Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

CRR 1.2 – Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking (Title IX)

Note: CRR 1.2 describes sex-based discrimination and harassment that is specifically prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. According to the federal Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education, Title IX’s reach is limited in scope. However, PCC’s policies (and other laws) prohibit more than Title IX. Complaints of discrimination or harassment based on legally protected class that do not fall under this policy will be addressed under PCC’s Nondiscrimination Non-harassment Policy.

CRR 2.2 sets out the procedures PCC uses to address “Title IX” offenses described in CRR 1.2. This policy and the procedures set out in CRR 2.2 apply to allegations of prohibited conduct that occurred on or after August 14, 2020. Complaints of conduct that occurred prior to August 14, 2020 will be addressed under PCC’s Gender-based and Sexual Misconduct Policy. If complaints contain both “Title IX” and non-Title IX offenses alleging conduct after August 14, 2020 the procedure set out in CRR 2.2 will be used.

Table of contents

  1. Purpose
  2. Definitions as used in this section and CRR 2.2
  3. Jurisdiction
  4. Prohibited Conduct
  5. Force, Coercion, Consent, and Incapacitation
  6. Violations

Policy

  1. Purpose:
    PCC is committed to providing a workplace and educational environment, as well as other benefits, programs, and activities, that are free from sex based discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. To ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and to affirm its commitment to promoting the goals of fairness and equity in all aspects of the educational program or activity, PCC has developed internal policies and procedures that provide a prompt, fair, and impartial process for those involved in an allegation of sex based discrimination or harassment, and for allegations of retaliation. PCC values and upholds the equal dignity of all members of its community and strives to balance the rights of the parties in the grievance process during what is often a difficult time for all those involved.
  2. Definitions as used in this section and CRR 2.2:
    1. Advisor: A person chosen by a party or appointed by PCC to accompany the party to meetings related to the resolution process, to advise the party on that process, and to conduct cross-examination for the party at the hearing, if any.
    2. Complainant (Reporting Party): An individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. A Reporting Party must be participating in or attempting to participate in PCC’s education program or activity at the time of filing a formal complaint to trigger a grievance process under this policy.
    3. Complaint (Formal): A document filed/signed by a Reporting Party or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging that a Respondent engaged in conduct that violates this Policy and requesting that PCC investigate the allegation.
    4. Confidential Resources: Employees in confidential spaces, which include the Counseling Department, Dreamers Resource Center, Multicultural Centers, Outreach and Advocacy ProjectQueer Resource Centers, Veterans Resource Centers, and Women’s Resource Centers of the college that are not required to notify college officials, Office of Equity and Inclusion, Public Safety, or law enforcement in most cases of receiving a report of a possible Title IX issue.
    5. Day: Means a day which falls on a Monday through Friday and excludes holidays and other days when the College is closed; a business day.
    6. Education Program or Activity: Locations, events, or circumstances where PCC exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment or discrimination occurs; this also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by PCC.
    7. Final Determination: A conclusion by the preponderance of evidence that the alleged conduct occurred and whether it did or did not violate policy.
    8. Finding: A conclusion by the preponderance of evidence that the conduct did or did not occur as alleged.
    9. Formal Grievance Procedure: Procedure outlined in CRR 2.2, which is a method of formal resolution designated by PCC to address conduct prohibited by this policy.
    10. Hearing Decision Makers: Personnel who have decision making and sanctioning authority within PCC’s Formal Grievance process.
    11. Investigator: Personnel charged by PCC with gathering facts about an alleged violation of this Policy, assessing relevance and credibility, synthesizing the evidence, and compiling this information into an investigation report and file of directly related evidence.
    12. Notice: Notice occurs when an employee, student, or third party informs the Title IX Coordinator or other Official with Authority that conduct that potentially violates this Policy occurred or is alleged to have occurred.
    13. Parties: The Complainant(s)/Reporting Party(s) and Respondent(s), collectively.
    14. Reasonable person: means viewing the circumstances from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances (“in the shoes of the Reporting Party”), including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar, previous patterns that may be evidenced. Additionally, PCC recognizes the intersectional nature of the human experience. Due to that intersectionality, an individual’s experience may include aspects of multiple forms of discrimination and harassment. When determining “reasonableness” under this policy, PCC will consider a reasonable person to have the Reporting Party’s intersectional identities.
    15. Remedies: Actions by PCC after a Finding to address safety of the Reporting Party and/or the community, to prevent future conduct that violates this Policy, and to restore access to PCC’s educational programs or activities or to the workplace.
    16. Resolution: The final result of an informal or Formal Grievance Process.
    17. Respondent: A person alleged to have engaged in conduct that violates this Policy.
    18. Responsible Employee (Official with Authority): All employees in Human Resources, Office of Equity and Inclusion, Department of Public Safety, Managers, leads, Faculty Department Chairs, Student Conduct Retention Coordinators, and all PCC employees that hear student appeals including but not limited to financial aid and grade appeals. All responsible employees (Officials with Authority) must report all disclosures of possible unlawful discrimination; harassment including sexual assault, sexual misconduct, interpersonal violence, domestic violence, and stalking; or retaliation to the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
    19. Sanction: A consequence imposed by PCC on a Respondent who is found to have violated this policy.
    20. Severity, Pervasiveness, and Objective Offensiveness: are evaluated based on the totality of the circumstances from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances (“in the shoes of the Reporting Party”), including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar, previous patterns that may be evidenced.
    21. Sexual Harassment: An umbrella category that includes the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and domestic violence.
    22. Student: any person who is registered for one or more credit or non-credit hour(s), including online learning courses, or who has applied for admission, received financial aid, or received any other service or benefit provided by the College which requires student status. Any person who has withdrawn or who is not enrolled in any courses, but who has a continuing relationship with the College, may be considered a “student” for the purposes of this Policy.
    23. Title IX Coordinator: An official or officials designated by PCC to ensure compliance with Title IX and PCC’s Title IX program. References to the Coordinator throughout this Policy may also include a designee of the Coordinator for specific tasks.
    24. Unwelcome: Is subjective and determined by the Reporting Party(except when the Reporting Party is below the age of consent).
  3. Jurisdiction:
    This policy applies to the education program and activities of PCC, to conduct that takes place on the campus or on property owned or controlled by PCC, at PCC-sponsored events, or in buildings owned or controlled by PCC’s recognized student organizations. If the Respondent is unknown or is not a member of the PCC community, the Title IX Coordinator will assist the Reporting Party in identifying appropriate campus and local resources and support options and/or, when criminal conduct is alleged, in contacting local or campus law enforcement if the individual would like to file a police report. Further, even when the Respondent is not a member of PCC’s community, supportive measures, remedies, and resources may be accessible to the Reporting Party by contacting the Title IX Coordinator. When the Respondent is enrolled in or employed by another institution, the Title IX Coordinator can assist the Reporting Party in liaising with the appropriate individual at that institution, as it may be possible to allege violations through that institution’s policies. In addition, PCC may take other actions as appropriate to protect the Reporting Party against third parties, such as barring individuals from PCC property and/or events, or intervening with the third party’s employer, if that employer is a PCC vendor. Similarly, the Title IX Coordinator may be able to advocate for a student or employee Reporting Party who experiences discrimination in an externship, study abroad program, or other environment external to PCC where sexual harassment or nondiscrimination policies and procedures of the facilitating or host organization may provide recourse.
  4. Prohibited Conduct (Sexual Harassment):
    CRR 1.2 prohibits sex-based discrimination and harassment that is specifically prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as defined by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in its implementing regulations. Acts of sexual harassment may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved. “Sexual harassment” is an umbrella term which, includes the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. This section describes the definitions of each of those terms. Sexual harassment is conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

    1. Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment occurs when:
      • An employee Respondent of PCC,
      • Conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of PCC,
      • On an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
    2. Hostile environment sexual harassment (Title IX) occurs when:
      • A Respondent engages in unwelcome conduct,
      • Determined by a reasonable person,
      • To be so severe and pervasive and objectively offensive
      • That it effectively denies a person equal access to PCC’s workplace, education program or activity.
    3. Sex Offenses:
      • Any sexual act directed against a Reporting Party,
      • Without the Reporting Party’s consent, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her/their age or because of his/her/their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
    4. Rape (except Statutory Rape):
      • Penetration of the genital or anal opening of the Reporting Party’s body,
      • No matter how slight,
      • Without the consent of the Reporting Party, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her/their age or because of his/her/their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
    5. Sodomy:
      • Oral or anal sexual intercourse with the Reporting Party,
      • Without the consent of the Reporting Party, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her/their age or because of his/her/their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
    6. Sexual Assault with an Object:
      • The use of an object or instrument (anything the offender uses other their genitalia) to penetrate,
      • However slightly,
      • The genital or anal opening of the Reporting Party’s body,
      • Without the consent of the Reporting Party, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her/their age or because of his/her/their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
    7. Fondling:
      • The touching of the private body parts of a Reporting Party (buttocks, groin, breasts, etc.),
      • For the purpose of sexual gratification,
      • Without the consent of the Reporting Party, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her/their age or because of his/her/their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
    8. Incest:
      • Non-forcible sexual intercourse,
      • Between a Reporting Party and a Respondent who are related to each other,
      • Within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by Oregon state law.
    9. Statutory Rape:
      • Sexual intercourse with a Reporting Party who is under the statutory age of consent in Oregon. There is no force or coercion used in Statutory Rape; the act is not an attack.
    10. Dating Violence:
      • Violence against a Reporting Party,
      • Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Respondent.
        The existence of a relationship will be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
    11. Domestic Violence:
      • Violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Reporting Party,
      • Violence committed by a person whom the Reporting Party shares a child in common, or
      • Violence committed by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the Reporting Party as a spouse or intimate partner, or
      • Violence committed by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Reporting Party under the domestic or family violence laws of Oregon, or
      • Violence committed by any other person against an adult or youth Reporting Party who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Oregon.
      • To categorize an incident as Domestic Violence, the relationship between the Respondent and the Reporting Party must be more than just two people living together as roommates. The people cohabitating must be current or former spouses or have a current or former intimate relationship.
    12. Stalking:
      • Engaging in a course of conduct (two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the Respondent directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a Reporting Party, or interferes with a Reporting Party’s property),
      • On the basis of sex,
      • Directed at a Reporting Party, that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety, or
      • Cause a reasonable person to fear the safety of others, or
      • Cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress (meaning significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling).
  5. Force, Coercion, Consent, and Incapacitation
    1. Force: Force is the use of physical violence and/or physical imposition to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats of physical violence, intimidation (implied threats of physical violence), and coercion that is intended to overcome resistance or produce consent (e.g. “Have sex with me or I’ll hit you,” “Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”). Sexual activity that is forced is, by definition, non-consensual. However, non-consensual sexual activity is not necessarily forced. Silence or the absence of resistance alone is not consent. Consent is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. While resistance is not required or necessary, it is a clear demonstration of non-consent.
    2. Coercion: Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive conduct differs from seductive conduct based on factors such as the type and/or extent of the pressure used to obtain consent. When someone makes clear that they do not want to engage in certain sexual activity, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
    3. Consent: Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action to engage in sexual activity. Since individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways, it is the responsibility of each party to determine that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. If consent is not clearly provided prior to engaging in the activity, consent may be ratified by word or action at some point during the interaction or thereafter, but clear communication from the outset is strongly encouraged. For consent to be valid, there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual has consented to that specific sexual conduct. Reasonable reciprocation can be implied. For example, if someone kisses you, it is reasonable to kiss them back (if you want to) without the need to explicitly obtain their consent to being kissed back. Consent can also be withdrawn once given, as long as the withdrawal is reasonably and clearly communicated. If consent is withdrawn, that sexual activity should cease. Consent to one kind of sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). A current or previous intimate relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent.
      • Proof of consent or non-consent is not a burden placed on either party involved in an incident. Instead, the burden remains on PCC to determine whether its policy has been violated. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar previous patterns that may be evidenced.  Consent in relationships must also be considered in context.
    4. Incapacitation: A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or are disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious for any reason, including by alcohol or other drugs. A person violates this policy if they engage in sexual activity with someone they know to be, or should know to be, physically or mentally incapacitated.
    5. Incapacitation occurs when someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing/informed consent (e.g. to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” of their sexual interaction). Incapacitation is determined through consideration of all relevant indicators of an individual’s state and is not synonymous with intoxication, impairment, blackout, and/or being drunk. For consent to be valid, there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual has consented to that specific sexual conduct. Reasonable reciprocation can be implied.
      • Intoxication of the Respondent Party: It is not an excuse that the Responding party was intoxicated and, therefore, did not realize the incapacity of the Reporting Party. The question of whether the Respondent Party should have known of the incapacity is an objective question about what a reasonable person, exercising sober, good judgment, would have known, in the same or similar circumstances.
  6. Violations: Potential violations of the policy can be reported using the procedures online or by email. The complaint will be processed under the appropriate grievance procedure in Part 2 of this policy.