Policy on Nondiscrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

It is the policy of Becker College to provide an educational and working environment that provides equal opportunity to all members of the Becker community. Becker College fully subscribes to all federal and state civil rights laws banning discrimination in private institutions of higher education and as such, College policy prohibits discrimination in admission, access to, treatment, or employment in any of its educational programs or activities, including scholarships, loans, and athletics and other College-administered programs on the basis of age, race, color, national and ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability, membership in the United States uniformed military services, or any other class protected by applicable state and federal law. Sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in any form (including sexual violence) will not be tolerated and individuals who engage in such conduct will be subject to disciplinary action.

Students, staff, administrators, and faculty are entitled to a professional working and educational environment, and Becker College is committed to providing a work and educational environment free of unlawful harassment. The section below describes the specific forms of legally prohibited harassment that are also prohibited under Becker College’s Nondiscrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Discrimination: including harassment, is defined as conduct directed at a specific individual or a group of identifiable individuals that subjects the individual or group to treatment that adversely affects their employment or education on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, gender identity/expression or sexual orientation.

Harassment: as a form of discrimination is defined as verbal or physical conduct that is directed at an individual or group because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, gender identity/expression or sexual orientation when such conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent so as to have the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual's or group's academic or work performance; or of creating a hostile academic or work environment. Constitutionally protected expression cannot be considered harassment under this policy.

Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive or that unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits someone's ability to participate in a College course, program, or activity, or is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual touching, however, slight, with any objects or body part, by one person upon another, without consent or by force. Sexual touching includes any contact of a sexual nature (as determined using a “reasonable-person” standard) with the breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth, or body part of another. Sexual touching also includes an individual making someone else touch him or her with, or on, any of these body parts.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), including sexual intercourse with an object or body part, however slight, by one person upon another without consent or by force. Sexual intercourse includes vaginal and/or anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact).

Sexual Exploitation: When an individual takes consensual, unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own pleasure, advantage, or benefit, or to pleasure, benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples include, but are not limited to: exposure of genitals or inducing another to expose their genitals; invasions of sexual privacy including nonconsensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity or voyeurism; intentional transmission of HIV or another STD; or aiding in the commission of sexual misconduct as an accomplice.

Other Misconduct Offenses (when gender-based):

1. Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person

2. Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another

3. Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the College community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity as defined further in the Becker College Hazing Policy

4. Bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally

5. Violence between those in an intimate relationship to each other

6. Stalking, defined as repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the community; or the safety of any of the immediate family of members of the community.

Additional Applicable Definitions

Consent: Effective consent is informed, freely, and actively given mutually understandable words or actions which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent may never be given by minors (in Massachusetts, those who are not yet sixteen (16) year of age), mentally disabled people, those who are incapacitated as a result alcohol or
other drug consumption (voluntary or involuntary), or those who are unconscious, unaware, or otherwise physically helpless. Consent as a result of coercion intimidation, threat of force, or force is not effective consent.

Incapacitated: Any state where one cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because they lack the ability to understand who, what, when, where, or how of their sexual interaction. This includes but is not limited to persons incapacitated based on their voluntary or involuntary use of drugs or alcohol, unconsciousness, blackout or sleep. Evidence of incapacity can also be detected by a reasonable person from one or an accumulation of context clues, which can include but are not limited to the following: knowledge regarding how much alcohol another person has consumed or whether some other drug has been ingested; slurred speech; bloodshot eyes; shaky equilibrium or inability to walk; vomiting; outrageous or unusual behavior; or unawareness of surroundings.

Force: Use of physical violence (such as pushing, hitting, pinning down), threats (direct or indirect expressions of harm to self or others), intimidation (implied or indirect threats), and/or coercion (unreasonable pressure applied after someone makes clear they do not want to stop or go past a certain point).

Retaliation and Malicious Reporting:

The Title IX Coordinator will make every reasonable effort to protect the Complainant and other student, staff, faculty, or third parties who believe themselves to be the object of harassment, or discrimination and/or are involved in a complaint process or investigation from any type of retaliation. Any person who files a complaint, or participates in a resolution process as a
witness, has the right to freedom from intimidation and retaliation. Retaliation includes threats, intimidation, or reprisals. The College strictly prohibits retaliation by any community member against a person who makes a report of sexual misconduct, assists someone with a report, or participates in any aspect of the investigation or resolution of a report. Any violation of this non-retaliation policy will face serious disciplinary consequences.

The use of this policy for false or malicious purposes is strictly prohibited. Anyone who brings forth false or malicious allegations of sexual misconduct against another member of the College community may be subject to disciplinary action. An individual, who brings a reasonable charge of sexual misconduct in good faith, even if it may be erroneous, will not be subject to discipline.

Reporting Procedures:

Becker College encourages any students, faculty, staff and visitors who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or any prohibited discrimination or who witness or are aware of suspected incidents of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or any prohibited discrimination person to immediately file a complaint report the incident to:

Michelle Fatcheric, Title IX Coordinator

Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs

Campus Center West, Student Affairs Suite, 1st floor

964 Main St.

Leicester, MA 01524

774.354.0462 – direct

508.892.8131 – fax

michelle.fatcheric@becker.edu

Upon receiving a report of alleged or possible sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or discrimination the Title IX Coordinator will evaluate the information and determine what further action should be taken, following the procedures described in the Sexual Misconduct Policy found here: http://www.becker.edu/wp-content/uploads/gravity_forms/20-324ddf6d50686e82e38234e7f6a629eb/2014/04/Sexual-Misconduct-Policy2.pdf.

The Title IX Coordinator will take steps, either directly or through a reporting employee, to provide information about the Sexual Misconduct Policy as well as available health and advocacy resources, and options for criminal reporting. If you are a student and filed a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator and believe the College’s response was inadequate, or as a student, you otherwise believe you have been discriminated against by the College on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, including sexual harassment, disability, age, or retaliation, you may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education. Contact information for the Office for Civil Rights is as follows:

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

8th Floor

5 Post Office Square

Boston, MA 02109-3921

617.289.0111 – direct

617.289.0150 – fax

OCR.Boston@ed.gov

Other Sexual Misconduct Resources:

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