to review this policy and comply with it.

Students

It is the responsibility of all students to review this policy and comply with it.

The College

When the College is aware that a member of the College community may have been subjected to, or may have been affected by conduct that violates this policy, the College will take prompt action, including a review of the matter and, if necessary, conduct an investigation and take appropriate steps to stop and remedy the discrimination or harassment. The College will act in accordance with its Complaint Resolution Procedures.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, non-verbal, or physical contact of a sexual nature. This conduct constitutes unlawful sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to this conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic success.
  • Submission to or rejection of this conduct is used as the basis for an employment or academic decision.
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Sexual harassment refers to behavior that is not welcome, is personally offensive, is debilitating to morale and interferes with academic or work effectiveness. It frequently (though not necessarily) occurs as an abuse of authority where the parties are in an unequal power relationship. Sexual harassment may take different forms. One specific form is the demand for sexual favors. Other forms of harassment can include:

  • Verbal: Sexual innuendos, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, implied or explicit threats, and offensive or obscene language.
  • Non-Verbal: Sexually suggestive objects, graffiti, cartoons, posters, calendars, writings, pictures, graphic commentaries, suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, whistling, stalking, staring, and making obscene gestures.
  • Physical: Unwanted or unwelcome physical contact, including touching, pinching, grabbing, holding, hugging, kissing, brushing the body, assault, and rape. While sexual harassment usually involves members of the opposite sex, it also includes same sex harassment (i.e., males harassing males and females harassing females).

Sexual harassment may be subtle or overt. Some behavior that is appropriate in a social setting is not appropriate in the workplace or in an academic environment. Regardless of the form it takes, verbal, non-verbal, or physical sexual harassment is inherently destructive, insulting, and demeaning to the recipient and will not be tolerated at ARCOM.

Behavior that constitutes sexual harassment, which is a form of sexual discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, includes but is not limited to unwanted sexual attention, requests for sexual favors and/or other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which negatively affects another person.

Sexual Harassment Complaint Resolution Procedures

Making a Complaint
Employees: All ARCOM employees have a duty to report sex discrimination and sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Human Resources.

Students and Other Persons: Students who wish to report sex discrimination or sexual harassment should file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator (Director of Student Services).

Students and other persons may also file a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights by visiting: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html or by calling 1-800-421-3481.

Content of the Complaint

So that ARCOM has sufficient information to investigate a complaint, the complaint should include:

  • the date(s) and time(s) of the alleged conduct;
  • the names of all person(s) involved in the alleged conduct, including possible witnesses;
  • all details outlining what happened; and
  • contact information for the complainant so that ARCOM may follow up appropriately.

Conduct that Constitutes a Crime

Any person who wishes to make a complaint of sex discrimination or sexual harassment that also constitutes a crime—including sexual violence—is encouraged to make a complaint to local law enforcement. If requested, ARCOM will assist the complainant in notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities. In the event of an emergency, please contact 911.

Special Guidance Concerning Complaints of Sexual Violence

If you are the victim of sexual violence, do not blame yourself. Sexual violence is never the victim’s fault. ARCOM recommends that you immediately go to the emergency room of a local hospital and contact local law enforcement, in addition to making a prompt complaint under this policy. You also should do everything possible to preserve evidence by making certain that the crime scene is not disturbed. Victims of sexual violence should not bathe, urinate, douche, brush teeth, or drink liquids until after they are examined and, if necessary, a rape examination is completed. Clothes should not be changed. When necessary, seek immediate medical attention at an area hospital and take a full change of clothing, including shoes, for use after a medical examination.

Once a complaint of sexual violence is made, the complainant has several options such as, but not limited to:

  • contacting parents or a relative
  • seeking legal advice
  • seeking personal counseling (always recommended)
  • pursuing legal action against the perpetrator
  • pursing disciplinary action at ARCOM
  • requesting that no further action be taken

Vendors, Contractors and Third Parties

This policy applies to the conduct of vendors, contractors, and third parties. Persons who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed in violation of this policy should make a complaint in the manner set forth in this section.

Retaliation

It is a violation of this policy to retaliate against any member of the ARCOM Community who reports or assists in making a complaint of discrimination or harassment or who participates in the investigation of a complaint in any way. Persons who believe they have been retaliated against in violation of this policy should make a complaint in the manner set forth in this section.

Protecting the Complainant

Pending final outcome of an investigation, ARCOM will take steps to protect the complainant from further discrimination or harassment. This may include allowing the complainant to change his or her academic situation if options to do so are reasonably available.

Timing of Complaints

ARCOM encourages persons to make complaints of sex discrimination and sexual harassment as soon as possible because late reporting may limit ARCOM’s ability to investigate and respond to the complaint.

Investigation and Confidentiality

All complaints of sex discrimination and sexual harassment will be promptly and thoroughly investigated, and ARCOM will take disciplinary action where appropriate. ARCOM will make reasonable and appropriate efforts to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information when investigating and resolving a complaint. However; because of laws relating to reporting and other state and federal laws, ARCOM cannot guarantee confidentiality to those who make complaints. In the event a complainant requests confidentiality or asks that a complaint not be investigated, ARCOM will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. If a complainant insists that his or her name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, ARCOM’s ability to respond may be limited. ARCOM reserves the right to initiate an investigation despite a complainant’s request for confidentiality in limited circumstances involving serious or repeated conduct or where the alleged perpetrator may pose a continuing threat to the ARCOM Community.

Resolution

If a complaint of sex discrimination or sexual harassment is found to be substantiated, ARCOM will take appropriate corrective and remedial action. Students, faculty, and employees found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including written reprimand, suspension, demotion, termination, or expulsion. Affiliates and program participants may be removed from ARCOM programs and/or prevented from returning to campus. Remedial steps may also include counseling for the complainant; academic, work, or living accommodations for the complainant; separation of the parties; and training for the respondent and other persons.

Bad Faith Complaints

While ARCOM encourages all good faith complaints of sex discrimination and sexual harassment, ARCOM has the responsibility to balance the rights of all parties. Therefore, if ARCOM’s investigation reveals that a complaint was knowingly false, the complaint will be dismissed and the person who filed the knowingly false complaint may be subject to discipline.