Santa Fe Community College (SFCC or College) is committed to maintaining a community in which students and prospective students are free to work, study and participate without being subjected to sexual harassment. Such behavior subverts the mission of all involved. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination on the basis of gender and is, therefore, prohibited on campus and in programs and activities sponsored by the College. Sexual harassment constitutes an unacceptable and punishable offense at the College.
Scope and Applicability
This policy prohibits sexual harassment. This policy applies to all College students and prospective students.
The College complies with all federal and state laws that promote equality and prohibit sexual harassment and discrimination. The College prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or creed, national origin or ancestry, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, veteran status, pregnancy, genetic information, citizenship, and any other basis prohibited by law. Collectively, these categories are referred to as “protected classes” within this policy.
It is illegal to engage in, and the College prohibits, sexual harassment in any aspect of student life. The Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs is the Title IX Coordinator for SFCC. The Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs has designated responsibility to the Student Affairs Officer for coordinating the efforts of the College to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under applicable laws prohibiting sexual harassment, including Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.
Discriminatory practices under this policy also include:
- Harassment on the basis of membership in a protected class;
- Retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of sexual harassment, participating in an investigation, or opposing sexual harassment practices.
- Sexual harassment may take many forms, including unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and conduct that is not necessarily sexual in nature, but which is unwelcome and directed at a person because of their gender. Sexual harassment involving unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of participation in a program or activity at the College;
- Submission or rejection of such conduct by a student is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting the student; or
- Such conduct is so severe or pervasive that it affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment.
Sexual harassment is distinguished from voluntary sexual relationships when the conduct directed towards the student is unwelcome. Conduct of a sexual nature is unwelcome when the student did not request or invite the conduct and views the conduct as offensive and undesirable. Conduct of a sexual nature can include, but is not limited to:
- verbal, non-verbal or physical sexual advances
- pressure for sexual favors
- touching of a sexual nature
- sexual assault
- sexual gestures
- sexual or “dirty” jokes
- offensive personal jokes and comments of a sexual nature; and/or
- displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures and written materials.
Sexual harassment can also involve acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on gender or gender discrimination, but not involving conduct of a sexual nature, when such conduct is so severe or pervasive that it affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment. Such conduct can include, but is not limited to:
- offensive jokes or comments, not necessarily sexual in nature, but directed at a person because of their gender
- sabotaging the work, such as laboratory experiments, of certain students based on the students’ gender.
Sexual harassment against a student or applicant for admission can involve any member of the College community, including faculty, staff, another student, or a guest speaker, visiting student or contractor.
A. Reporting Sexual Harassment. If a student believes that they are being subjected to sexual harassment, or believes that another student, prospective student or applicant for admission is being subjected to sexual harassment, they should, as soon as possible, notify the Student Affairs Officer, the Executive Director for Human Resources and Professional Development/EEO Officer, a Dean, a Department Chair, a Student Adviser or Campus Security. If a student is not certain whether sexual harassment is taking place, they should nevertheless report their concerns.
B. The Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs as Title IX Coordinator will oversee the efforts of the College to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under applicable laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment, including Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.
C. Time Frame for Reporting Sexual Harassment. SFCC encourages the reporting of sexual harassment in a timely manner. In order to allow for a prompt and timely investigation, a student’s report should be made as soon as possible following the latest alleged incident of sexual harassment.
D. Retaliation Prohibited. Retaliation against a student, prospective student or applicant for admission who makes a complaint of sexual harassment or reports that another student, prospective student or applicant for admission is being sexually harassed or who cooperates in an investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment is prohibited. If a student believes they have been retaliated against or that someone else has been retaliated against for reporting sexual harassment, they should follow the same reporting requirements for reporting incidents of sexual harassment set forth above.
E. Investigation and Resolution of Reports of Sexual Harassment. The investigation and resolution of reports of sexual harassment will be handled pursuant to this policy and any relevant disciplinary policy (see Authority below). The College reserves the right to investigate any reports of sexual harassment as the College deems appropriate, whether or not the student involved participates in the investigation.
- Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any student or employee, including staff member, faculty member or administrator, who is found to have engaged in sexual harassment or retaliation. The College will also take appropriate action, to the extent possible, against non-employees, such as contractors and guest lecturers, who are found to have engaged in sexual harassment or retaliation.
Statement of Accountability and Responsibility
The President, through the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and the Student Affairs Officer, shall be responsible for enforcing academic policies and procedures. The Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs shall work with the different departments and offices to comply with this policy and develop procedures that will enforce this policy regarding awareness, prevention and remediation.
SFCC Governing Board approved: 1/10/08
Revised and SFCC Governing Board approved: 4/26/17