The Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy serves five principal purposes:
- It establishes conduct standards and defines prohibited behavior.
- It outlines the rights and responsibilities of reporting parties and respondents.
- It outlines the processes for reporting and investigating alleged incidents of Prohibited Conduct.
- It outlines the process and procedures employed for adjudicating alleged violations of this policy where appropriate.
- It presents resources available to all members of the campus community.
Scope of the Policy
- This Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy applies to all members of the RMC community. It applies to any complaint of Prohibited Conduct, including conduct alleged to have occurred during breaks, leaves of absence, or periods of dismissal, whether on or off campus.
- The Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy refers to the individual who is the alleged victim of the behavior(s) in question as the “complainant” and the student alleged to have committed the violation of the policy as the “respondent.” Both the complainant and the respondent will be treated fairly and with respect throughout the process. Respondents are entitled to a presumption of innocence throughout the disciplinary process until they are found responsible for a violation of this policy.
- Randolph – Macon College, in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, applicable Federal, state and local laws and regulations, and in accordance with the values reflected in our Non-Discrimination policy, will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, disability, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender expression.
- The College will make arrangements to the extent necessary and possible for any individual with disabilities to ensure they can fully participate in the process as outlined in this policy. Any individual who needs accommodations should contact the Title IX Office at TitleIX@rmc.edu or 804-752-3295 or Disability Services at DSS@rmc.edu or 804-752-3152 for more information.
Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Office
Title IX Coordinator – The Title IX Coordinator is primarily responsible for the oversight of the procedures outlined in Title IX, relevant state and federal laws, and the SRC Policy. The Title IX Coordinator’s duties include, but are not necessarily limited to: ensuring appropriate training for investigators, hearing panel members, and others involved in the grievance process; conducting intake meetings with individuals affected by a report of sexual misconduct; advising participants about available resources and supportive measures; responding to formal complaints and/or filing formal complaints as warranted; appointing Investigators to investigate formal complaints; determining whether to forward a complaint to the Sexual Conduct Board for a hearing; and overseeing the grievance process to ensure fairness for all parties. The Title IX Coordinator may designate another individual, typically the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, to handle these duties and oversee the grievance process on a case-by-case basis to conduct investigations of alleged violations of the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy.
Deputy Title IX Coordinator – The Title IX Office includes a Deputy Title IX Coordinator who may perform the functions of the Title IX Coordinator as their designee. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator may also serve as a Title IX Investigator. In such cases, the Title IX Coordinator will continue to oversee the grievance process. If someone other than the Deputy Title IX Coordinator is appointed to investigate a complaint, then the Deputy Title IX Coordinator may assume the Title IX Coordinator’s duties to oversee the grievance process.
Investigators – investigators may interview witnesses, collect information, and submit a written report of relevant information to the Title IX Coordinator or their designee. Investigators do not determine the validity of allegations of misconduct, nor do they determine whether a respondent is responsible for an alleged violation of this Policy. Investigators may be, but do not have to be, members of the RMC community. All Investigators must be adequately trained on the legal requirements under Title IX and must be familiar with RMC’s Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy.
Contact Information – Anyone who is concerned that a violation of the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy by a student has occurred is encouraged to contact the Title IX Office located on the 2nd Floor of Peele Hall.
- Title IX Office at 804-752-3295 or by email at TitleIX@rmc.edu
- Title IX Coordinator, Laura Soulsby (804-752-3295) available also by e-mail at email@example.com.
- Administrative Coordinator: Sabrina Granderson (804-752-3295) available also by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional administration and individuals involved in SRC policy procedures see Additional Administration and Individuals involved in SRC Proceedings below.
Mandatory Reporters and Confidential Staff
1. Mandatory Reporters
- All employees who become aware of conduct that may constitute a violation of this policy are required to notify the Title IX Office with the names of the parties involved and the details of the alleged incident.
2. Confidential Staff
- A student may confidentially discuss an alleged violation of this policy (i.e., without the information being reported to the Title IX Office to those who serve in a professional role in which communication is privileged under Virginia law and to those whom the College has designated as a confidential resource consistent with Title IX). Persons who may maintain confidentiality under the SRC policy and within the scope of their professional responsibilities are limited to:
- The Student Health Center Staff
- The Counseling Center Staff
- The College Chaplain
- The College’s policy is to treat, to the extent possible, all reports and complaints of misconduct as confidential. All participants in any grievance process under this Policy are expected to maintain the confidentiality of all information obtained during the grievance process. Failure to abide by this rule of confidentiality may result in disciplinary charges under this Policy, the Student Conduct Code, or other applicable policies and codes of the College.
- This confidentiality policy shall not limit any participant in a grievance process regarding allegations of Prohibited Conduct from using reasonable means to identify potential witnesses and/or from disclosing relevant information with others for the purpose of developing or responding to a complaint, acquiring evidence, or ascertaining the relevance of a witness.
Randolph-Macon College prohibits all forms of sexual harassment including sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, relationship violence (dating violence and domestic violence), and stalking.
The Title IX regulations define Sexual Harassment to include:
A. “Quid pro quo harassment” – An employee of the College 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 College’s educational program or activity.
Additionally, sexual harassment is defined as any form of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined by the Clery Act. These acts are considered severe and objectively offensive within themselves and require no finding of persistence to be considered a violation under this policy. These offenses are defined as follows:
- Sexual Harassment – Sexual Assault – Rape: 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.
- Sexual Harassment – Sexual Assault – Fondling: 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 their age and/or because of their temporary or permanent mental incapacity
- Sexual Harassment – Dating Violence: violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
- Sexual Harassment – Domestic Violence: an act of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or by 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 the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
- Sexual Harassment – Stalking: engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (1) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress.
- “Course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker 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.
- “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
- “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
In addition, RMC defines the following as Prohibited Conduct under this policy:
- Sexual Exploitation – sexual exploitation is defined as activity of a sexual nature which results in the non-consensual exploitation of one person by another for the purposes of gaining some sort of advantage, including, but not limited, to economic, social, and academic advantages. The sexual behavior which results in such exploitation may have been consensual or non-consensual in its original nature. Sexual Exploitation also includes prostitution, videotaping or recording (by any electronic means) sexual activity without permission, voyeurism, and engaging in sexual activity with another while concealing that one is infected with HIV/AIDS, an STI, or an STD.
- Retaliation – the College prohibits retaliation of any sort. Any act of retaliation including, but not limited to, harassment, abuse, threat, or intimidation toward the victim, the accused, or any witness who makes a report of an alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code or any other College Policy is prohibited.
Consent is an affirmative decision to engage in mutually acceptable sexual activity freely given by clear actions or words. In the absence of mutually understandable words or actions, it is the responsibility of the initiator, or the person who wants to engage in the specific sexual activity, to make sure that they have the consent from their partner(s). Conduct is considered “without consent” if no clear consent, verbal or nonverbal, is given.
At RMC, consent is an informed decision made freely and actively by all parties. The perspective of a reasonable person will be the basis for determining whether a person knew, or reasonably should have known, whether another person was able to freely give consent and whether consent was given. At RMC, valid consent must be:
- Communicated: Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance alone. Relying solely upon nonverbal communication can lead to miscommunication. It is important not to make assumptions; if confusion or ambiguity regarding the issue of consent arises anytime during a sexual interaction, it is essential that each participant stops and clarify, verbally, their willingness to continue.
- Current:Mutually understandable consent must be obtained by the initiator at every stage of sexual interaction. Consent to some form of sexual activity does not necessarily imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Furthermore, a current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
- Non-Coercive: An individual is “unable to freely give consent” when the individual is coerced into sexual activity, such as, for example, through the use of physical force, threat of physical or emotional harm, undue pressure, isolation, or confinement.
- Non-Incapacitated: An individual is “unable to freely give consent” when the individual is incapacitated (arising, for example, from the use of alcohol or other drugs or when the individual is passed out, asleep, unconscious, or mentally or physically impaired) and is therefore, substantially physically or mentally impaired. Alcohol or other drugs can also lower inhibitions, limit ability to resist, and/or create an atmosphere of confusion over whether consent is freely and effectively given. Additionally, the use of alcohol or other drugs can impair effective communication about consent to sexual activity.
While valid consent is complicated by alcohol and drugs, the general use of alcohol or drugs does not, in and of itself, negate a student’s ability to give consent, nor does it remove a student’s responsibility to communicate their feelings and ensure that any consent given is valid.Therefore,valid consent can be obtained from an individual who is only under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and is not substantially physically or mentally impaired.
Lastly, at RMC, the use of alcohol or drugs does not excuse or minimize a student’s responsibility for violations of the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy. In particular, it does not mitigate or nullify a charge of sexual assault or any other form of Prohibited Conduct. Being intoxicated or incapacitated does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent and will not be an excuse for engaging in any Prohibited Conduct.
Information for Complainants
A complainant’s rights and responsibilities, outlined in this policy, will be protected. As set forth in Section XIX, below, the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will offer to conduct an intake meeting to provide the complainant with a general understanding of the SRC Policy and offer forms of Student Support. In most cases, the College will respect a complainant’s desire to remain confidential and/or to not pursue a formal complaint. In cases where alleged sexual misconduct is involved, Title IX requires the College to evaluate the complainant’s request that they remain confidential or that the complaint not be adjudicated in light of the College’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students. Therefore, in appropriate cases, the Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to file a formal complaint without the cooperation of the complainant.
The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will communicate substantive and, when warranted, procedural developments regarding an investigation. The alleged conduct may also be criminal in nature, and complainants have the right to report—or not to report—the conduct to Ashland Police or other appropriate law enforcement agency. A criminal report does not preclude college disciplinary action.
Regardless of whether a complainant pursues a criminal complaint and/or the college’s complaint process through this policy, the college may investigate the incident(s) in question and will take appropriate responsive action to ensure that the educational environment is free of harassment—and, if appropriate, remedy the effects of the alleged misconduct on the complainant.
Information for Respondents
A respondent’s rights and responsibilities, as outlined in this policy, will be protected. Respondents are entitled to a presumption of innocence throughout the disciplinary process unless they are found responsible for a violation of this policy at the conclusion of a formal grievance process.
As set forth in Section XIX below, upon providing notice to a respondent of the filing of a formal complaint under this Policy, the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will offer the respondent the opportunity for an intake meeting. During an intake meeting, the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will provide the respondent with a general understanding of the SRC Policy and the grievance process, answer questions the respondent may have, and offer supportive measures as appropriate. The purpose of an intake meeting is not to investigate the matters raised in a complaint, and the respondent will not be asked to provide evidence or to respond to the allegations of the complainant during an intake meeting. Following the appointment of an investigator, the respondent may be asked to provide substantive evidence and to respond to the allegations of the complainant.
Throughout the grievance process, the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will communicate substantive and, when warranted, procedural developments regarding an investigation, and they will remain available to provide supportive measures and answer questions regarding the process.
Alleged behavior may also be criminal in nature, and a respondent may be subject to a criminal investigation by the appropriate law enforcement agency at the same time as an investigation by the College under this policy; the respondent may wish to consult with a criminal lawyer as the college does not provide advice as to the criminal process.
Student Support for Parties
Students, regardless of a formal complaint and their affiliation in a formal complaint (i.e., both complainants and respondents), have the right to and will be offered supportive measures by the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator as needed. Additionally, students may request and/or the College may issue administrative actions and supports, such as “no contact” orders and changes to academic and living accommodations. Students will be notified by the Title IX Office as to what changes are reasonably available and/or are being implemented.
Students, including witnesses, have the right to and are strongly encouraged to seek support and counseling made available through campus and community resources, such as but not limited to the Title IX Office, Counseling Services, Campus Safety, Student Health Center, and Office of the Chaplain.
Special Protections for Individuals
To encourage reporting of misconduct under this Policy and to ensure fairness to all participants in the student conduct process outlined in the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy, the following is a list of rights of both respondents and complainants involved in proceedings under the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy:
All students are entitled to the following:
- To an explanation of the actions available to them, Student Support, and the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy.
- To request that the College write a letter to all involved individuals emphasizing that the Student Conduct Code and College policy prohibit all types of harassment and retaliation by all involved individuals and their supporters. Contact between individuals may be prohibited by the College.
- To choose an advisor or have one appointed by the College for the hearing (an advisor must question witnesses, but they may not make statements before the panel in the case of a hearing).
- An assurance that the College will keep the complaint and investigation, if requested, confidential to the extent possible.
- In the event of a hearing, to an explanation of the process, to know the names of witnesses, and the specific Prohibited Conduct to be adjudicated.
- Not to have past sexual history discussed during the hearing unless it is relevant.
- To remain present for the entire proceeding, aside from the executive session deliberations, and to inspect information presented, as well as to use alternative methods to observe the proceedings and question witnesses, such as technology, partitions or over a phone line from an alternate location.
- To identify witnesses, individuals who have relevant, first-hand knowledge of the case being investigated, and, in the event of a hearing, to pose questions to them through an advisor with the consent the Chair of the Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board.
- To a fair and impartial hearing.
Reporting and Response
There are multiple channels for reporting Prohibited Conduct. A complainant may choose to report to the College, to law enforcement, to both, or to neither. These reporting options are not exclusive. Complainants may simultaneously pursue criminal and disciplinary action. The College will support Complainants in understanding, assessing and pursuing these options.
A. Law Enforcement complainants have the right to notify or decline to notify law enforcement. In keeping with its commitment to taking all appropriate steps to eliminate, prevent, and remedy all Prohibited Conduct, the College urges Complainants to report Prohibited Conduct immediately to local law enforcement by contacting:
i. 911 (for emergencies)
ii. Ashland Police Department ((804) 977-9041) (for non-emergencies)
iii. Police have unique legal authority, including the power to seek and execute search warrants, collect forensic evidence, make arrests, and assist in seeking Emergency Protective Orders. Although a police report may be made at any time, complainants should be aware that a one-year statute of limitations may apply to certain misdemeanors in Virginia. The College will assist complainants in notifying law enforcement if they choose to do so.
B. Randolph-Macon College – the College also urges anyone who becomes aware of an incident of Prohibited Conduct to report the incident immediately to the College through the following reporting options:
The Title IX Office
Dr. Laura Soulsby, Title IX Coordinator
Peele Hall, 2nd Floor
The Office of Student Conduct
Dr. James McGhee
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Associate Dean of Students
Student Engagement Center
The Office of Campus Safety
Welcome Center – Henry Street
Through the College’s website for online reporting (which also allows for anonymous reporting). https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?RandolphMaconCollege&layout_id=9
For Immediate Medical Assistance and the Preserving of Evidence, please see https://www.rmc.edu/about-rmc/college-leadership/offices-departments/dean-of-students-student-affairs/student-conduct/student-handbook/emergency-assistance-procedures/
For confidential information about receiving assistance with sexual assault, including information on a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit, please contact Hanover Safe Place at 888-370-7233 or the region’s EmpowerNet 24/7 Hotline: 804-612-6126.
Sexual Misconduct Review Committee
- Under Code of Virginia (§ 23.1-806), the Sexual Misconduct Committee will convene upon receipt of information of an alleged act of sexual violence within 72 hours and will meet again as needed. The Sexual Misconduct Review Committee is compromised of the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the Director of Campus Safety or designee, and the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students or designee.
- The Sexual Misconduct Committee (or under a lack of consensus, the Director of Campus Safety) will determine if the disclosure of the reported information, including personally identifiable information, is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals as set forth in applicable law. If it determined to be necessary, the Director of Campus Safety shall immediately disclose such information to the Ashland Police Department for the purposes of investigation and other actions by law enforcement. If any disclosure is made to law enforcement, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will notify the potential complainant of this decision.
- If the alleged incident would constitute a felony violation under Code of Virginia § 18.2-61 (Rape), the Director of Campus Safety, or Title IX Coordinator as needed, will consult with the Hanover Country Commonwealth Attorney without disclosing personally identifiable information about the individuals involved within 24 hours of the review committee meeting.
Notification of the Behavior Assessment and Intervention Team
- The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator may notify the Behavioral Assessment and Intervention Team (BAIT) and the BAIT will meet within 72 hours of receiving a report of an alleged violation of this policy to review the available information.
- The College may be required, in accordance with the Clery Act, to issue a timely warning to the campus. The college will remove all personal identifiers from the notice; however, the College cannot guarantee that a timely warning will not compromise or appear to compromise confidentiality.
Intake Meeting for the Complainant
Upon receipt of any report of Prohibited Conduct under the SRC Policy, the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will offer to conduct an intake meeting with the complainant in order to provide them with a general understanding of this Policy and to identify forms of support and immediate interventions available.
If an on-line report is received by the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator, which was written by either the complainant or another individual, and the name of the complainant is excluded from the report, the College’s ability to respond may be limited. In such cases, the College may investigate and take prompt and effective action to limit the effects of the alleged sexual misconduct and to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students.
i. Complainant Files a Formal Complaint
If the complainant wishes to proceed with a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will: (i) determine the name of the respondent, and the date, location and nature of the Sexual or Relational Misconduct (unless this information was already shared with the Coordinator/Deputy Coordinator); and (ii) identify forms of support or immediate interventions available to them; and (iii) determine whether to initiate an investigation to the case.
ii. Title IX Coordinator Files to File A Complaint
While the Title IX Office and the College respects confidentiality in all incidents of alleged Prohibit Conduct, especially when the complainant does not wish to file a formal complaint, the College must evaluate the complainant’s request that they remain confidential or that the complaint not be adjudicated in light of the College’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment. Thus, even if the complainant does not file a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to file a formal complaint on behalf of the College and initiate an investigation.
Notice to Respondent and Intake Meeting for the Respondent
Upon the receipt of or initiation of a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will provide written notice to the respondent of the allegations of Prohibited Conduct and relevant information known at the time. This notice will offer the respondent an in-take meeting wherein the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will inform the respondent of the allegations asserted against them, explain the SRC policy and the grievance process, answer questions for the respondent and identify forms of support and/or immediate interventions available. This in-take meeting is offered prior to an investigation. At this in-take meeting, the respondent is not expected nor required to provide evidence or respond to the allegations. The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will make the respondent aware of their rights and responsibilities during their intake meeting. These rights include sufficient time to prepare a response to allegations of Prohibited Conduct before meeting with an investigator.
Immediate and/or Interim Measures
- The Vice President for Student Affairs, or their designee, may issue administrative actions immediately and/or on an interim basis as deemed appropriate, including but not limited to restrictions on contact between the complainant, the respondent, and/or other involved parties; exclusion from areas of campus; and, removal or relocation from residential areas. Supportive measures are intended to protect both parties’ equal right to access the educational environment and do not indicate a finding of responsibility. In some cases, the Vice President for Student Affairs, or their designee, may impose an interim suspension (See Interim Suspensions in Section XIII of the Student Conduct Code).
Students’ Right to an Advisor and Role of an Advisor
- Any student participating in a complaint resolution begun pursuant to the Sexual and Relationship Policy may have an advisor. An advisor can be any person selected by the student to advise them through the stages and processes set forth in the SRC Policy. The student may be accompanied by their advisor to all meetings, investigations, hearing proceedings, and/or appeals proceedings. If the student elects not to attend a proceeding or other meeting, the advisor cannot attend that event as well.
- When exercising the right to be accompanied by an advisor, a student should identify the person who will attend proceedings as scheduled by the College. A student may elect to change advisors during the course of the complaint resolution process. A previously scheduled proceeding, meeting or investigation is not subject to postponement due to the unavailability of a specific advisor.
- An advisor can provide support, guidance, and advice. An advisor can also assist the student in preparing comments that the student will present during a proceeding. All advisors are required to adhere to the contents of The Student Handbook and this Policy. The College is not responsible for the quality, accuracy, or effectiveness of assistance provided by a student’s advisor.
- With the express exception of the cross-examination of witnesses when participating in a hearing where necessary, the advisor is not an advocate or representative who may speak on behalf of a student. Throughout the student conduct process, an advisor cannot present information, advocate for, represent, or argue a case on behalf of a student; the student is responsible for presenting comments they wish to provide, even when accompanied by an advisor.
- During any proceeding, an advisor’s communication is limited to conferring with the student through written note; the advisor may not address any other participant or the hearing panel with the explicit exception of during cross-examination where the advisor is required to ask questions of hearing participants. During this time, and only during this time, the advisor may interact with the hearing chair only to determine the relevance of questions and other procedural rulings.
- If requested, and if a party does not have their own selected advisor, the College may assign an advisor to the student for the purpose of conducting cross-examination of witnesses at a hearing. The party must make such request sufficiently in advance of a hearing to allow the advisor to prepare to cross-examine witnesses on the party’s behalf. Any objection to a college-appointed advisor must be submitted to the Office of Student Conduct at least 48 hours prior to the hearing.
- An advisor may serve as a party’s support person in an informal process.
- A party’s advisor may not interfere in, disrupt, or delay a proceeding. The representative of The Title IX Office and Office of Student Conduct or the hearing chairperson may remove or dismiss an advisor who becomes disruptive or who does not abide by the restrictions on advisor participation in the investigative process and during the hearing.
Pursuant to Title IX federal law, the College offers a formal grievance process after a formal complaint has been filed for resolving formal complaints of incident(s) of prohibited conduct as defined in this policy. The formal grievance process consists of a thorough, independent investigation and potentially, a live hearing with cross-examination after an investigation and a referral from the Title IX Coordinator to the Student Conduct Administration.
Title IX Investigation and Title IX Investigator
- The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will review all reports and where appropriate will serve as a Title IX Investigator or assign a Title IX Investigator. When the Deputy Title IX Coordinator serves as the Title IX Investigator, the Title IX Coordinator will oversee the grievance process.
- The Title IX Investigator, who may be an internal or external trained individuals, independently interviews witnesses, collects information, and submits a written report of relevant information to the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy IX Coordinator will review the report for completeness and relevance, and direct further investigation as necessary before the report is shared with the complainant and respondent and advisors as requested.
- Upon completion of the investigation, the evidence gathered by the Title IX Investigator will be shared with the complainant and respondent, who then have ten (10) days to respond in writing with any clarifications, witnesses, or other information. The Investigator will consider the parties’ responses when preparing an investigation report.
- The investigation report must fairly summarize relevant evidence, both inculpatory and exculpatory. After reviewing the final investigation report, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether to proceed to a hearing based on their assessment of whether there is sufficient information to believe that a violation of the SRC Policy may have occurred. The Title IX Coordinator will convey this decision in writing to the complainant and respondent. The final investigation report will be shared with both parties at least ten (10) days prior to a hearing for their review and written response. Any response to the investigation report shall be provided to the Investigator and Title IX Coordinator no later than five (5) days before the hearing.
- After responding to the final investigation report, the complainant and respondent may not provide any additional information for the hearing packet (defined below) and may not produce any additional material at the hearing, unless that information was not reasonably available prior to the completion of the final investigation report. Investigative reports will also be shared with advisors as requested.
- The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will determine what, if any, changes or additions are made to the Title IX Investigator’s report based upon their review of the report and feedback from the complainant and respondent.
Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board Hearing and Student Conduct Procedures
- If the Title IX Coordinator decides that a case should proceed to a hearing, the case will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and will be resolved by the Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board.
Student Conduct Meeting
- Once the Title IX Coordinator has determined that a case should proceed to a hearing, the Title IX Coordinator will provide the final investigation report to the Office of Student Conduct. The Student Conduct Administrator will offer to meet with the complainant and the respondent to go over their rights and responsibilities again as well as the hearing outline included in the SRC policy. The respondent will have the charges recommended by the Title IX Coordinator presented to them, and they will complete a form acknowledging that their case will be heard before the Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board.
- The Student Conduct Administrator will also invite both parties to submit in writing the names of any witnesses they wish to appear. Names of witnesses provided by the complainant/respondent will be shared with the other party by the Title IX Office. Character witnesses are not permitted in any type of hearing.
The complainant and respondent will receive notices of the date, time, location, and members of the hearing panel at least 10 days prior to the hearing. They will have 3 days to object to the date, time, location and makeup of the hearing panel. All such objections will be considered by the Student Conduct Administrator, who has the discretion to sustain or deny the party’s objection.
Standard of Proof – Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board hearings are conducted using the preponderance of the evidence standard, meaning that it must be established that it is more likely than not that there is a violation of the SRC Policy for a student to be found responsible.
Privacy – Only individuals who have a role outlined in the provisions of this policy may participate in hearings without the express permission of the Student Conduct Administrator and the chair of the sitting hearing board.
Necessary Adjournments – Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board makes every effort to complete hearings in a timely fashion. If unforeseen circumstances arise, the Chair of the Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board may call for an adjournment for a specific time.
Recesses – Any participant, except advisors and witnesses, may make a request for a recess to the Chair, and the Chair, at their discretion, may grant a recess. The Chair has sole discretion as to the length and number of any granted recesses.
Multiple Hearings – The Student Conduct Administrator will be responsible for determining the need for multiple hearings. If the Student Conduct Administrator determines that multiple hearings are necessary, then all parties are expected to be present at and participate in each hearing.
Respondent Fails to Appear – If a respondent fails to appear at a hearing after having been duly notified of the time and place, the respondent has forfeited their rights to participate in the hearing. The hearing board will proceed in absentia.
Witness Fails to Appear – The Student Conduct Administrator or their designee may require the presence of any member of the RMC community called as a witness with pertinent information about a case. Failure to comply could result in student conduct action against a student witness. The College may not be able to compel, and thus cannot guarantee, the presence of witnesses who are not members of the RMC community. The unavailability of one or more witnesses is not automatically grounds to postpone a hearing. The Student Conduct Administrator has the discretion to determine whether postponement of a hearing is warranted.
Character Witnesses – Character Witnesses are not permitted in any hearing. Only witnesses that have direct knowledge of the case will be considered by the hearing board.
Hearing Record – The Student Conduct Administrator is the only party that may record the proceedings of any hearing board whether in audio, video, or audio-visual format. No participant will be granted access to the recording as access is reserved for official College use.
Electronic Devices. – A respondent, complainant, advisor, and/or witness may not bring electronic devices that capture or facilitate communication (e.g., computer, cell phone, audio/video recorder, etc.) into a hearing room, unless authorized by the hearing panel such as in the case of a virtual hearing.
Hearing Board General Procedure – The Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board has general authority over the manner in which a hearing is conducted (e.g., it may set time frames for witness testimony, recesses, etc.). The hearing chair has the authority and responsibility to maintain the decorum of the hearing.
A complainant or respondent may not question each other or other witnesses directly. Advisors must conduct cross-examination of hearing participants. The hearing chair must consider the relevancy of all questions asked or information presented/submitted at the hearing before a witness responds. The hearing chair must explain any decision to exclude a question is irrelevant. While RMC expects all members of the community to participate honestly and fully in any grievance process, RMC will not compel a party or witness to appear or submit to cross-examination at a hearing. The hearing panel cannot determine responsibility based solely on a party’s or witness’ absence from the live hearing or refusal to submit to cross-examination. However, the hearing panel may consider a party or witness’ absence or refusal to submit to cross-examination in weighing the evidence and reaching a determination as to responsibility.
Relevance of Sexual History – Questions and evidence about the complainant’s prior sexual behavior or predisposition are not relevant unless 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. The determination of relevance is at the sole discretion of the chair of the Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board.
Hearing Board Specific Procedures
The Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board hearings are conducted according to the following outline. The information below is provided only as a guideline.
a. Call to order
c. The Oath of Honesty
d. Reading of the charge(s) to be considered
e. Statement by the respondent as to whether they are not responsible or responsible for the alleged policy violation(s)
f. Presentation of information concerning charge(s), including the following components if relevant to the hearing but not necessarily in this order:
- Investigation report
- Information from witnesses including cross-examination by the advisors of the complainant and the respondent.
- Information from the respondent concerning their account
- Information from the complainant concerning their account (in cases where the College is not the complainant)
- Cross-examination of the complainant and the respondent where appropriate and necessary
g. Questions by hearing board members
h. Summary comments by the respondent if they elect to make them
i. Summary comments by the complainant if they elect to make them
Virtual Hearing Policy
The Student Conduct Code and the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy provide for hearings to be conducted either partially or completely in a virtual environment according to the needs of the College and/or the wishes of the respondent and/or complainant.
The hearing procedures, as outlined in the Student Conduct Code and the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy, will be followed as written. Differences in the delivery method of the hearing procedures such as, but not limited to, verbal consent to abide by the Oath of Honesty in lieu of a signature or the use of a waiting room as private space for a participant to wait do not constitute a change in policy or procedures.
Virtual hearings, whether completely online or a hybrid model, will be hosted through a Zoom meeting prepared by the Student Conduct Administrator. The Student Conduct Administrator will use the tools provided by Zoom including but not limited to break-out rooms and waiting rooms to conduct the hearing and to provide separate spaces for the board, participants, and their respective advisors where appropriate according to the procedures defined in the Student Conduct Code and the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy.
Participants in a virtual hearing, appearing via Zoom but not in the assigned physical hearing room if there is one, may have no one present in the room with them physically or virtually save their selected or assigned advisor. Moreover, participants are reminded that the Student Conduct Code and the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy prohibit the recording of hearings in any way save the recording produced by the Student Conduct Administrator. Failure by any participant or their advisor to abide by this provision will result in further student conduct action for the afore mentioned participant.
Sanctions – The full range of sanctions are available to the Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board in the resolution of violations of the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy as outlined in the Student Conduct Code. Sanctions may include but are not limited to community service hours, educational initiatives, suspension, and expulsion. Any conditions on a student’s return following a suspension or other sanction must be noted in the written determination.
Written Determination – The Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board will issue a written determination stating whether the respondent is responsible or not responsible, as well as a written finding of facts. The determination will state the Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board’s conclusion regarding whether the alleged conduct occurred as alleged or at all and identifying the rationale for each such conclusion. The written determination will also, where appropriate, indicate the sanctions imposed on the respondent and delineate the remedies provided to the parties. The determination will be sent simultaneously to the parties, along with information to both parties regarding the process of filing an appeal within a reasonable amount of time following the adjournment of the hearing.
- Notice – the written determination will notify the respondent and complainant of their right to request an appeal at the conclusion of any Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board Hearing.
- Appeal Request – the respondent and/or the complainant may submit a written appeal request to the Student Conduct Administrator within three (3) business days of the written determination. Such requests must be submitted to the Student Conduct Administrator or the Provost and must set forth the grounds for the appeal with detailed information that would justify action by the appeals authority.
- Appeal Hearing – After an appeals request has been submitted, the Vice President for Student Affairs will render a decision about how to proceed within a reasonable amount of time.An appeals board, if convened, shall not include any member(s) who sat on the original hearing panel.
- Necessary Adjournments – Appeals Boards make every effort to complete hearings in a timely fashion.If unforeseen circumstances arise, the Vice President of Student Affairs and/or the Chair of the Appeals Board may call for an adjournment for a specific time.
- Grounds for Granting an Appeal – In deciding whether to take action on a case, the following will be assessed:
- The presence of substantial new evidence and new witness(es) unavailable to the appellant at the time of the hearing;
- Whether the hearing was conducted using procedural irregularity that significantly impacted the fairness of the hearing;
- Whether one or more participants in the hearing process was impacted by bias or a conflict of interest that significantly impacted the fairness of the hearing.
- Appeal Outcomes – The Vice President for Student Affairs and/or the Appeals Board may take any of the following actions:
- The original decision of the hearing panel may be vacated in its entirety.
- The case may be sent back to the original hearing board to consider new evidence or witnesses; or the case may be sent to a new hearing board for a new hearing at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Affairs and/or the Appeals Board
- The Vice President for Student Affairs and/or the Appeals Board can find that grounds for an appeal have not been satisfied, and allow for the decision of the original board to stand, which will close the case.
- Burden of Proof – The appellant bears the burden of proof in any appeal.
- Finality of the Appeal – The decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs and/or the Appeals Board is final.
At the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator and pursuant to the SRC Policy and Title IX federal law, the College may offer an optional, informal resolution process to parties after a formal complaint has been filed. The informal resolution process seeks to empower both parties, acting in good faith, to participate in an individualized process to explore an agreed-upon resolution for the matter. The informal resolution process is voluntary, and the process will only go forward if both parties agree to participate and confirm their mutual requests in writing to the Title IX Coordinator. While the Title IX Coordinator can offer informal resolution as an option for the participants, the Title IX Coordinator will not compel either participant to engage in an informal resolution process.
Mediation and Title IX Mediator
- The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator and/or designee, including an internal or external trained professional, may serve in the capacity of a Title IX Mediator in the informal process. The Title IX Mediator is an objective party who serves to assist the parties in establishing their own resolution for the matter. The Title IX Mediator does not have the authority to make a finding regarding responsibility, and they will not decide upon a resolution for the participants. Rather, the Title IX Mediator is a facilitator, whose role is to help the participants communicate about a dispute or allegations of misconduct and see if the participants can come to an agreement as to an appropriate way to resolve the dispute.As appropriate and in consultation with parties, the Title IX Mediator may also engage individuals, such as trained professionals and/or impacted community members, to participate in the informal process.
- Because the informal resolution process is voluntary, parties may withdraw from the informal process at any time prior to reaching an agreement on a final resolution in writing. If one of the parties withdraws from the informal resolution process, then the matter will be adjudicated through the College’s formal grievance process (e.g., Title IX investigation and hearing). The Title IX Coordinator may also suspend an informal process at any time and transition to the formal process at her discretion and pursuant to Title IX federal law.
- In the informal process, the resolution is developed by parties with support from the Title IX Meditator. The parties may establish their own resolution depending upon the circumstances of a particular matter.Such a resolution may consist of an agreement that directs future behavior, including but not limited to modified living and learning accommodations, individualized “No Contact Orders”, and/or educational outcomes that may be parallel to sanctions in the formal process such as community service hours, educational initiatives, temporary leaves of absence, or permanent withdrawal (i.e., non-disciplinary suspension or expulsion) from the College. These are examples of potential resolutions, and they are not intended as an exhaustive list of ways that parties may decide to resolve their dispute.If the parties agree upon a resolution, they will prepare (with assistance from the Title IX Mediator) a final written resolution that sets forth the terms of the resolution, any agreements as to the parties’ future conduct, and any stipulations on a party’s standing at RMC.
- Once a resolution is reached and agreed to in writing, it must be approved by the Title IX Coordinator. If the Title IX Coordinator serves as the Title IX Mediator, then the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students or external member with appropriate training appointed by the College will review the proposed supportive measure(s) and/or educational outcomes(s) for approval. Because any resolution through the informal process would be agreed to by the parties (and not issued by a hearing panel), there is no appeal process for the informal process.
- The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for monitoring the resolution in consultation with appropriate RMC administration and pursuant to College policy and applicable law. If a resolution is not agreed upon by the parties or not approved by the Title IX Coordinator or Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students or appointed external member, then the matter will transition to the formal process. If any party fails to adhere to the final written resolution, then the Title IX Coordinator may pursue additional administrative actions and/or charges, including but not limited to transitioning the matter to a formal process and/or pursuing potential violation(s) of the Student Conduct Code.
Students’ Right to a Support Person and Role of Support Person
- At any meeting related to the informal process, the parties may have a support person, who may or may not be their Advisor, present to offer support to the party. Any support person, as well as any Advisor, must adhere to the SRC Policy and Student Handbook or they may be dismissed from the informal process.
Additional Rights in Informal Process
- Parties in an informal process remain eligible for supportive measures coordinated by the Title IX Coordinator. As outlined in the SRC Policy, confidentiality, to the extent possible, is still expected of all parties and participants in the informal process and retaliation is prohibited. As parties voluntarily agree to enter this process in good faith, the Title IX Mediator and/or testimony in the informal process will not be shared with a Title IX Investigator should the matter transition for any reason to a formal process.
Additional Administration and Individuals involved in SRC Proceedings:
Vice President for Student Affairs
- The Vice President for Student Affairs is the chief student affairs officer at the College. The Vice President for Student Affairs convenes the Behavior Assessment and Intervention Team. The Vice President for Student Affairs also appoints the members of the Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board. The Vice President for Student Affairs, or their designee, has the authority to place a student on interim suspension pending the College’s student conduct proceedings, but only does so as outlined in “Section XIII – Interim Suspension” in the Student Conduct Code. Applicable law under Title IX allows emergency removals of respondents prior to the conclusion of a grievance process (or even where no grievance process is pending), where the College determines that a respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of the complainant or anyone else in the RMC community. The Vice President for Student Affairs may refer such a decision to the College’s Behavioral Assessment and Intervention Team. When there is a need for a hearing while the College is in recess and the Sexual Conduct Board cannot be convened readily, the hearing may be conducted by the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee. The Vice President for Student Affairs also is the Student Conduct Appeals Authority. In their role as the Student Conduct Appeals Authority the Vice President for Student Affairs oversees the appeals process except in cases where they adjudicate the original proceeding during a college recess. In those cases, the Vice President for Student Affairs will designate an administrator to serve as the Student Conduct Appeals Authority. The Vice President for Student Affairs is Dr. Grant L. Azdell, Vice President for Student Affairs, 2nd Floor of Peele Hall. He may be contacted at (804-752-7266) or email@example.com.
- The Provost is the Chief Academic Officer at the College. The Provost appoints members of the Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board when the respondent is a member of the College faculty or staff. The Provost has the authority to place a faculty member on administrative leave but only does so according to the policies outlined in the Faculty Handbook. The Provost is the appeals authority in cases involving faculty members. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is Alisa Rosenthal 1st Floor Peele Hall. She may be reached at (804-752-7268) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Student Conduct Administrator
- The Student Conduct Administrator is the professional staff member designated by the Vice President for Student Affairs to oversee the Office of Student Conduct and its processes and procedures. When, and if, the Title IX Coordinator determines that a case should proceed to a hearing, the case is referred to the Office of Student Conduct and will be resolved by the Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board. The Student Conduct Administrator will oversee this process. The Student Conduct Administrator may also assist the Provost in the preparation and conduct of a hearing before the Sexual Conduct Board where the respondent is a member of the College’s faculty or staff. The Student Conduct Administrator is James McGhee, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, in the Student Engagement Center He may be reached at (804-752-3205) or email@example.com.
The Office of Student Conduct
- The Office of Student Conduct is charged with supporting the College’s educational mission and goals by promoting a just, safe, and civil College climate through informational programming, upholding community and behavioral standards as embodied in the Student Conduct Code, conducting fair and impartial student conduct processes and training Student Conduct Board members.
Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board
- The Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board will be convened to hear complaints of Prohibited Conduct. The Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board is composed of a Chair and two other members who have been appointed by the appropriate Cabinet member, i.e. Vice President for Student Affairs for students and the Provost for faculty members. They may be, but do not have to be, members of the RMC community. The members of the Dean’s Sexual Conduct Board shall be trained regarding the legal requirements of a fair and impartial grievance process under Title IX, and they shall be familiar with this Policy.
The Title IX Coordinator seeks to resolve complaints under this policy within a reasonably prompt time from the receipt of a report. Any delays in the process will be communicated to the complainant and respondent.
Withdrawing During an On-Going Student Conduct Process
A student may not avoid resolving an alleged Student Conduct Code or College Policy violation by withdrawing from the College. When an investigation of an alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code begins, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the registrar to place a withdrawal hold on the respondent’s academic record until the completion of the student conduct process including any appeal if applicable. Should a student depart from the College before review of a reported incident and/or resolution of an alleged Student Conduct Code or College policy violation is completed, the student conduct process will proceed and, where appropriate, sanctions for Student Conduct Code or College policy violation(s) will be issued. Hearings may take place without the presence of the respondent.
The Registrar is required, by Virginia law, to make a prominent notation on the academic transcript of any student who is found responsible for a violation of the Student Conduct Code and/or College Policy and who has been sanctioned with either suspension or expulsion. The notation must remain on the record until the completion of the sanction. Such notation may be expunged upon a showing of good cause after a period of three years.
Student Conduct Disciplinary Hold
The Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee may withhold an official transcript, diploma, or degree of a student alleged to have committed a violation of the Randolph-Macon College Student Conduct Code. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee may take such action pending a hearing by the appropriate student conduct board and/or the exhaustion of the student’s appellate rights. Moreover, such a hold may preclude participation in commencement exercises, or any other exercise related to commencement pending a hearing by the appropriate student conduct board and/or the exhaustion of the student’s appellate rights.
Prevention and Awareness Programs
The College is committed to the prevention of Prohibited Conduct through regular and ongoing education and awareness programs. Incoming Students and new Employees receive primary prevention and awareness programming as part of their orientation, and returning Students and current Employees receive ongoing training and related education.
For more information and/or to request a training on the SRC policy, please contact the Title IX Office at TitleIX@rmc.edu or 804-752-3295 or visit the Title IX Office online at https://www.rmc.edu/about-rmc/college-leadership/offices-departments/title-ix/
NCAA Good Faith Policy
In accordance with NCAA Board of Governors’ Policy to Combat Campus Sexual Violence (8/8/17), Randolph-Macon College has developed the College’s NCAA Sexual Violence Prevention Athletics Policy regarding campus sexual violence awareness and disclosures for prospective and rostered student-athletes who are under investigation and/or been disciplined for act(s) of violence. This policy does not require any prospective or rostered student-athlete who has experienced any act of violence(s) to disclose that information.
RMC’s prospective and rostered student-athletes who are under investigation and/or have been disciplined through the College’s Title IX and/or Student Conduct proceedings are subjected to these policies, including confidentiality provisions, and educational sanctions, ranging from warning to expulsion, and applicable law, including transcript notations. Pursuant to Title IX federal law and RMC policies, any information related to a Title IX report, investigation, and grievance process, including outcomes, must be kept confidential to the extent possible. Pursuant to Title IX federal law and applicable laws regarding confidentiality, any information collected must be kept confidential.
In accordance with NCAA guidance, RMC will comply with information sharing for transferring student-athletes. Any student-athlete who is transferring to another institution as a student-athlete should direct their future institution to the Title IX Office for any required disclosures related to violence as defined by the NCAA. RMC will share any knowledge of any open related investigation(s) and/or final discipline in good faith to comply with NCAA’s guidance on campus sexual violence prevention, while still seeking to protect private information in compliance with applicable law. See complete policy for more information.
Annual Policy Review – Completed 7/25/2022
The College will review and update this policy, as appropriate, each year. The College will evaluate, among other things, any changes in legal requirements, existing College resources, and the resolution of cases from the preceding year (including, but not limited to, timeframes for completion and sanctions and remedies imposed).
This policy governs the process for responding to, investigating, and resolving alleged incidents of Prohibited Conduct. As warranted by extenuating circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator, Student Conduct Administrator, and any hearing panel chair, may authorize deviations from this policy. Any modifications will be within the confines of Title IX federal regulation and College policies.