Student Handbook: Institutional Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines
All information is valid for the academic year 2016-2017.
This Section of the Handbook sets forth general policies, procedures and guidelines for all students enrolled at Wheelock. These policies, procedures and guidelines are not intended to be all-inclusive and are subject to change by the College, as it deems necessary and appropriate.
The College is committed to creating and maintaining a campus environment that is free of the use of illicit drugs and alcohol. In compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, and other state and federal laws, the College has developed the following Drug and Alcohol Awareness Policy. The College reserves the right to change this policy at any time.
College students are adults and, as such, are expected to obey the law and take personal responsibility for their conduct. Students who drink alcohol are expected to do so in a safe, responsible and legal manner. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of controlled substances, illicit drugs, or alcohol by students on College property or at any College-sponsored activity is prohibited. For purposes of the College's Drug and Alcohol Awareness Policy, a controlled substance is any illegal or prescription drug that, if abused, may lead to physical or psychological dependence. Massachusetts law prohibits individuals under the age of twenty-one from drinking alcoholic beverages. Under the College's Policy (and in some cases as required by state and federal law), the list of prohibited conduct can be found in the Student Code of Conduct.
Drug Awareness Policy:
Wheelock College supports all laws governing the possession, use and sale of illegal drugs and fully cooperates with the enforcement of all such laws. The College strictly forbids the use, possession of distribution of illegal drugs, or use, possession or distribution of illegal drug paraphernalia. The College also strictly forbids the use of illegal drugs at College sponsored events off campus. In addition, all students present at the time of a drug violation may be subject to disciplinary action.
Students are required to abide by all requirements of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and this policy as a condition of continued enrollment at the College. A student who violates any provision of this policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the College. Also, in appropriate circumstances, as determined by the College, law enforcement officials may be notified. Unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs may subject a student to criminal penalties.
Any student determined to be manufacturing, dealing, selling, or distributing illegal drugs on or off campus may face dismissal from the College. Such students may be subject to arrest and further legal action. The College will cooperate fully with law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosecution of drug related cases. The College will assume a student is dealing drugs if the student possesses a large quantity of illegal drugs. For example, more than two ounces of marijuana and more than four grams of cocaine would constitute a large quantity of illegal drugs.
Persons suspected of bringing illicit drug on their person or in their belongings on property owned or leased by the College will be subject to search by the residence hall staff, Public Safety staff or other authorized personnel. The responding staff member will document the situation. All students involved may be subject to disciplinary action. Residence hall staff members will address any persons suspected of using or keeping illicit drugs or paraphernalia in a residence hall. In such an instance, residence hall and/or Public Safety staff will conduct a visual inspection of the location and require the resident(s) to gather and surrender any illicit drugs or paraphernalia. Public Safety will confiscate all found/surrendered illicit drugs or paraphernalia. If such an incident occurs in a residence hall room, any guest of the resident(s) at that time will be asked to leave the room and/or hall. The responding staff member(s) will document the situation and all students involved may be subject to disciplinary action.
Alcohol Awareness Policy:
Under this Policy, if a student is over twenty-one years old and all of his or her roommates are also over twenty-one years old, he or she may have a limited amount of alcohol in his or her residence hall room. Each student who is over twenty-one years of age may have no more than the following amount of alcohol in his or her room at any time: one six pack of beer; or one standard (750 ml) bottle of wine; or one (750 ml) bottle of other alcohol, excluding grain alcohol, other "fortified" wines, and any caffeinated alcoholic beverages. Residents are responsible for any alcohol possessed by non-resident visitors. Any alcohol possessed by non-resident visitors is treated as if possessed by the resident host. The limit of alcohol is applies to the present occupants of the room.
It is a violation of this Policy for a student who is over twenty-one years old to consume or be in the presence of alcohol in his or her residence hall room when students who are under twenty-one years old are present, even if the student who is under twenty-one years old is not consuming alcohol. This is a violation for both the student who is over twenty-one years old and the underage student.
It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to violate the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Policy. Violations of this Policy may result in sanctions and disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. The College may also require a student to complete an educational program and/or assessment.
The College may refer violations of the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Policy to state or county authorities for prosecution. Penalties for the violation of local, state and federal laws pertaining to illicit drugs and alcohol include imprisonment and/or fines. A felony drug or alcohol conviction may bar an individual from entering certain fields of employment.
The College encourages any student who may have a problem or may know of someone else who has a problem with the use of illicit drugs or abuse of alcohol to seek professional counseling. The College has counselors and support groups available to all students in need of counseling, referrals, education, and information. Contact the Counseling Center at 617-879-2410 or 617-879-2413 for counselors and referral on a confidential basis. The Counseling Center also has information concerning off campus counseling and treatment resources.
Smoking is prohibited in all Wheelock buildings, including residence halls, and on all Wheelock College grounds.
Email is an official method of communicating at Wheelock College. The Office of Information Technology creates and issues a Wheelock email account to each student upon enrollment. Each student is notified, in writing, of his/her email address and receives instructions for accessing his/her email account. The Wheelock College Student Email Policy requires students to activate and utilize their Wheelock email accounts. The Policy was developed to set standards for communications between the College and its students, to ensure that all students have access to pertinent College information, and to ensure that administration, faculty, and staff of the College have a standardized method and a timely process for communications with students.
Use of any electronic communication, including but not limited to, the network, electronic mail, or social networking sites (i.e., Facebook or Twitter) for transmitting anonymous, rude, abusive, harassing or malicious messages is unethical and will result in disciplinary action.
Communications sent to students' Wheelock College email address may include notification of campus events, course selections and registration, and deadlines regarding financial aid and tuition bills. Although students may maintain separate email accounts, students are held accountable for information disseminated to their Wheelock College email addresses and are expected to check their Wheelock email regularly for College communications. Students who choose to have their Wheelock College email address forwarded to an alternate email address are also accountable for information communicated by the College via email. It is the student's responsibility to read College email communications on a regular basis and to take action in a timely manner, whenever appropriate.
Questions regarding activation and usage of email accounts or this Policy should be directed to the Department of Information Technology at http://wheelock.edu/helpdesk or (617) 879-2309.
Massachusetts law prohibits hazing and imposes criminal penalties not only on those who organize and carry out hazing but also on those who are present and fail to report it. Additionally, hazing is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and students who engage in hazing or fail to report hazing may be subject to sanctions or disciplinary actions.
The College complies with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269, Sections 17, 18 and 19. For the purposes of Massachusetts law, hazing is defined as:
any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.
The fact that a student consents to hazing is not a defense under the law.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives each student access to his or her educational records, the right to correct inaccuracies in those records, and the right to control distribution. Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. Department of Education has stated that a college or university must provide (absent a request) information it reasonably believes will assist law enforcement officials in investigating or preventing terrorist activities. In addition, there are exceptions to FERPA, such as a lawfully-issued subpoena, which allow the College to release student records even if a student objects.
Certain personally identifiable information from a student's education record, designated by the College as "directory information," may be released without a student's prior consent. A student who wishes has the right to prevent release of this information, subject to the exemptions provided by law. To prevent the release of "directory information," a student must complete and submit a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form available from the Office of Academic Records and Registration at the beginning of each academic year. The College has designated the following personally identifiable student data as "directory information":
Name, addresses (local, permanent, e-mail), phone numbers (local and permanent), date of birth, on-campus mailbox, dates of attendance, major field of study, year in school (class level), previous institutions attended, degrees and awards received, and participation in officially recognized activities and sports.
Under the Patriot Act of 2001, the College is required to implement a Student Exchange and Visitor System and the Immigration and Naturalization Student/Scholar Tracking System. This impacts all international students studying in the United States on a non-immigrant visa in the following ways:
- students will have to register for a full-time load of courses each semester without exception;
- students will be required to inform the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service of their address and change of addresses on a regular and timely basis;
- students will have to be aware of the end date of their legal status on their visa document;
- students will have to be sure that all legal requirements have been met when transferring from one school to another in the United States; and
- students will face penalties and potentially be prohibited from continuing their studies in the United States if they do not comply with the policies and requirements of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act ("Clery Act"), the College is required to disclose crime statistics as part of a campus security report published annually. This information includes statistics regarding instances where students were not arrested but were subject to College sanctions or disciplinary actions, for the following offenses: liquor law violations, drug law violations, and illegal weapons possession. These instances are in addition to the seven specific criminal offenses subject to required reporting per Clery Report. This disclosure does not include the names of the complainant or respondent.
To inspect or review his or her records, a student must submit a written request to the Office maintaining the education records. The request will be honored within fourteen days of receipt. If requested, copies of a student's records are available to the student for a fee to cover the cost of duplicating. The College has the right to deny a student a copy of the following records:
- an official transcript for any student for which a financial "hold" exists (a "hold" is imposed if the student fails to pay term bills, fees or fines),
- a copy of an original transcript from another institution,
- a diploma for any student for which a financial "hold" exists (a "hold" is imposed if the student fails to pay term bills, fees or fines).
Within the College community, academic and administrative officials, including personnel of the Office of Academic Records and Registration, are permitted access to student educational records for legitimate educational purposes. It is the responsibility of each Office maintaining education records to keep a log that verifies the name of each person (other than academic and administrative officials) who has viewed the record, the reason, and the date of access. Students have the right to see this log.
A student's records are not accessible to parties outside the College without written authorization from the student. Exceptions include:
- directory information, as defined above;
- officials of institutions in which students seek to enroll or have enrolled;
- accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function;
- parents of students who declare the student as a "dependent" for federal income tax purposes;
- persons acting in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully-issued subpoena;
- persons acting in an emergency to protect the health or safety of students or other persons;
- federal and state educational officials acting pursuant to their official duties;
- organizations conducting educational testing research; and
- alleged complainants of any crimes of violence who seek from the College the results of any disciplinary proceedings conducted by the College against the alleged perpetrators of such crimes with respect to such crimes.
Additionally, federal law requires that the College disclose a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, level of education, academic major, and degree received, and the most recent educational institution enrolled in by the student to the federal government for purposes of military recruitment.
A student has the right to receive a response from the Office that maintains his or her education records to a reasonable request for an explanation or interpretation of the records. A student who believes that his or her education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise violates his or her privacy or other rights, may contest the information in question by submitting a written request to the head of the Office that maintains the education records. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested, the student has a right to a hearing. The student also has the right to place in his or her records a statement disputing or clarifying the records.
For more detailed information on Wheelock's policies regarding privacy and records, contact the Office of Academic Records and Registration.
Wheelock College is committed to creating and sustaining a campus community that accepts and honors the diversity of its members. Diversity is the understanding and appreciation of all people regardless of ethnic origin and background, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or ability. The goals supporting this commitment include the following:
- promoting an institutional commitment to diversity;
- creating and sustaining a campus climate that values diversity;
- increasing and supporting sustained opportunities for student experiences and student learning from a diverse, equitable and multicultural perspective;
- ensuring that Wheelock College is a place where persons of any age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, socio-economic status, handicapping condition, and gender or sexual orientation feel welcome and respected.
Policy Against Sexual Misconduct
Policy Scope and Overview
Institutional Mission and Community Expectations
Wheelock College is committed to providing a non-discriminatory and harassment-free educational, living, working, and academic environment for all members of the community, including students, faculty, administrators, and staff, and does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs or activities. This policy prohibits all forms of sexual or gender-based harassment, discrimination or misconduct, including sexual violence, sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 also prohibits discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. Misconduct of this nature is contrary to the Wheelock College mission and Code of Conduct, and is not tolerated in any form.
Applicability and Scope
This policy applies to all members of the Wheelock community, including students, faculty, staff, and applicants for admission or employment, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as third parties (i.e., visitors, independent contractors, and others who are neither students nor employees), where their conduct is directed toward or otherwise affects Wheelock community members.
The policy is applicable to conduct that occurs on campus, and conduct that occurs off campus, including online or electronic conduct, when the conduct: occurs in the context of an employment or education program or activity of the College; has continuing adverse effects on campus; has continuing adverse effects in an off campus employment or education program or activity, such as travel abroad, research, or internship programs; or has, or may have, the effect of contributing to and/or continuing a hostile environment in a College program or activity.
It is important to note that a report of sexual misconduct can happen at any time, meaning that there is no statute of limitations when referencing the College's obligation to investigate.
The College will always respond to sexual misconduct that it knows or should know about in order to stop prohibited conduct, prevent the recurrence of any conduct of concern, prevent or eliminate any hostile environment, and, where appropriate, address any effects to community members or campus from such prohibited conduct. The College will take prompt action in response to any sexual misconduct by, for example: providing interim remedies and support; addressing the safety of individuals and the campus community; conducting a review of the conduct; collecting statements & pertinent evidence; and, as warranted, pursuing resolution through informal measures or formal disciplinary action against the accused individual (referred to in this policy as the "Respondent"). It is important to note that the College is committed to offering support to all community members (including those classified as "Complainant," "Respondent," or "Witness"), and all will be treated equitably.
Wheelock encourages the prompt reporting of any incident of sexual or gender-based misconduct to the College. In addition, the College will assist reporting to local law enforcement agencies when the Complainant so chooses. Internally, the report can be made by:
- A person who believes they experienced sexual misconduct (a "Complainant"); or
- A person who has information that sexual misconduct may have been committed by a member of the College community (a "Witness")
The College, as well as state and federal laws, prohibits retaliation against any person who, in good faith, reports, assists in reporting, or participates in and investigation of possible sexual misconduct.
If you believe you are a victim of sexual assault, sex discrimination, or any other behaviors prohibited by the Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, or if you have questions about this policy or Title IX, contact a Title IX Coordinator.
Wheelock College Title IX Coordinators:
For faculty and staff related matters, contact:
Director of Human Resources and
Title IX Coordinator
Main Administration Building ACW - Room 307
For student related matters, contact:
Title IX Coordinator, Assistant Dean of Student Engagement & Family Programs
Pilgrim Student Center
Questions about Title IX may also be referred to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, which can be reached at (617) 289-0111: https://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/cfapps/OCR/contactus.cfm.
Language and Prohibited Conduct
Any of the prohibited conduct defined in this policy can be committed by individuals of any gender, and can occur between individuals of the same gender or different genders. It can occur between strangers or acquaintances, as well as between people involved in intimate or sexual relationships. Conduct defined below violates college policy, regardless of whether the conduct rises to the level of violating the law.
Sexual Misconduct is a broad term used in this policy to encompass unwelcome or unwanted sex or gender-based conduct or behavior of a sexual nature that is prohibited by the College and may also be prohibited by federal and state law, including Title IX. The term sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, physical or non-physical behavior, such as sex and gender discrimination, assault, rape, abuse, stalking, harassment and intimidation. The following definitions provide examples of behavior that will not be tolerated.
Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their or others' safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Examples include, but are not limited to, repeatedly following such person(s) in his/her course of daily activities and repeatedly committing acts that alarm, cause fear, or seriously annoy such other person(s) and that serve no legitimate purpose. This includes forms of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass, or make unwelcome contact with another person
The State of Massachusetts defines Stalking as "Willfully and maliciously engaging in conduct that seriously alarms or annoys a specific person and would cause reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress; and Making threats with the intent to the place person in fear of death or bodily injury."
Sex-based harassment is a form of sex discrimination, and includes sexual harassment and gender-based harassment. Sex-based harassment is also prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 151B, and other applicable state and federal statutes.
Sexual harassment includes sexual violence and is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such behavior has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's education or work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment. In addition, such actions are prohibited when:
- Submission to such advances, requests or conduct is made an express or implied condition of employment or academic standing; or
- Submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is used as a condition of the provision of the benefits, privileges or placement services or as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual who submits or rejects.
Gender-based harassment is unwelcome conduct of a nonsexual nature based on a student's actual or perceived sex, including conduct based on gender identity, gender expression, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes.
Sexual assault is the act of committing unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature, whether by an acquaintance or by a stranger, and is a form of sexual violence. There are many degrees and forms of sexual assault including, but not limited to, the following:
Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse or Rape. Any form of sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal) with any object without consent. Intercourse includes but is not limited to: vaginal penetration, however slight, by a penis, object, tongue or finger; anal penetration, however slight, by a penis, objects, tongue or finger; or mouth-to-genital contact.
Non-consensual Sexual Contact. Non‐consensual sexual contact involves intentional and unwelcome sexual touching, however slight, usually but not necessarily involving contact with genitals, breasts, groin or buttocks by a body part or object, that is without consent. Sexual touching includes but is not limited to: intentional contact with someone's breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals; touching someone else with any of these body parts; making someone touch you or themselves on these same body parts; or intentional physical contact in a sexual manner, even if it does not involve contact with or by these body parts.
Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person takes sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that person without that person's consent. Examples of behavior that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation include:
1. Prostituting another person;
2. Recording or distributing images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person's sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness without that person's consent; or
3. Viewing another person's sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person's consent, and for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.
Coercion includes the use of pressure or oppressive behavior, including express or implied threats of harm, or severe or pervasive emotional intimidation, which places an individual in fear of immediate or future harm or physical injury or causes a person to engage in unwelcome sexual activity. A person's words or conduct amount to coercion if they wrongfully impair the other's freedom of will and ability to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity. In assessing whether coercion was used, the frequency, duration, and intensity of the pressure applied will be taken into consideration. If sexual acts were preceded by threats or coercion, there is no consent.
Complicity includes assisting, facilitating, or encouraging the commission of a violation of the Policy Against Sexual Misconduct.
Relationship or intimate partner violence (also known as dating violence or domestic violence) refers to violent or manipulative behavior by one person toward another in an intimate, dating, or domestic relationship. Relationship violence includes but is not limited to:
- Physical violence, such as kicking, hitting, pinching, choking, biting;
- Sexual violence, such as forcing a partner to take part in a sex act when the partner does not consent ;
- Psychological/Emotional violence, such as isolation, intimidation, belittling, stalking, cyber-bullying/harassment, or threat of physical force;
- Economic control, such as withholding financial resources to intimidate, threaten or cause a person to remain in a relationship because of access to finances.
The State of Massachusetts defines Domestic Violence as "...a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviors and tactics used by one person over another to gain power and control. This may include verbal abuse, financial abuse, emotional, sexual, and physical abuse. Domestic violence occurs in heterosexual, as well as same-sex partnerships, and crosses all ethnic, racial and socio-economic lines."
A hostile environment exists when sexual or gender-based misconduct is sufficiently serious to deny or limit the Complainant's ability to participate in or benefit from the College's programs or activities. A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a college's program or activity (e.g., administrators, faculty members, students, and campus visitors). In determining whether sex-based harassment has created a hostile environment, the College considers the conduct in question from both a subjective and objective perspective. It will be necessary, but not enough, that the conduct was unwelcome to the person who was harassed. The College will also need to find that a reasonable person in the Complainant's position would have perceived the conduct as undesirable or offensive in order for that conduct to create or contribute to a hostile environment.
To make the ultimate determination of whether a hostile environment exists for a community member, the College considers a variety of factors related to the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the sex-based harassment, including: (1) the type, frequency, and duration of the conduct; (2) the identity and relationships of persons involved; (3) the number of individuals involved; (4) the location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred; and, (5) the degree to which the conduct affected one or more community members' education or workplace.
The more severe the sex-based harassment, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to find a hostile environment. Indeed, a single instance of sexual assault may be sufficient to create a hostile environment. Likewise, a series of incidents may be sufficient even if the sex-based harassment is not particularly severe.
Intimidation is spoken, written, or physical conduct directed toward an individual or individuals that reasonably leads the target to fear for their physical well-being, or to engage in sexual conduct for self-protection, or that is intended to create or may be reasonably determined to have created a threatening or hostile environment.
For a sexual act to be legal, it must be consensual. Only conscious, of legal age, and sober people can provide consent. Consent for any sexual activity cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated. Consent must be informed, voluntary, and mutual, and can be withdrawn at any time. There is no consent when there is force, express or implied, or when coercion, intimidation, threats, or duress is used. Whether a person has taken advantage of a position of influence over another person may be a factor in determining consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent to a specific sexual activity cannot be inferred from previous sexual activity, prior sexual relationships, consent to a different sexual activity, or consent to sexual activity with another person.
Consent cannot be obtained from an individual who is incapable of giving consent because the person:
- Has a mental, intellectual, or physical disability;
- Is under the legal age to give consent (16 years of age in Massachusetts);
- Is asleep, "blacked out," unconscious, or otherwise physically helpless; or
- Is incapacitated, including through the consumption of alcohol or drugs.
- Incapacitation is the inability to make informed, rational, reasonable judgments and decisions, because the person lacks the ability to understand his or her decision. If alcohol or drugs are involved, incapacitation may be measured by evaluating how the substance affects a person's decision-making capacity, awareness, and ability to make informed judgments. The impact of alcohol and drugs varies from person to person; however, warning signs of possible incapacitation include but are not limited to slurred speech, unsteadiness, impaired coordination, inability to perform personal tasks such as undressing, inability to maintain eye contact, vomiting, and sudden change in emotion.
Options and Resources
This policy explains options and resources available to Wheelock community members who believe they have been subject to any type of sexual misconduct. The following is an overview of what to do in the event of sexual misconduct, and how the College will respond, investigate, and provide support:
For any individual subject or witness to sexual misconduct of any type, the first step is always the same: get to a safe place as soon as possible and call a trusted friend or advocate. Any individual subject to physical violence should seek medical attention. Take care to preserve any evidence of the incident, even if there is uncertainty whether a claim will be filed or legal action will be taken.
If any individual has been subject to sexual misconduct of any type or has witnessed sexual misconduct, the following options are available:
- Report the incident to the College or file a complaint with the College, so it may investigate and provide protective and remedial measures, by contacting a Title IX Coordinator, Michele Crews (617-879-2193) or Title IX Coordinator (617-879-2301), or one of the other college reporting sources identified below.
- Notify law enforcement authorities and file a criminal complaint by calling Public Safety (617-879-2151), 911, or other law enforcement units listed in this policy.
- Students may seek confidential support and counseling from the professional Counseling Staff located in The Counseling Center (617-879-2413 or 617-879-2410) or other confidential resources listed in this policy. The Counseling staff provides confidential counseling to all students between --am and --pm, ---day through ---day. After hours, students can contact Public Safety and ask to speak to the on-call counselor.
- The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides professional and confidential counseling and referrals for employees seeking assistance and can be contacted 24 hours a day.
You may choose all, none, or some of these options. No matter what you choose, the College will help and support you through the process.
Emergency/Immediate Assistance and Other Resources
Individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct have options and resources available to them regardless of their desire to participate in an internal or criminal investigation. The information below outlines on and off campus resources available for emergency or immediate assistance to anyone who has been subjected to sexual misconduct, whether or not they wish to report the incident.
On-Campus Resources for Emergency/Immediate Assistance
- Wheelock College, Public Safety (617-879-2151)
Even if you are off campus, Public Safety can assist in getting you back to campus, to a medical facility, or in contact with the Resident Director On Call and the Counselor on Call (COC).
- (Students) The Counseling Center (617-879-2413 or 617-879-2410) - The Counseling Center provides a safe environment in which counselors can assist students in crisis by providing options for immediate and longer term care, including emotional and psychological support, guidance in accessing medical care and other off campus resources.
Counseling Center Office Hours:
Walk-In Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-12pm and 2pm-3pm
Counselor on Call: contact directly and confidentially through Public Safety
(For Employees) Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be reached at 1-800-451-1834
Off-Campus Resources for Emergency/Immediate Assistance
• The Boston or the local Police department: 9-1-1
A Sexual Assault Exam is available at each of the hospitals listed below. The exam includes preventive treatment for sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and evidence collection, if sought. The exam is conducted by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) who is a Registered Nurse with advanced training and certification in conducting sexual assault exams.
- Beth Israel-Deaconess Hospital - 617-754-2450 or 617-667-7000 http://www.bidmc.org.
- Massachusetts General Hospital - 617-724-4100
- Brigham and Women's Hospital - 617-732-5636
- Boston Medical Center - 617-414-4075
1. (Students) Harvard Vanguard Health Services Urgent Care (617-421-1196) (The unit functions as Wheelock's student health service)
2. BARCC or the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (1-800-841-8371)
24-hour confidential hotline
3. The Center for Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery 617-667-8141
4. Fenway Community Health Service Violence Recovery Program (617-972-6250): after 5:00pm or on the weekends (877-785-2020) (Focused on LGBTQ intimate partner violence prevention & services)
5. Network LA RED (LGBTQ Friendly)
Preservation of Evidence
The College encourages all individuals who have experienced an incident of sexual assault to preserve any evidence by: placing clothing and other relevant items (sheets, blankets) in a brown paper bag (not a plastic bag), and avoiding drinking, bathing, showering, douching, brushing teeth, using mouthwash, combing hair, or changing clothes.
In addition, the individual (or a friend or support person) should write down everything that can be remembered about the incident. This should be done even if the individual is undecided about whether to report the incident. If an individual chooses not to preserve evidence or seek medical assistance, any of the other options outlined here may still be taken.
Reporting/Privacy & Confidentiality
The College encourages individuals who experience or witness sexual misconduct to talk to somebody about what happened - so they can get the support they need, and so the College can respond appropriately. The report may be made by (i) the person who experienced sexual misconduct; or (ii) any person who has information that sexual misconduct may have occurred in connection with a College community member, event, or activity.
Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a Complainant's confidentiality upon learning of an incident of sexual misconduct.
- Other employees may talk to a Complainant in confidence, and generally only report to the College that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information. Disclosures to these employees will not trigger a College investigation into an incident against the Complainant's wishes.
- Some employees are required to report all the details of an incident (including the identities of both the Complainant and alleged perpetrator) to the Title IX coordinator. A report to these employees (called "responsible employees") constitutes a report to the College - and generally obligates the College to investigate the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation.
This policy is intended to outline the various resources and confidential disclosure options available to community members subject to sexual misconduct - so they can make informed choices about where to turn. The College encourages victims to talk to someone identified in one or more of these groups.
Privileged and Confidential Communications
o Professional Counselors. Professional, licensed counselors who provide mental-health counseling to members of the school community (and including those who act in that role under the supervision of a licensed counselor) are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX coordinator without a Complainant's permission.
Following is the contact information for these individuals:
On Campus -
For Students: Personal Counselors in The Wheelock College Counseling Center (617-879-2413 or 617-879-2410)
(For Employees) Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be reached at 1-800-451-1834
o Non-professional Counselors and Advocates. Individuals who work or volunteer in The Counseling Center including front desk staff and students can generally talk to a Complainant without revealing any personally identifying information about an incident to the College. A Complainant can seek assistance and support from these individuals without triggering a college investigation that could reveal the Complainant's identity or that the Complainant has disclosed the incident.
While maintaining a Complainant's confidentiality, these individuals or their office must report the nature, date, time, and general location of an incident to the Title IX Coordinator. This limited report - which includes no information that would directly or indirectly identify the Complainant - helps keep the Title IX Coordinator informed of the general extent and nature of sexual violence on and off campus so the coordinator can track patterns, evaluate the scope of the problem, and formulate appropriate campus-wide responses. Before reporting any information to the Title IX Coordinator, these individuals will consult with the Complainant to ensure that no personally identifying details are shared with the Title IX Coordinator.
A Complainant who speaks to a professional or non-professional counselor or advocate must understand that, if the Complainant wants to maintain confidentiality, the College may be unable to conduct an investigation into the particular incident or pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator. Even so, these counselors and advocates will still assist the Complainant in receiving other necessary protection and support, such as victim advocacy, academic support or accommodations, disability, health or mental health services, and changes to living, working or course schedules. A Complainant who at first requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with the school or report the incident to local law enforcement, and thus have the incident fully investigated. These counselors and advocates will provide the Complainant with assistance if the Complainant wishes to do so.
NOTE: While professional and non-professional counselors, advocates, and other confidential resources may maintain a victim's confidentiality vis-à-vis the College, they may have reporting or other obligations under state law, such as mandatory reporting to the Department of Children and Families in case of minors; threat of imminent harm to self or others; or the requirement to testify if subpoenaed in a criminal case.
Reporting to Responsible Employees
In general, most college employees do not have legally protected confidentiality. Under Title IX, a college is required to take immediate corrective action if a "responsible employee" knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about sexual or gender-based harassment that creates a hostile environment. A "responsible employee" includes any employee who:
- Has the authority to take action to redress the harassment;
- Has the duty to report to appropriate school officials sexual harassment or any other misconduct by students or employees; or
- A person could reasonably believe has the authority or responsibility to take action.
Using this lens, employees with supervisory and leadership responsibilities on campus are considered "responsible employees." This includes, for example, faculty, coaches, supervisors, administrators, and Resident Assistants.
To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling the College's response to the report. A responsible employee should not share information with law enforcement without the Complainant's consent or unless the Complainant has also reported the incident to law enforcement or the employee is otherwise required by law to do so.
Before a Complainant reveals any information to a responsible employee, the employee should ensure that the Complainant understands the employee's reporting obligations - and, if the Complainant wants to maintain confidentiality, direct the Complainant to confidential resources. If the Complainant wants to tell the responsible employee what happened but also maintain confidentiality, the employee should tell the Complainant that the College will consider the request, but cannot guarantee that the College will be able to honor it. In reporting the details of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, the responsible employee will also inform the Coordinator of the Complainant's request for confidentiality.
Responsible employees will not pressure a Complainant to request confidentiality or to make a full report if the Complainant is not willing to do so. In all cases, the College will honor and support the Complainant's wishes, including for the College to investigate fully an incident.
Formal Reporting Options
Victims of sexual misconduct may report complaints to be handled through the College's process, may pursue criminal action, may choose one but not the other, may choose neither, or may choose both. Proceedings under the College's policies may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off-campus.
Reports to the College - Reports by or against any community member may be made to:
Director of Human Resources and
Title IX Coordinator
Main Administration Building ACW - Room 307
Title IX Coordinator, Assistant Dean of Student Engagement & Family Programs
Pilgrim Student Center
Director of Public Safety
Longwood Public Safety Office L9
(617-879-2151)Public Main Number (617-879-2151)
The College encourages the Complainant to meet personally with a Title IX Coordinator before filing a written statement, to ensure understanding of the administrative process.
A written statement is not required, but if provided should describe the alleged incident(s) with as much clarity and detail as possible, and should reference or include any supporting documentation. Reports should also include the full first and last names of the Complainant, the Respondent, and others who may be involved. The Title IX Coordinator will work with the Complainant to make sure s/he is aware of his/her rights and resources, and can take remedial action as described herein to alleviate the immediate effects of the alleged incident(s).
Reports to Law Enforcement - If a Complainant wants to report the incident to law enforcement, the Complainant may file a report with Public Safety (617-879-2151) or Boston Police (617-343-4400). The College can assist a Complainant with this process if the Complainant so chooses. Filing a complaint with law enforcement does not require the Complainant to participate in a criminal process if the Complainant chooses not to. Neither the results of a criminal investigation nor the decision of law enforcement to investigate or decline to investigate the matter is determinative of whether sexual misconduct, for the purposes of this policy, has occurred.
The Complainant may disclose an incident but request confidentiality and/or that no investigation into the particular incident is pursued, or no action through the College process be taken. In such instances the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with a small number of key college administrators, will weigh the request against the College's obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students and employees, including the Complainant. A range of factors may be considered in making this assessment (e.g., whether the alleged accused is likely to commit additional acts of sexual, gender-based, or other violence, whether the act was committed with a weapon, if the Complainant is a minor, whether the College can obtain relevant evidence of the misconduct through some other means, or whether the report reveals a pattern of behavior at a given location or by a particular group). The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the College to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue action against the accused. If none of these factors are present, the College will likely respect the Complainant's request.
If the College honors a Complainant's request for confidentiality or decision not to participate in an investigation, the College's ability to meaningfully investigate the incident or pursue action against the alleged accused may be limited.
If the College determines that it cannot maintain a Complainant's confidentiality, the College will inform the Complainant prior to an investigation and, to the extent possible, share information only with a limited number of personnel responsible for handling the College's response. The College will remain ever mindful of the victim's well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect the victim from retaliation or harm and work with the victim to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the victim, whether by students or College employees, will not be tolerated. The College will also:
- assist the Complainant in accessing other available victim advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off campus (see Section II of this policy);
- provide other support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change to on-campus housing or working arrangements or course schedules (including for the respondent pending the outcome of an investigation) or adjustments for assignments or tests; and
- inform the Complainant of the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement - and provide the Complainant with assistance if the Complainant wishes to do so.
The College may not require a Complainant to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding.
Because the College is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of gender-based misconduct campus-wide, reports of that nature (including non-identifying reports) will also prompt the College to consider broader remedial action - such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported acts occurred; increasing education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; and/or revisiting its policies and practices.
If the College determines that it can grant a Complainant's request for confidentiality, the College will also discuss other actions that might be implemented to protect and assist the Complainant.
Public Awareness Events - Public awareness events public awareness events such as "Take Back the Night," the Clothesline Project, candlelight vigils, protests, "survivor speak outs" or other forums in which community members disclose incidents of sexual misconduct, are not considered notice to the College of sexual violence for purposes of triggering its obligation to investigate any particular incident(s). Such events may, however, inform the need for campus-wide education and prevention efforts, and the College will provide information about community members' Title IX rights at these events.
Off-campus Counselors and Advocates - Off-campus counselors, advocates, and health care providers will also generally maintain confidentiality and not share information with the College unless the victim requests the disclosure and signs a consent or waiver form.
Upon receipt of a report, the College will provide interim support and reasonable protective measures to prevent further acts of misconduct, and to provide a safe educational and work environment. The College will determine the necessity and scope of any interim measures. Even when a complainant or respondent does not specifically request that protective action be taken, the College may choose to impose interim measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of any individual, the broader College community or the integrity of the review process.
Individuals desiring such assistance should speak with the Title IX Coordinator (or another designated employee, depending on the status of the Respondent), who will coordinate such requests. The College will maintain contact with the parties to ensure that all safety and emotional and physical well-being concerns are being addressed.
All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about failure of another individual to abide by any restrictions imposed by an interim measure. The College will take immediate and responsive action to enforce measures previously ordered or implemented by the College.
The College may impose any remedy that can be tailored to the involved parties to achieve the goals of this policy, even if not specifically listed here. The range of interim measures may include:
No Contact Order: A complainant or respondent may request, or the College may impose, communication and contact restrictions to prevent further potentially harmful interaction. These communication and contact restrictions generally preclude in person, telephone, electronic or third party communications. In some cases, an individual may also wish to consider an Abuse Prevention Order or a Harassment Prevention Order from the local courts. This is a civil proceeding independent of the College. If a court order is issued the College will, to the extent possible, assist the protected person in benefiting from the restrictions imposed by the court and will also facilitate on campus compliance with the order. The College may also limit an individual or organization's access to certain College facilities or activities as part of the no contact order.
Academic, Employment, or Residence Modifications: A complainant or respondent may request an academic or employment accommodation or a change in residence or workspace after a report of sexual misconduct. An individual who requests assistance in changing their academic, working, or living situation after an incident of sexual misconduct will receive appropriate and reasonably available accommodations. These may include:
- Academic accommodations, including a change in class schedule, taking an incomplete, dropping a course without penalty, attending a class via Skype or other alternative means, providing an academic tutor, or extending deadlines for assignments;
- Change of dormitory assignment;
- Change in work assignment or schedule;
- Providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities.
The College will treat any accommodation provided with confidentiality, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College to provide the accommodation.
Emotional Support: The College will provide counseling services to students through the Counseling Center, or will assist in providing a referral to off campus agencies.
Interim Separation: Where the report of sexual misconduct poses an ongoing risk of harm to the safety or well-being of an individual or members of the campus community, the College may place an individual on interim suspension or impose leave for an employee. Pending resolution of the complaint, the individual may be denied access to campus.
Prevention, Education, and Training
Through its educational programming and security measures, the college attempts to help community members reduce their risk of being sexual assault victims. The college is committed to spreading awareness and teaching preventative strategies through New Student Orientation, New Hire Orientation, Faculty and Staff Training Forums, Student Leadership Training, Bystander Intervention Training, Sexual Assault Prevention Week/Month, The Clothesline Project, and more programs sponsored by Student Life, Public Safety, the Counseling Center, Human Resources, and Student Organizations.
In addition, the College encourages all members of our community to participate in the process of creating a safe, welcoming and respectful environment on campus. In particular, the College expects that all community members will take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of sexual misconduct. Taking action may include direct intervention when safe to do so, enlisting the assistance of friends, contacting law enforcement, or seeking assistance from a person in authority. Community members who choose to exercise bystander intervention will be supported by the College and protected from retaliation.
Acts or attempts to retaliate or seek retribution against the Complainant, Respondent, or any individual or group of individuals involved in the complaint, investigation and/or resolution of an allegation of sexual misconduct are strictly prohibited. Any individual or group of individuals, not just a Respondent or Complainant, can commit retaliation. Retaliation can take many forms, including threats, intimidation, pressuring, continued abuse, violence or other forms of harm to others. Retaliation between all parties is strictly prohibited during reporting, the investigation, the administrative hearing process, and after any/all proceedings.
Investigation and Adjudication Procedures
The College has developed procedures for investigating and resolving complaints of sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault, as stated above.
The College will take steps to investigate any report of sexual misconduct. If a report is made to a private office, the college is required to investigate to the best of our ability. The investigation will include the following measures:
In all cases, the College will respond to the report in a prompt, thorough, procedurally fair, and effective manner. Upon receipt of a report, the College will strive to complete its review within sixty (60) calendar days. Once the College is on notice of possible sexual misconduct, the Complainant will be offered appropriate confidential support and other resources and notified of applicable institutional policies. The College will take appropriate steps to prevent and/or address student safety, the prevention of future harm, and retaliatory conduct immediately following a report.
Each case will be assigned an investigator. Investigators will be selected based on the type of case and potential violations, availability, and in regards to preventing conflicts of interest.
In most cases, the College's review will involve conducting a thorough fact-finding investigation, which includes meeting separately with the Complainant (if participating), Respondent, witnesses (if applicable), and reviewing other relevant evidence. Occasionally, a different or less formal response to the report may be warranted (an informal approach will never be appropriate in cases of sexual assault).
At any time during the course of an investigation (before the case enters into adjudication), the Complainant, Respondent, or any witnesses may provide a written statement, other supporting materials, or identify other potential witnesses, regarding the matter under review. Additionally, the Complainant may change their chosen course of action at any time.
The Respondent (if a member of the Wheelock community) will also be offered appropriate confidential support and other resources and notified of applicable institutional policies.
Other participants in the process (such as witnesses) may also be offered appropriate support services and information.
During an Investigation, employee or student may be granted access to relevant documentation. This may include The Victims Bill of Rights, Resource List, Victim Support Letter, and Information for Complainants, Information for Respondents, and a copy of an applicable/tailored No Contact Order. To be clear, "access to relevant information" may include viewing documents, not receiving documents electronically or on paper.
Evidentiary Standard: The investigator will determine the respondent's responsibility by a preponderance of the evidence standard, which is whether the information provided supports a finding that it is "more likely than not" that the respondent is responsible for the alleged violation(s).
Written notifications of findings and case decisions will be processed in writing and delivered in person to the Respondent and Complainant concurrently.
The Role of an Advisor
Both the Complainant and the Respondent have the right to one (1) advisor of their choice.
Advisors are not permitted to advocate for a complainant or speak on their behalf during any proceeding. Individuals who are witnesses to the incident or are otherwise involved in the matter cannot serve as advisors. The College reserves the right to remove an advisor from any proceeding should these expectations and guidelines be violated. Proceedings are not generally delayed or rescheduled due to an advisor's schedule or availability. The advisor's name and relationship to a party (e.g., student, faculty member, family member, attorney, etc.) must be disclosed to the investigator at least two days prior to any proceeding. The Title IX Coordinator will consider requests made to delay or reschedule a meeting or other proceedings and will make the final determination with respect to that request.
To be clear, an advisor may:
- Be present during meetings related to an investigation;
- Advise the student in the preparation and presentation before a conduct hearing (if applicable);
- Accompany the student to the hearing;
- Advise the student at reasonable intervals during a conduct hearing
The advisor may not address the conduct hearing adjudicator and/or hearing board directly nor may the advisor question any witness.
All parties to the investigation can expect:
- The right to be treated with respect and sensitivity by College officials.
- The opportunity to meet with the Title IX Coordinator or a member of the Title IX team to answer questions regarding the College's complaint processes for students and employees.
- To be provided with a written explanation of rights and options with respect to the report.
- The right to address concerns of bias and/or conflict of interest in regards to investigators or others involved in the investigation.
- Equal opportunity to be accompanied by an advisor of their choice to any investigatory meeting.
- Notice of confidential resources, including health care and mental health counseling services, on campus and in the local community.
- Notice of the option to pursue law enforcement action and to be assisted by the College in accessing and communicating with such authorities. This notice will include a discussion of the importance of the preservation of evidence.
- The right to have a complaint investigated in a manner that is timely and consistent with the procedures described in this policy.
- The right to present information, evidence and/or witnesses to the investigator.
- The right to be kept informed of the progress of the investigation.
- The opportunity to request that the College take steps to prevent unnecessary or unwelcome contact or communication with another member of the community.
- The right to be free from retaliation. Any concerns of retaliatory behavior should be immediately reported to the Title IX Coordinator or Security.
- The right to written notice of the outcome of the investigation as well as any resulting sanctions.
- The right to appeal the findings of, or sanctions resulting from, a complaint or investigation, in accordance with the appeals policy.
Once the investigatory process is completed by the Title IX Coordinator, responsibility will be decided for each charge against a Respondent. Responsibility vs. Non-Responsibility may be decided by the Title IX Coordinator or by a hearing board of three (3) professional staff, administrators, or faculty. The members of the hearing board will be trained in Title IX legislation, Trauma-Informed practice, and Wheelock College conduct policy.
If the respondent is found responsible for a violation of the policy against sexual misconduct, a sanction appropriate to the severity of the offense will be imposed. Sanctions may range from mandated education, formal warning, probation, suspension, dismissal (for students), or termination (for employees).
Sanctions will be decided by a sanctioning board of three (3) professional staff, administrators, or faculty. The members of the hearing board will be trained in Title IX legislation, Trauma-Informed practice, and Wheelock College conduct policy.
Sanctions may also include requirements that existing interim measures and accommodations stay in place for a prescribed period of time, and new remedies such as No Contact Orders, housing placement, or academic accommodations, based upon the investigation and adjudication of the case.
If a student is found to have violated the sexual misconduct policy, actions taken to sanction the student will vary depending on the offense but may include any of the sanctions outlined in the Student Handbook.
If a staff or faculty member is found to have violated the sexual misconduct policy, actions taken to sanction the staff or faculty member will vary depending on the offense but may include verbal warning, written warning, suspension with or without pay, or termination of employment.
For non-consensual sexual intercourse, sanctions typically include suspension and expulsion or termination.
Both parties, the complainant and the respondent, have equal rights to an impartial appeal. The parties shall have three (3) calendar days after receiving written notice of the outcome of the investigation to submit a written appeal of the outcome. The nature and severity of the sanction are not grounds for appeal. Sanctions from the original hearing will go into effect immediately after the decision is delivered to the respondent, even if a request for appeal is submitted. If either party files an appeal, the other party will be notified.
Requests for appeals should be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator to determine if grounds exist to hear the appeal. Appeals can only be made regarding the finding of a case (Responsible vs. Not Responsible). Appeals cannot be made in regards to sanctions.
Appeals will be accepted solely on one or both of the following grounds:
· Violation of Procedure- An appeal will be accepted if the appellant demonstrates that the College committed a material procedural error that was likely to adversely affect the result of the conduct adjudication. Minor or inconsequential deviations from procedure do not give rise to an appeal right.
· Previously Unavailable Information - An appeal will be accepted in circumstances where the appellant is able to provide relevant testimony or other evidence that (i) was unavailable to the individual submitting the appeal at the time of the adjudication process and (ii) would have likely affected the finding.
If an appeal is accepted, both parties will be notified and the appeal will be processed for a decision. The appeal may be heard by the Dean of Students and/or their designee. The appellate may seek further information from the parties, witnesses, or investigator, but will not hold a formal appeal hearing. Both parties will be notified in writing of the outcome of the appeal, generally within fourteen (14) days of the initial filing of appeal.
The College will not require either party to abide by a nondisclosure agreement, in writing or otherwise, that would prevent the re-disclosure of information related to the outcome of the appeal.
For employees: the hearing and appeals process varies for Faculty and Staff. Please refer to respective handbooks and follow all policy guidelines as applicable.
Within the College
College officials - other than licensed health and counseling professionals - who learn of an instance of sexual misconduct, are required to report the incident to their supervisor, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Dean of Students or the Title IX Coordinator. In a situation where the accused party is an employee of the College, the incident will be reported to the Director of Human Resources.
Clery Act Compliance
Under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), the College is obligated to disclose information about crime on campus and in the surrounding community. As part of this compliance, College officials who become aware of an incidence of sexual misconduct must notify the director of security that such an incident has occurred, and the place and date. This information is collected only for statistical reporting as mandated by the Clery Act; no individuals or identifying details are revealed.
If a report of sexual or gender-based misconduct discloses a serious and immediate threat to the campus community, Security will issue a timely notification to protect the health or safety of the community as required by the Clery Act. The notification will not include identifying information about a reporting party.
Mandated Reporter Obligations
Members of the Wheelock community who hold certain positions are considered "mandated reporters" under state law and required by law to report suspected abuse of minors, including sexual abuse, to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF). These positions include, but are not limited to, teachers, educational administrators, police officers, physicians, nurses, medical treatment providers, social workers, preschool and after-school program staff, child care providers, clergy, and guidance or family counselors.
If the complainant is under eighteen (18) years of age, the College may notify his/her parent or guardian of the incident, after consulting with the student. (NOTE: This is not the case if the incident is disclosed only to a licensed health or counseling professional and not to the Title IX Coordinator. In such a situation, parents or guardians will not be informed without the student's consent, except in extenuating circumstances.)
If the complainant is over the age of eighteen (18), s/he will consult with appropriate College staff to determine whether the College will notify a parent or guardian. The student may opt to see a counselor before notification, and will be told when and who will relay the information. The student will have the option to be present for that conversation.
The College encourages reporting and seeks to remove any barriers to reporting by making the procedures for reporting transparent and straightforward. An individual who reports sexual misconduct, either as a complainant or a third party witness, will not be subject to disciplinary action by the College for their own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations are minor and did not and do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The College may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs. The amnesty policy applies to the College's student conduct process. A Deputy Title IX Coordinator will determine what policy violations will be considered "minor" and therefore eligible for amnesty in this context.
Past Sexual History
The past sexual history or sexual character of either party will not be considered by the investigator or during an appeal unless such information is determined to be highly relevant by the Title IX coordinator.
This policy is not intended to restrict teaching methods or freedom of expression, nor will it be permitted to do so. Offensiveness of conduct, standing alone, is not sufficient for the conduct to constitute prohibited sexual misconduct. The conduct must be sufficiently serious to interfere with an individual's ability to participate in employment or educational program and activities from both a subjective and objective perspective.
Sexual relations between faculty or staff members and students constitute unprofessional conduct and are strictly prohibited.
Coordination with Non-Discrimination Policy
The College recognizes that harassment related to an individual's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression can occur in conjunction with misconduct related to an individual's race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, disability, or any other legally protected characteristics. Targeting individuals on the basis of any protected characteristics violates the College's community standards and policies. When misconduct relates to both a person's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, and other protected characteristics the College will coordinate the investigation and resolution efforts to address any and all harassment and discrimination.
Consolidation of Investigation
The Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to consolidate multiple complaints or reports into a single investigation if evidence relevant to one incident might be relevant to the others.
Effect of Legal Proceedings
Because the standards for finding a violation of criminal law differ from the standards for finding a violation of this policy, criminal investigations are not determinative of whether sexual misconduct, for purposes of this policy, has occurred. Conduct may constitute misconduct under this policy even if law enforcement agencies lack sufficient evidence of a crime or decline to prosecute. The filing of a complaint of misconduct under this policy does not depend on any criminal investigation or proceeding and, except in limited and extenuating circumstances, the College will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal investigation or proceedings to commence its own investigation; to take interim measures; or to implement disciplinary proceedings.
Title IX Coordinator's Role
Both the Director of Human Resources and the Associate Director of Residence Life serve as the College's designated Title IX Coordinators, and they have the authority to oversee investigations, or to delegate that responsibility to a Deputy Title IX Coordinator. In most instances, however, the Title IX Coordinator will refer sexual misconduct cases to an independent investigator.
The Title IX Coordinators or Deputy Title IX Coordinator(s) should be contacted in order to:
- seek information or training about rights and courses of action available to resolve reports or complaints that involve potential sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct
- file a complaint or make a report of sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct
- notify the College of an incident or policy or procedure that may raise potential Title IX concerns
- get information about available resources (including confidential resources) and support services relating to sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct, and
- ask questions about the College's policies and procedures related to sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct.
- The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators may:
- determine whether the respondent may remain on campus during the investigation
- change housing or work assignments for the complainant upon request, or require a change in housing or work assignment for the respondent
- take other appropriate safety measures
- arrange an excuse for class or work absences for up to one week for the complainant and/or the respondent
- discuss and arrange a medical leave of absence, should the individual feel that a longer absence is necessary, and
- arrange other accommodations, such as facilitating an extension for coursework or obtaining a withdrawal from class without notation on the transcript, or a leave of absence from work.
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA 1990), ADA Amendments Act (2008), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the College is committed to providing support services and reasonable accommodations on an individual basis to students with disabilities (as defined by law). Students requesting accommodations must submit appropriate documentation verifying the need for accommodations and contact the Disabilities Services Office to participate in an intake process and to request accommodations. (http://www.wheelock.edu/academics/academicservices/disability-services)
The Disability Services Office is located in Library 205.