Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states:
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
Members of the Illinois Valley Community College community, guests, and visitors have the right to be free from all forms of sex/gender harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct, examples of which can include acts of sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
Therefore, it is the policy of the Board of Trustees of Illinois Valley Community College to provide an educational and employment environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct, sexual and other harassment of employees, students and other individuals at any College facilities or in connection with any College activities. Additionally, this policy will also apply to misconduct that occurs off-campus insomuch as it materially and substantially interferes with the college’s operational and educational programs or the safety and welfare of the college community. Finally, retaliation for making a good faith complaint of harassment or for participating in a harassment investigation is also prohibited.
The College believes in zero tolerance for sex/gender based misconduct. Zero tolerance means that when an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, protective and other remedial measures will be used to reasonably ensure that such conduct ends, is not repeated, and the effects on the reporting party and community are remedied, including serious sanctions when a responding party is found to have violated this policy.
The College uses the preponderance of the evidence (also known as “more likely than not”) as the standard for proof of whether a violation occurred. Resolution proceedings, such as a Title IX investigation, are conducted to take into account the totality of evidence available, from all relevant sources.
Through this policy, it is the intent of the Board to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act of 1972 (Title IX), and the Illinois Human Rights Act. The IVCC Student Code of Conduct also prohibits harassment by students.
Definitions, Resources, & Reporting Options
Forms of sex/gender-based or sexual misconduct include:
- Sex/Gender Harassment: Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from an IVCC educational program or activity.
- Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual touching, however slight and with any object or body part, that is without consent (as defined below) and/or by force or coercion.
- Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Any sexual penetration or copulation, however slight and with any object or body part that is without consent and/or by force or coercion. Intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth and genital/anal contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
- Sexual Exploitation: Taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of an individual to benefit anyone other than the person being exploited. Examples include: invading privacy, video or audio recording of sexual acts without consent, knowingly transmitting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), sexually-based stalking or bullying, or exposing one’s genitals.
- Other gender-based misconduct: Physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct that threatens the health or
safety of any person on the basis of actual, expressed, or perceived gender identity,
- Discrimination: actions that deprive others of access, benefits, or opportunities based on irrelevant criteria
- Hazing: acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social exclusion or humiliation
- Bullying: repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or degrade another person physically or mentally
- Dating Violence/Domestic Violence: violence between those in a sexual and/or comparably personal and private relationship
- Stalking: repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment, or other interference with the peace and/or safety of another person or that of his or her immediate family members.
Consent is defined as permission to act. It may be given by words or actions, so long as those words or actions create clear, mutually understood permission to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.
Consent must meet all of the following standards:
- Active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. There is no requirement that an individual resist a sexual act or advance, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent.
- Given freely. A person cannot give consent under force, threats, or unreasonable pressure (coercion). Coercion includes continued pressure after an individual has made it clear that he/she does not want to engage in the behavior.
- Provided knowingly. Legally valid consent to sexual activity cannot be given by:
- A person under the legal age to consent (17 years old in Illinois), or
- An individual who is known to be (or based on the circumstances should reasonably be known to be) mentally or physically incapacitated. An incapacitated individual is someone who cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because he or she lacks the capacity to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” of a sexual interaction. This includes a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, unconsciousness, use of alcohol or other drugs.
- Specific. Permission to engage in one form of sexual activity does not imply permission for another activity. In addition, previous relationships or prior consent do not imply consent to future sexual acts. It is the responsibility of the initiator of the act to receive permission for the specific act. As a result, consent may be requested and given several times by multiple parties during a sexual encounter involving multiple acts.
(This information is adapted from the ATIXA gender-based and Sexual Misconduct Policy by the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management [NCHERM] and the Association of Title IX Administrators [ATIXA], 2011)
The Title IX Coordinator for Illinois Valley Community College oversees compliance with all aspects of the sex/gender harassment, discrimination, and misconduct policy. The Title IX Coordinator reports directly to the President of IVCC and is housed in the IVCC Counseling Center, room CTC 202. Questions about this policy should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator.
Anyone wishing to make a report relating to discrimination or harassment may do so by reporting the concern to either:
Mark Grzybowski Leslie Hofer
Title IX Coordinator Director, Human Resources
Vice President for Student Services Main Building
Counseling Center C322
CTC 202B 815-224-0230
Additionally, reports can be made by reporting parties and/or third parties by calling G4S Campus Security at 815-224-0314. Note that these reports may prompt a need for the College to investigate.
Individuals experiencing harassment or discrimination have the right to file a formal grievance with government authorities:
Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
233 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 240
Chicago, IL 60601
Customer Response Center: 800-368-1019
Fax: 202-619-3818 TDD: 800-537-7697
- Unwelcome sexual advances, or
- Requests for sexual favors, or
- Sexual, sex/gender-based verbal, written, online, and/or physical conduct or
- Any conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, as a term or condition of employment or education, or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or education decisions affecting such individual, or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a reasonable individual’s work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment.
- Harassment is generally defined as a course of conduct which annoys, threatens, intimidates, alarms, or puts a person in fear of their safety. Harassment is unwanted, unwelcomed and uninvited behavior that demeans, threatens or offends the victim and results in a hostile environment for the victim. Harassing behavior may include, but is not limited to, epithets, derogatory comments or slurs and lewd propositions, assault, impeding or blocking movement, offensive touching or any physical interference with normal work or movement, and visual insults, such as derogatory posters or cartoons.
- Conduct that has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a reasonable individual’s work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment when such conduct is directed at an individual because of race, national origin, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation or any legally protected classification.
- Harassment includes both physical and verbal conduct. Any conduct that actually creates a hostile environment for a reasonable person is included, as well as conduct that contributes to the creation of a hostile environment. The College will not tolerate any conduct that causes or contributes to the humiliation, embarrassment or discomfort of employees or students because of a protected status.
- Any sexual advance by a faculty member toward a student currently enrolled in one of his or her courses or by a student toward a faculty member, or any acceptance of an advance by a faculty member, may be considered sexual harassment under this policy and is prohibited. This prohibition also applies to College employees who coach, counsel, advise or otherwise supervise or instruct students and to the students with whom they work.
- Examples of harassment include:
- A supervisor offers to give a favorable evaluation to an employee in exchange for sexual favors.
- A faculty member threatens to give an unfavorable grade to a student if the student refuses to grant sexual favors.
- A supervisor persistently criticizes and disparages a subordinate because of that person's gender.
- An employee persistently directs unwelcome flirting, pressure for dates, sexual propositions or comments, or sexual touching toward a co-worker.
- One or more students criticize, laugh at and disparage another student because of that student’s disability.
- Complaints of harassment of any type will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate action taken to end the harassment, protect the reporting party, and discipline as necessary, up to and including termination of employment.
All students are informed of the policies, protocols and procedures related to campus violence prevention during New Student Counseling & Registration sessions, New Student Convocation, and annually via email.
All employees are informed of the policies, protocols, and procedures related to campus violence prevention during New Employee Orientations, all-staff in-services, and via email.
Additionally, in partnership with an external entity, IVCC provides sexual assault prevention and awareness education on an ongoing basis in order to educate students, faculty, staff and the community about the nature of sexual assault and resources available to those who have been assaulted.
Bystander Intervention, as defined by the Clery Act, is "a safe and positive option that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Bystander intervention includes recognizing situations of potential harm, understanding institutional structures and cultural conditions that facilitate violence, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking action to intervene.” (34 CFR 668.46(j)(2)(ii))
Bystanders may often play a critical role in the prevention of sexual and relationship violence. Typically speaking, a bystander is an individual who observes violence or witnesses the conditions that perpetuate violence. He or she is not directly involved but has the choice to intervene, speak up, or do something about it.
IVCC, as a steward of the community, promotes a culture of accountability where bystanders are actively engaged in the prevention of violence without causing further harm.
If you feel yourself or someone else is in immediate danger, dial 911. If you witness or suspect instances of any type of sexual or relationship violence, please report the incident to any of the campus or community resources listed under VIII. Campus and Community Resources.
Risk Reduction, as defined by the Clery Act, are options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction, and to increase empowerment for victims in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence.
With regard to relationships:
- Know your limits and communicate those limits clearly.
- Reinforce your limits with a strong voice and body language.
- Respect yourself.
General safety tips:
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- If you see someone who could be in trouble, speak up or call authorities.
- Trust your intuition and do not be afraid to stand up for yourself.
- Be especially careful when you drink alcohol or when you are in the presence of someone who has been drinking.
- Likewise, watch your beverage at all times. Date rape drugs are tasteless, colorless, and odorless.
Students found in violation of committing an act of sex/gender harassment, discrimination, and misconduct will be held responsible per the disciplinary sanctions identified in the IVCC Student Code of Conduct.
Employees found in violation of committing an act of sex/gender harassment, discrimination, and misconduct will be held responsible per appropriate measure adopted by the College in conjunction with the Office of Human Resources and the employee’s respective supervisor(s). A breach of this policy may result in discipline, up to and including termination of employment.
Every member of the college community is prohibited from making an intentionally false accusation of an incident of harassment. A breach of this policy may result in discipline, up to and including termination of employment.
As IVCC is very concerned about incidents of sex/gender based or sexual misconduct and acknowledges that each person experiences and responds in differing ways, there are a variety of formal and informal options for support. Please review the information pertaining to your options for support, assistance, and reporting so that you can make an informed decision based on your personal needs.
Your needs may change over time, so please also know that you may choose to utilize different forms of response at different times.
If you have experienced any act of sexual misconduct, our first concern is for your safety and well-being. IVCC offers some on-campus resources to assist students who may have been affected by sexual violence or sexual misconduct. Additional services are available off-campus through local communities. Individuals are encouraged to utilize any and all on-campus and community resources that may be of assistance to them.
If you are concerned about your safety while walking to class or your workplace, you may wish to utilize the campus escort service, available 24/7 by calling Campus Security at 815-224-0314.
If you are not sure if you would like to proceed with formal action (i.e. filing a police report or reporting it to the College), there are informal support options for you while you make that determination. Counseling Services can be a good place to start if you are not sure where to go, and the Safe Journeys Illinois can be helpful if you have already addressed some of your immediate concerns but are looking for additional support resources.
Both of these are confidential resources:
- IVCC Counseling Services 815-224-0360
- Safe Journeys Illinois 815-434-8328
Full-time employees may contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for access to confidential resources.
The following resources are not managed by IVCC but may be helpful to you, especially in assisting you with a variety of needs that you may have beyond your campus experience.
- Oglesby Police Department 815-883-8404
- Illinois State Police, District 17 Headquarters 815-224-1171
- Freedom House 815-872-0087
- National: National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233)
Individuals may choose to seek action or assistance both on-campus as well as through the surrounding community. If you would like to see action occur because of a person’s behavior, you may wish to report the misconduct at some level. Additional or interim remedies may also be provided concurrently and/or in lieu of an investigation or formal process. Mediation may only be used when mutually 246 agreed upon by all involved parties and will not ordinarily be used to resolve complaints of sexual assault.
The following situations are examples of reasons why you might choose to report an incident of misconduct:
- To seek formal action against someone, such as removing them from a class or campus, or having a warning on record
- To educate the person about their behavior, through use of the campus conduct or complaint process
- To confront the individual and make your voice heard about how you feel about what happened
- To make the College aware of the behavior in case it is part of a larger pattern
- To receive assistance in changing classes or other on-campus arrangements
- To receive support in coping with a situation
Please note that misconduct exhibited by a student is subject to and may be reported through the student conduct referral process. Misconduct exhibited by employees (faculty or staff) should be reported to the Office of Human Resources.
This section provides clear and concise written notification of rights and options for survivors upon receipt of a formal report of an alleged violation of this policy.
- You have the right to report (or not report) any incident of sexual misconduct to
IVCC, to any jurisdictional law enforcement agencies, or both. The following options
are not considered as confidential reporting options.
Local Law Enforcement Options:
Emergency Option: 911
Oglesby Police Department
128 W. Walnut St.
Oglesby, IL 61348
Ottawa Police Department
301 W. Lafayette St.
Ottawa, IL 61350
Illinois State Police, District 17 Headquarters
2971 E 350th Rd.
LaSalle, IL 61301
LaSalle County Sheriff’s Department
707 E Etna Rd.
Ottawa, IL 61350
G4S Campus Security
815 N. Orlando Smith Rd. Rm. C103
Oglesby, IL 61348
IVCC Title IX Coordinator
815 N. Orlando Smith Rd. Rm CTC 202B
- You have the right to request and receive assistance if choosing to notify or report
the misconduct to local law enforcement.
- You have the right to report confidentially to resources that are not required to
share the report with the College or with law enforcement. Confidential reporting
IVCC Counseling Services
815 N. Orlando Smith Rd. Rm. CTC202
Safe Journeys Illinois
PO Box 593 248
Streator, IL 61364
- You have the right to request privacy and/or anonymity if you choose to report any
incident of sexual misconduct. You may also request that IVCC not investigate your
allegations. If requested, the College will make every attempt to protect your privacy/anonymity
and/or not investigate your allegations. However, please remember the College still
bears the responsibility to investigate in order to promote a safe learning environment
that is free from all types of harassment. Additionally, the College may also be limited
with its response and/or administering possible sanctions to responsible parties if
the allegations are not fully investigated.
- You have the right to be protected from retaliation for reporting any alleged act
of sexual misconduct and for participating in a subsequent Title IX investigation.
- You have the right to request and receive assistance accessing health and mental health
services, counseling, and advocacy services. For access to any of these services,
contact the Title IX Coordinator.
- You have the right to request interim protective measures and accommodations. The
Title IX Coordinator will coordinate interim measures to assist your wellbeing, such
as alterations to academic schedules, campus employment, transportation situations,
obtaining a campus order of protection or campus nocontact order, or providing assistance
in obtaining a court mandated order of protection or civil no-contact order.
- You have the right to a summary of IVCC’s complaint resolution procedure if reporting a violation of the comprehensive policy. The procedure, which will resolve alleged complaints promptly and timely, is can be read in full in IVCC's board policy.
VAWA & SaVE Act
In 2013, President Obama reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which included the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act).
The SaVE Act requires all federally funded institutions to promote transparency regarding reporting of incidents of sexual misconduct (domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking) by employees or students in the Campus Crime Statistics chart above.
Additionally, any individual reporting an incident of sexual misconduct must and will be provided with written rights to:
- Be assisted by campus authorities if reporting a crime to law enforcement
- Change academic, living, transportation, or working situations to avoid a hostile environment
- Obtain or enforce a no contact directive or restraining order
- Have a clear description of their institution’s disciplinary process and know the range of possible sanctions
- Receive contact information about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, and other services available both on-campus and in the community
The SaVE Act also requires all federally funded institutions to clarify institutional policies and disciplinary procedures and defines the minimal standards by which said policies and procedures must maintain. At IVCC, Administrative Procedure updates are currently at the Board of Trustee level for review and approval.
Specifically, institutions must ensure that:
- Disciplinary hearing provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution and are conducted by officials receiving annual training on domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking
- Both parties (complainant and defendant) may have others present during an institutional disciplinary proceeding and any related meeting
- Both parties (complainant and defendant) will receive written outcomes of disciplinary hearings at the same time
Finally, the SaVE Act requires all federally funded institutions provide ongoing primary prevention and awareness campaigns and training for incoming students and new employees.
Said campaigns must include:
- Safe and positive options for bystander intervention
- Information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior
- Ongoing prevention and awareness programs for students and faculty
IVCC has chosen to partner with Workplace Answers to conduct training for employees and Campus Answers to conduct training for students. Information on the training program will be emailed to students, announced via BlackBoard, and detailed in the student newspaper.
Information on VAWA reauthorization was also distributed during New Student Convocation on August 14, 2015.
For additional information, contact IVCC Title IX Coordinator Mark Grzybowski in the Counseling Center, CTC 202, by phone at 815-224-0393, or email at Mark_Grzybowski@ivcc.edu.