Actual knowledge—when an employee has notice of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment.

Advisor—a person designated by one party (complainant/respondent) to ask, at the live hearing, the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility.

(Business) Days—except as otherwise noted, days will mean business days during which the college administrative offices are open. In computing any period of time, the day on which notice is received will not be counted. Saturdays, Sundays and scheduled College holidays will not be included in the computation. All grievances involving Federal, State, or other statutes must be completed in the time frame set forth in the appropriate statute or law.

Clear and Convincing Evidence Standard—a level of burden of proof in which the evidence is highly and substantially more likely to be true than untrue; the Decision-maker must be convinced that the contention is highly probable (Colorado v. New Mexico, 467 U.S. 310 (1984)). This standard is a medium level of burden of proof and is a more rigorous standard to meet than the preponderance of the evidence standard, but a less rigorous standard to meet than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Complainant—an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment or discrimination.

Confidential employee—an employee who is not required to make a report to the Title IX office and will typically not share information without permission. However, they may be required or allowed to share information in certain circumstances. For example, if a court order is presented, if they have reason to believe that a student is at high risk for suicide or violence toward others or if a minor is being abused. Certain positions have been identified as confidential employees. For a list of these employees and resources, visit the Title IX webpage.

Consent—the positive cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to the exercise of free will. The person must act freely and voluntarily and have knowledge of the nature of the act or transaction involved. Consent can be revoked by the other person, in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to believe consent is revoked.  

Deliberate indifference—actions that are clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.

Decision-maker—a member of the College’s Title IX team who, at the live hearing, permits each party’s Advisor to ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. The Decision-maker is trained on issues of relevance, including how to apply the rape shield protections provided only for complainants, must be free from conflicts of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents, and cannot be the Title IX Coordinator or the Investigator. The Decision-maker issues a written determination regarding responsibility with findings of fact, conclusions about whether the alleged conduct occurred, rationale for the result as to each allegation, any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the respondent, and whether remedies will be provided to the complainant.

Deputy Title IX Coordinator—any employee delegated with responsibility for compliance with Title IX and this policy by the Title IX Coordinator, and acting within the scope of authority of a Title IX Coordinator as set forth herein.  

Education program or activity—includes any locations, events or circumstances where “the school exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context” (Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education).

Exculpatory evidence—evidence favorable to the respondent that exonerates or tends to exonerate the respondent of guilt.

Formal complaint—a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that the recipient investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. The formal complaint must contain the complainant’s signature (physical or electronic) or otherwise definitively indicate that the complainant is the person filing the complaint. Filing a formal complaint triggers the school’s duty to initiate the complaint process.

Grievance—A formal written statement by an individual indicating that they have been adversely affected by a violation, misapplication, or misinterpretation of the NC General Statutes, College policies, rules, or regulations. A grievance must specify the statute, policy, rule, or regulation in question and the details of the alleged violation, misapplication, or misinterpretation of same.

Inculpatory evidence—evidence that shows or tends to show a person’s involvement in an act or evidence that can establish guilt.

Informal Resolution—a resolution option such as mediation or restorative justice, so long as both parties give voluntary, informed, written consent to participate in such a process.

Investigator—a person appointed by the Title IX Coordinator to impartially gather facts and evidence from the complainant, the respondent, and any material witnesses or evidence related to the case. The Investigator is trained on issues of relevance, including how to apply the rape shield protections provided only for complainants and cannot have direct supervisory responsibility for either the complainant or the respondent or be an employee of the Title IX Coordinator. Further, the Investigator may not also serve as either the Title IX Coordinator or the Decision-maker; however, a trained Investigator not assigned to the active complaint may be appointed by the Title IX Coordinator to act as a College-assigned Advisor.

Notice—Delivery of any written material required or allowed to be given to another under this policy may be (i) by personal delivery, (ii) by certified or registered U. S. Mail, return receipt requested, or (iii) by commercial courier service.

Officials with authority (OWAs)—the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or any College official with authority to implement corrective measures. The following have been identified and designated as OWAs: Director, Campus Safety; Director, Human Resources; Vice president, Student Development; Vice President, Instruction; Vice President, Administrative Services, Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Officer; Deans; Supervisors; Faculty. Notice received by any of these OWAs constitutes actual knowledge upon which the College’s mandatory response obligations arise under this policy. 

Pervasive conduct—unwelcome influence or physical effect that spreads widely throughout an area or group of people.

Qualifying complainant—an individual who is participating in or attempting to participate in the school’s education program or activity (i.e., students, employees, applicants and, in some cases, parents).

Report—a report of sex discrimination (including sexual harassment) made by any person, at any time, and by any means (in person, phone, mail or email) that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. Reports are not limited to a school’s campus community and may come from others, such as on-campus visitors.

Respondent—an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment or discrimination.

Sexual Discrimination—treating someone unfavorably because of that person’s sex, including transgender status or sexual orientation.

Sexual harassment—includes any of three types of misconduct on the basis of sex and covers conduct by employees against other employees, not just conduct directed at students.
1. “quid pro quo” harassment, when a school employee conditions access to educational or employment benefits or status on unwelcome sexual conduct. Note that this provision does not cover sexual conduct by students or other agents.

2. unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s education or employment program or activity.

3. four components from the Clery Act (20U.S.C.§1092(f)) and the Violence Against Women Act: sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. These additions are intended to clarify that one particularly severe incident (even if not “pervasive”) can qualify as Title IX sexual harassment if it falls within any of these definitions.

Supportive Measures—individualized, non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent. These measures are designed to preserve the complainant’s access to education or employment without unreasonably burdening the respondent.

Time—in computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by this policy, the day of receipt of the document is not to be included. The last day of the period so computed is to be included unless it is not a business day as defined in this policy, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is a business day.

Title IX Coordinator—an official of the College with authority to coordinate the College’s efforts to comply with Title IX responsibilities including instituting corrective measures on the College’s behalf when a verbal or written report is received of an alleged incident of sexual discrimination, including sexual harassment, in person, by U.S. Mail, by telephone, by email, or by any other means that results in the Coordinator receiving the report.