Title IX and Sexual Harassment

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Title IX is a federal law intended to end sex discrimination in all areas of education. Title IX:

  • requires that all educational institutions that receive federal funds or financial assistance must prohibit sex discrimination in their education programs and activities.
  • applies to sexual harassment and sexual assault. According to the Office for Civil Rights, “sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.”

What is Sexual Harassment?

“Sexual Harassment” means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: (1) an employee of WCC conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (commonly referred to quid pro quo harassment); (2) unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to WCC’s Education Program or Activity; or (3) Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, or Stalking as those terms are defined under other federal laws, including the Clery Act and the Violence Against Women Act.

Your Rights Under Title IX

When WCC has Actual Knowledge of Sexual Harassment (or allegations thereof) against a person in the United States in its Education Program or Activity, WCC is obligated to respond and to follow Title IX’s specific requirements, which are addressed and incorporated in the Title IX Grievance Procedure.

Promptly upon receiving allegations of Sexual Harassment against a person in the United States in WCC’s Education Program or Activity, the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator will contact the Complainant to discuss the availability of Supportive Measures with or without the filing of a Formal Complaint and to explain to the Complainant the process for filing a Formal Complaint.

I. NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION

Wilkes Community College (WCC), in compliance with and as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and its implementing regulations (“Title IX”) and other civil rights laws, as well as in furtherance of its own values as a higher education institution, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, disability, age, religion, veteran status, or any other characteristic or status protected by applicable local, state, or federal law in admission, treatment, or access to, or employment in, its programs and activities.

Discrimination and harassment are antithetical to the values and standards of the WCC community and are incompatible with the safe, healthy environment that the WCC community expects and deserves and will not be tolerated. WCC is committed to providing programs, activities, and an education and work environment free from discrimination and harassment. WCC is also committed fostering a community that promotes prompt reporting and fair and timely resolution of those behaviors.

Inquiries concerning discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex may be referred to WCC’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Exhibit A (found at the end of Title IX Sex Discrimination and Harassment Procedure 5.3.4.1) provides their contact information.

Inquiries concerning discrimination or harassment based on a protected characteristic or status other than sex may be referred to the Deputy Title IX Coordinators (for students) or Title IX Coordinator (for employees). Exhibit A (found at the end of Title IX Sex Discrimination and Harassment Procedure 5.3.4.1) provides their contact information.

Individuals may also make inquiries regarding discrimination or harassment to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights by contacting the District of Columbia Office, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-1475; phone: 800-421-3481; email: OCR@ed.gov.

II. PROHIBITION ON SEX DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT, RETALIATION, AND PROVIDING FALSE INFORMATION OR INTERFERING WITH A GRIEVANCE PROCESS

This Policy prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex. WCC strongly encourages the prompt reporting of, and is committed to timely and fair resolution of, complaints of sex discrimination and harassment. Sexual Harassment, as defined by Title IX and herein, is a specific type of sex discrimination / harassment that includes Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking and that WCC addresses using its Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedures, as required by Title IX.

This Policy also prohibits Retaliation, as defined by Title IX and herein. Complaints alleging Retaliation may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators and, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators, may be addressed under WCC ’s Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedures or other grievance procedures adopted by WCC.

Additionally, any individual who knowingly files a false Formal Complaint or who interferes with a WCC grievance process may be subject to disciplinary action. Interference with a grievance process may include, but is not limited to, attempting to coerce, compel, or prevent an individual from providing testimony or relevant information; removing, destroying, or altering documentation relevant to an investigation; or providing false or misleading information to WCC officials who are involved in the investigation and/or resolution of a Formal Complaint, or encouraging others to do so.

III. REPORTING AND PERIOD OF LIMITATIONS

Any person (whether or not alleged to be the victim) may report sex discrimination or harassment, including Sexual Harassment, in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information for the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators listed in Exhibit A (found at the end of Title IX Sex Discrimination and Harassment Procedure 5.3.4.1), or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. Such a report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours).

In addition to the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators, WCC has designated the following employees as individuals with the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of WCC: President, Vice Presidents, Deans. Accordingly, these employees are required to report discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

WCC strongly encourages all employees and other members of the WCC community to promptly report concerns regarding suspected or known discrimination / harassment on the basis of sex to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

Additionally, WCC has designated the following employees as confidential resources for students.

Image of Lynda Black
Lynda Black, PhD, LCMHC
Director, Counseling, Career Services and Student Life
Phone: 336-838-6148
lkblack932@wilkescc.edu
Image of Michael Roope
Michael Roope, EdS, LCMHC
Coordinator, Career Services
Phone: 336-838-6147
msroope085@wilkescc.edu

Information about sex discrimination or harassment shared with these confidential resources typically will not be reported to other WCC personnel (including the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators), to the Respondent, or to others, unless the disclosing individual gives their consent to the disclosure or the law requires it (as may be the case with abuse involving a minor or under conditions involving imminent physical harm, for example). (Confidential resources may report non-identifying statistical information to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator for recordkeeping and compliance purposes.)

WCC will address allegations of sex discrimination and harassment appropriately no matter the length of time that has passed since the alleged conduct. However, WCC strongly encourages prompt reporting to preserve evidence for a potential legal or disciplinary proceeding. Delay may compromise the ability to investigate, particularly if the individuals involved in the alleged conduct are no longer WCC students or employees.

IV. APPLICABILITY OF POLICY AND GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

This Policy applies to any allegation of sex discrimination or harassment made by or against a student or an employee of WCC or a third party, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender expression, or gender identity.

The Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedures apply only to allegations of Sexual Harassment in WCC’s Education Program or Activity (as defined herein).

WCC will address allegations of other types of sexual harassment (i.e., that do not meet the definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment) by: (1) using other student and employee conduct disciplinary procedures deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators in consultation with other WCC administrators; and/or (2) Supportive Measures, which are defined and discussed in more detail herein.

V. RIGHTS OF PARENTS

When a student Complainant or Respondent is a minor or has a guardian appointed and their parent or guardian has the legal right to act on the student’s behalf, then the parent or guardian may file a Formal Complaint on behalf of the student, although the student would be the “Complainant.” In such a situation, the parent or guardian may exercise the rights granted to the student under this Policy, including requesting Supportive Measures and participating in a grievance process. Similarly, the parent or guardian may accompany the student to meetings, interviews, and hearings during a grievance process to exercise rights on behalf of the student, while the student’s Advisor of choice may be a different person from the parent or guardian. Whether or not a parent or guardian has the legal right to act on behalf of an individual would be determined by state law, court orders, child custody arrangements, or other sources granting legal rights to parents or guardians.

Additionally, FERPA and its implementing regulations address the circumstances under which a parent or guardian is permitted to inspect and review a student’s education records. However, in circumstances in which FERPA would not grant a party the opportunity to inspect and review evidence in connection with a grievance process, pursuant to Title IX and its implementing regulations, the student has an opportunity to do so, and a parent or guardian who has a legal right to act on behalf of the student has the same opportunity.

VI. DEFINITIONS APPLICABLE OF POLICY AND GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES:

Capitalized terms used herein are defined as follows.

“Actual Knowledge” means notice of Sexual Harassment or allegations of Sexual Harassment to WCC’s Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators, President, Vice Presidents, or Deans.

“Notice” as used in this paragraph includes, but is not limited to, a report of Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator. [Note: This standard is not met through imputation of knowledge based solely on vicarious liability or constructive notice. This standard also is not met when the only individual with Actual Knowledge is the Respondent. The mere ability or obligation to report Sexual Harassment or to inform a student about how to report Sexual Harassment, or having been trained to do so, does not qualify an individual as one to whom notice of Sexual Harassment or allegations of Sexual Harassment constitutes Actual Knowledge.]

“Clery Act” refers to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which is a federal statute codified at 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f), with implementing regulations in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations at 34 C.F.R. § 668.46. The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.

“Complainant” means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Sexual Harassment, irrespective of whether a Formal Complaint has been filed.

“Consent” is informed, freely and actively given, mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness and readiness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words or actions of the parties to have manifested a clear and unambiguous agreement between them to engage in certain conduct with each other. Consent cannot be gained by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another.

Consent cannot be inferred from: silence, passivity, or lack of resistance alone; a current or previous dating or sexual relationship alone (or the existence of such a relationship with anyone else); attire; the buying of dinner or the spending of money on a date; or Consent previously given (i.e., Consenting to one sexual act does not imply Consent to another sexual act).

Consent is not effective if it is obtained through the use of physical force, violence, duress, deception, intimidation, coercion, or the threat, expressed or implied, of bodily injury. Whether a party used any of these means to obtain Consent will be determined by reference to the perception of a reasonable person found in the same or similar circumstances.

Consent may never be given by the following individuals: minors, even if the other participant did not know the minor’s age; persons with mental disabilities, if their disability was reasonably knowable to a person who is not mentally disabled; or persons who are Incapacitated. The use of alcohol or drugs does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain Consent and does not excuse conduct that constitutes Sexual Harassment.

If at any time during a sexual act any confusion or ambiguity is or should reasonably be apparent on the issue of Consent, it is incumbent upon each individual involved in the activity to stop and clarify the other’s willingness and readiness to continue and capacity to Consent. Neither party should make assumptions about the other’s willingness and readiness to continue.

“Day” means a business day, unless otherwise specified.

“Education Program or Activity” means all of WCC’s operations and includes (1) locations, events, or circumstances over which WCC exercised substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the alleged Sexual Harassment occurred; and (2) any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by WCC.

“Education Record” has the meaning assigned to it under FERPA.

“FERPA” is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal statute codified at 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, with implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. § 99. FERPA protects the privacy of student Education Records. FERPA grants to eligible students the right to access, inspect, and review Education Records, the right to challenge the content of Education Records, and the right to consent to the disclosure of Education Records.

“Formal Complaint” means a document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator a Deputy Title IX Coordinator alleging Sexual Harassment against a Respondent and requesting that WCC investigate the allegation of Sexual Harassment. At the time of filing a Formal Complaint, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in WCC’s Education Program or Activity. A Formal Complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail by using the contact information listed for the Title IX Coordinator / Deputy Coordinators in Exhibit A (found at the end of Title IX Sex Discrimination and Harassment Procedure 5.3.4.1). As used in this paragraph, the phrase “document filed by a Complainant” means a document or electronic submission that contains the Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the Complainant is the person filing the Formal Complaint.

“Incapacitated” means lacking the physical and/or mental ability to make informed, rational judgments. A person may be Incapacitated for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to being asleep or unconscious, having consumed alcohol or taken drugs, or experiencing blackouts or flashbacks.

“Respondent” means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct alleged to constitute Sexual Harassment.

“Retaliation” means (1) any adverse action (including direct and indirect intimidation, threats, coercion, discrimination, or harassment (including charges for conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or harassment or Sexual Harassment but that arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination or harassment or a report or Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment) that is (2) threatened or taken against a person (a) for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX; or (b) because the person has made a report or Formal Complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing related to Title IX. [Note: Retaliation does not include (1) the exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment; (2) charging an individual with making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding (provided, however, that a determination regarding responsibility alone is not sufficient to conclude that an individual made a materially false statement in bad faith); or (3) good faith actions lawfully pursued in response to a report of prohibited conduct.]

“Sexual Harassment” means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. an employee of WCC conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct. (commonly referred to quid pro quo harassment);
  2. unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to WCC’s Education Program or Activity; or
  3. “Sexual Assault,” as defined in 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)(6)(A)(v): an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
  4. “Dating Violence,” as defined in 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(10): violence committed by a person—(A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship; (ii) the type of relationship; and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship;
  5. “Domestic Violence,” as defined in 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(8): felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction; or
  6. “Stalking,” as defined in 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(30): engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (A) fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress.

“Supportive Measures” are non-disciplinary, non-punitive, individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to a Complainant and/or a Respondent before or after the filing of a Formal Complaint or where no Formal Complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to WCC’s Education Program or Activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or WCC’s educational environment or deter Sexual Harassment.

Supportive Measures may include, but are not limited to, counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security, and monitoring of certain areas of the campus. WCC will maintain as confidential any Supportive Measures provided to a Complainant or a Respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair WCC’s ability to provide the Supportive Measures. The Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators are responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of Supportive Measures.

Adopted: 08/10/2020

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO MAY BE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, DATING VIOLENCE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, OR STALKING:

If you or someone you know may have been a victim of the behaviors listed above or any other type of violence, you are strongly encouraged to seek immediate assistance.

ASSISTANCE CAN BE OBTAINED 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK, FROM THE WCC POLICE DEPARTMENT (LOCATED IN/AT CLASSROOM BUILDING #7 AND AVAILABLE BY PHONE AT 336-838-6275).

During business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Friday), you are also strongly encouraged to contact one of the following individuals:

Faculty/Staff:
Image of Sherry Cox
Sherry Cox, MS
Executive Director of Human Resources/ Title IX Coordinator
Phone: 336-838-6422
Fax: 336-903-3218
spcox072@wilkescc.edu
Curriculum and Workforce Development & Community Education Students:
Image of Scott Johnson
Scott Johnson, EdS
Dean of Student Services
Phone: 336-838-6141
sajohnson366@wilkescc.edu
College Readiness and Workforce Development & Community Education Students:
Image of Debbie Woodard
Debbie Woodard, MA
Dean of College Readiness and Basic Skills
Phone: 336-903-3231
drwoodard792@wilkescc.edu

For additional information about seeking medical assistance and emotional support, as well as important contact information for local law enforcement agencies, hospitals, and other resources, see Exhibit A at the end of this document.

I. APPLICABILITY, COMPLAINT INTAKE, AND OVERARCHING PROVISIONS

A. APPLICABILITY OF GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

As noted above, these Grievance Procedures apply to allegations of Sexual Harassment in WCC’s Education Program or Activity (and to related Retaliation, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator). WCC treats Complainants and Respondents equitably by providing remedies to a Complainant where WCC makes a determination of responsibility for Sexual Harassment against a Respondent under these Grievance Procedures and also by following these Grievance Procedures before imposing any disciplinary sanctions against a Respondent for Sexual Harassment.

B. OBLIGATION TO RESPOND AND INITIAL OUTREACH TO COMPLAINANT

When WCC has Actual Knowledge of Sexual Harassment (or allegations thereof) against a person in the United States in its Education Program or Activity, WCC is obligated to respond and to follow Title IX’s specific requirements, which are addressed and incorporated in these Grievance Procedures.

Promptly upon receiving allegations of Sexual Harassment against a person in the United States in WCC’s Education Program or Activity, the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator will contact the Complainant to discuss the availability of Supportive Measures with or without the filing of a Formal Complaint and to explain to the Complainant the process for filing a Formal Complaint.

C. FILING OF A FORMAL COMPLAINT

As noted in the Definitions section above, a Formal Complaint means a document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator alleging Sexual Harassment against a Respondent and requesting that WCC investigate the allegation(s) of Sexual Harassment. At the time of filing a Formal Complaint, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in WCC’s Education Program or Activity. A Formal Complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information listed in Exhibit A. As used in this paragraph, the phrase “document filed by a Complainant” means a document or electronic submission that contains the Complainant’s physical or digital signature or otherwise indicates that the Complainant is the person filing the Formal Complaint.

When the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator believes that, with or without the Complainant’s desire to participate in a grievance process, a non-deliberately indifferent response to the allegations requires an investigation, the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to initiate the grievance process by signing a Formal Complaint. Where the Title IX Coordinator / Deputy Title IX Coordinator signs a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator / Deputy Title IX Coordinator is not a Complainant or otherwise a party under these Grievance Procedures. Furthermore, initiation of a Formal Complaint by the Title IX Coordinator / Deputy Title Coordinator is not sufficient alone to imply bias or that the Title IX Coordinator / Deputy Title IX Coordinator is taking a position adverse to the Respondent.

Once a Formal Complaint is initiated, an alleged victim will be referred to as a “Complainant,” and an alleged perpetrator will be referred to as a “Respondent.”

D. NOTICE OF ALLEGATIONS

Upon receipt of a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will provide the Complainant and any known Respondent written notice of these Grievance Procedures and of the allegations of conduct potentially constituting Sexual Harassment, including sufficient details known at the time and with at least five days to prepare a response before any initial interview. Sufficient details include the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known, the conduct allegedly constituting Sexual Harassment, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known.

The written notice will include a statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process. The written notice also will inform the parties that they may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney and that at appropriate junctures the parties and their advisors may review and inspect evidence collected during the investigation. Additionally, the written notice will inform the parties of WCC’s prohibition on knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.

If, in the course of an investigation, WCC decides to investigate allegations of Sexual Harassment involving the Complainant or Respondent that are not included in the original written notice of allegations, WCC will provide notice of the additional allegations to the parties whose identities are known.

E. DISMISSAL

WCC will investigate the allegations in a Formal Complaint; however, WCC will dismiss a Formal Complaint or a portion of the allegations therein if (1) the conduct alleged in the Formal Complaint, even if substantiated, would not constitute Sexual Harassment; (2) at the time of filing the Formal Complaint the Complainant was not participating in or attempting to participate in WCC’s Education Program or Activity; (3) the conduct alleged in the Formal Complaint did not occur in WCC ’s Education Program or Activity; or (4) the conduct alleged in the Formal Complaint did not occur against an individual in the United States. Such a dismissal may take place at the conclusion of the investigation or at any time prior to the conclusion of the investigation.

Additionally, WCC may dismiss a Formal Complaint or a portion of the allegations therein if (1) the Complainant notifies the investigating Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the Formal Complaint or any allegations therein; (2) the Respondent is no longer enrolled or employed at WCC; or (3) despite efforts to do so, WCC is unable to gather evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the Formal Complaint or allegations therein.

In the event the investigating Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator determines that dismissal of a Formal Complaint or a portion of the allegations is appropriate, the investigating Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will promptly notify the parties in writing of the dismissal and the reasons for it. Dismissal does not impair WCC’s ability to proceed with any appropriate investigatory or disciplinary actions under the Sex Discrimination and Harassment Policy or another WCC policy or procedure and/or to provide Supportive Measures to the parties.

Either party may appeal a decision to dismiss a Formal Complaint or a portion of the allegations on the following grounds by submitting a written appeal to the investigating Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator five days of the issuance of the written notice of the dismissal: (1) procedural irregularity that affected the decision to dismiss; (2) new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of dismissal and that could affect the outcome of the matter; or (3) the investigating Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator or other participant in the dismissal having a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the decision to dismiss.

The investigating Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will promptly notify the other party of the appeal, and the non-appealing party may submit a response to the appeal within three days of notification of the appeal.

The Title IX Coordinator will appoint an appeal officer and will contemporaneously share the appeal officer’s name and contact information with the Complainant and the Respondent.

Within two days of being provided the contact information for the appeal officer, the Complainant, or the Respondent may identify to the Title IX Coordinator in writing alleged conflicts of interest or bias on the part of the appeal officer. The Title IX Coordinator will consider such statements and will promptly assign a different appeal officer if the Title IX Coordinator determines that a material conflict of interest or material bias exists.

The Title IX Coordinator will forward the Formal Complaint and any documents upon which the dismissal decision was based, as well as the appeal and any response to the appeal to the appeal officer.

Within seven days of receipt of those materials, the appeal officer will determine whether any of the grounds for appeal warrant overturning or modifying the dismissal. The decision by the appeal officer is final.

F. ADVISORS

The Complainant and the Respondent may be accompanied to any meeting or proceeding under these Grievance Procedures by the advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney. WCC will not limit the choice or presence of the advisor for either the Complainant or the Respondent in any meeting or grievance proceeding. Advisors, however, are not allowed to disrupt any such meeting or proceeding or to speak on behalf of the Complainant or the Respondent, with the exception of cross-examination during any hearing conducted under these Grievance Procedures, which must be conducted by an advisor and never personally by the Complainant or the Respondent.

Parties must provide the name and contact of their advisor to the investigating Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator in writing as soon as reasonably possible and must provide updated information if their advisor changes. All advisors will be required to assent to WCC’s Expectations for Advisors.

If a party does not have an advisor present at the hearing, WCC will provide, without any charge to that party, an advisor of WCC’s choice who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party.

Absent accommodation for a disability, the Complainant and the Respondent may not be accompanied by more than one advisor or by other individuals during meetings or proceedings under these Grievance Procedures.

G. AMNESTY

WCC considers the reporting and adjudication of Sexual Harassment to be of paramount importance. WCC does not condone underage drinking or the use of illegal drugs; however, WCC may extend amnesty to Complainants, Respondents, witnesses, and others involved in a grievance process from punitive sanctioning for illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol when evidence of such use is discovered or submitted in the course of a grievance process. Similarly, WCC may, in its discretion, provide amnesty for other conduct code violations that are discovered in the course of a grievance process.

H. TIMING

WCC will make every reasonable effort to ensure that the investigation and resolution of a Formal Complaint occurs in as timely and efficient a manner as possible. The timelines set forth in these Grievance Procedures are guidelines and may be altered for good cause with written notice to the Complainant and the Respondent of any delay or extension and the reasons for the action. Good cause may include considerations such as the absence of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; natural disasters, pandemic restrictions, and similar occurrences; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities.

WCC will strive to complete its investigation and resolution of a Formal Complaint (not including an appeal, if applicable) within 90 days of the receipt of the Formal Complaint, absent extenuating circumstances. Hearings generally will take place within 20 days of the conclusion of the investigation. Within seven days of the conclusion of the hearing, both the Complainant and the Respondent will receive a final outcome letter.

Either party may request an extension of any deadline by providing the investigating Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator with a written request for an extension that includes reference to the duration of the proposed extension and the basis for the request. The investigating Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will review the request and will make a determination with regard to the request within three days.

I. WRITTEN NOTICE OF MEETINGS

WCC will provide, to a party whose participation is invited or expected, written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all hearings, investigative interviews, or other meetings with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate.

J. EFFECT OF COROLLARY CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

WCC’s investigation may be delayed temporarily while criminal investigators are gathering evidence. In the event of such a delay, WCC will implement any appropriate Supportive Measures and will evaluate the need for other actions necessary to assist or protect the Complainant, the Respondent, and/or the WCC community.

Neither the results of a criminal investigation nor the decision of law enforcement to investigate or decline to investigate a matter is determinative of whether Sexual Harassment has occurred in the eyes of WCC.

K. EMERGENCY REMOVAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE

WCC may remove a Respondent from WCC’s Education Program or Activity on an emergency basis, provided that WCC first undertakes an individualized safety and risk analysis, determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of Sexual Harassment justifies removal, provides the Respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal, and does so in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as applicable.

Additionally, WCC may place a non-student employee Respondent on administrative leave during the pendency of WCC’s response to allegations of Sexual Harassment provided that it does so in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

L. EFFECT OF RESPONDENT WITHDRAWAL, GRADUATION, OR RESIGNATION DURING GRIEVANCE PROCESS

At the discretion of WCC, a Respondent who withdraws or resigns from WCC during the pendency of a grievance process under these Grievance Procedures may be barred from WCC property and WCC activities and events and may be ineligible for re-enrollment or to be re-hired. If a Respondent completes all requirements to graduate during the grievance process, WCC may hold the Respondent’s diploma until full resolution of the Formal Complaint.

M. PRIVACY AND DISCLOSURE

Except as may be permitted by FERPA or as required by law or to carry out any investigation or resolution of sex discrimination or harassment allegations, WCC will keep private the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sex discrimination or harassment (including any individual who has made a report or filed a Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment,), any Complainant, any Respondent, and any witness.

WCC may report alleged Sexual Harassment to local law enforcement if warranted by the nature of the allegations at issue, and WCC administrators will share information regarding alleged Sexual Harassment, as appropriate and necessary, in order to address and resolve the allegation(s) at issue, prevent the recurrence of similar Sexual Harassment, and address the effects of the Sexual Harassment. Additionally, information regarding alleged Sexual Harassment may be used as a statistical, anonymous report for data collection purposes under the Clery Act.

To comply with FERPA, Title IX, and other applicable laws and to provide an orderly process for the presentation and consideration of relevant information without undue intimidation or pressure, grievance processes carried out under these Grievance Procedures are not open to the general public. Accordingly, documents prepared in connection with such processes; documents, statements, or other information introduced in interviews, meetings, and proceedings; and the final outcome letter may not be disclosed outside of those processes except as may be required or authorized by law.

As permitted by and subject to the limitations of FERPA, WCC reserves the right to notify parent(s) or guardian(s) of a student Respondent of the outcome of any investigation involving that Respondent, redacting names of any other students who do not consent to the disclosure of their information. At the written request of a party, WCC may include a party’s advisor on communications and share access to documents, including the investigation report. This access is subject to the advisor’s acknowledgment and agreement to maintain the confidentiality of the documents.

While WCC strongly encourages parties to maintain privacy in connection with a grievance process, WCC does not prohibit parties from discussing the allegations under investigation or in any way inhibit the parties from gathering or presenting relevant evidence. In addition, WCC’s policy does not prohibit disclosure of the final outcome letter by either the Complainant or the Respondent.

N. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, BIAS, AND TRAINING

WCC will ensure that any individual designated by WCC as a Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, investigator, or decision-maker under these Grievance Procedures does not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or an individual Complainant or Respondent.

If any employee designated to participate in the investigation or resolution of a Formal Complaint is the Respondent or a relevant witness, then the Title IX Coordinator will appoint another employee to perform their duties. (If the Title IX Coordinator is the Respondent, then the President will appoint another qualified person to perform their duties.)

WCC also ensures that the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and advisors receive training, as applicable, on the definition of Sexual Harassment; the scope of WCC’s Education Program or Activity; how to conduct an investigation and grievance process, including hearings, and appeals; and how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias.

WCC further ensures that decision-makers receive training on issues of relevance of questions and evidence, including when questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, and that investigators receive training on issues of relevance to create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence. Additionally, WCC ensures that decision-makers receive training on any technology to be used at live hearings. Materials used to train the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and advisors will not rely on sex stereotypes and promote impartial investigations and adjudications of Formal Complaints of Sexual Harassment.

O. BURDEN OF PROOF

At all times, the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility rest on WCC, not on either of the parties.

P. PRESUMPTION OF NO RESPONSIBILITY UNTIL DETERMINATION

Respondents are presumed to be not responsible for alleged Sexual Harassment until WCC makes a determination regarding responsibility pursuant to these Grievance Procedures.

R. OBJECTIVE EVALUATION OF ALL RELEVANT EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY DETERMINATIONS

The investigators and decision-makers under these Grievance Procedures will objectively evaluate all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence, and will not make any credibility determinations based on a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.

S. ACADEMIC FREEDOM

WCC affirms its commitment to academic freedom but notes that academic freedom does not allow any form of Sexual Harassment. WCC recognizes that an essential function of education is a probing of opinions and an exploration of ideas, some of which, because they are controversial, may cause students and others discomfort. This discomfort, as a product of free academic inquiry within a faculty member’s area(s) of expertise, shall in no way be considered or construed to constitute Sexual Harassment. Academic inquiry may involve teaching, research and extramural speech. Furthermore, nothing in this document shall be interpreted to prohibit bona fide academic requirements for a specific WCC program or activity. When investigating complaints that a party or the Title IX Coordinator / Deputy Title IX Coordinator believes may involve issues of academic freedom, the investigating Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will consult with the Vice President of Instruction with respect to contemporary academic practices and standards.

T. DOCUMENTATION

WCC will retain documentation (including but not limited to any Formal Complaint, notifications, recording or transcripts of interviews, investigative report, written findings of fact, petitions for appeal, notifications of decisions (including the final outcome letter), audio recordings of hearings, and written communication with the Complainant and Respondent), for no less than seven years.

U. CONSOLIDATION OF FORMAL COMPLAINTS

WCC may consolidate Formal Complaints as to allegations of Sexual Harassment against more than one Respondent, by more than one Complainant against one or more Respondents, or by one party against the other party where the allegations of Sexual Harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances. Where a grievance process involves more than one Complainant or more than one Respondent, references in these Grievance Procedures to the singular “party,” “Complainant,” or “Respondent” include the plural, as applicable.

V. INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

WCC will make arrangements to ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided appropriate accommodations, to the extent necessary and available, to participate in WCC’s grievance processes. Student requests for accommodation must be made to the Director of Disability, Inclusion, & Diversity. All other requests for accommodation must be made to the Executive Director of Human Resources.

II. THE INVESTIGATION

A. APPOINTMENT OF INVESTIGATORS AND CHALLENGING OF THE SAME

Unless a Formal Complaint is dismissed, one or more members of the Title IX Coordinator / Deputy Title IX Coordinator team will initiate the investigation. The lead investigator will contemporaneously share their names and contact information with the Complainant and Respondent.

Within two days of receiving notification from the lead investigator, the Complainant or the Respondent may identify to the lead investigator in writing any alleged conflicts of interest or bias on the part of the assigned investigators. The lead investigator will review this information with the Title IX Coordinator / Deputy Title IX Coordinator team and will promptly assign different investigators if the Title IX Coordinator / Deputy Title IX Coordinator team determines that a material conflict of interest or material bias exists.

B. THE INVESTIGATORS’ ACTIVITIES

Upon receipt of the Formal Complaint, the investigators will promptly begin their investigation, taking such steps as interviewing the Complainant, the Respondent, and witnesses (including expert witnesses, where applicable); summarizing such interviews in writing; collecting and reviewing relevant documents; visiting, inspecting, and taking or reviewing photographs of relevant sites; and collecting and reviewing other relevant evidence.

C. THE INVESTIGATIVE REPORT AND EVIDENCE REVIEW

The investigators will prepare a written investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence and includes items such as the Formal Complaint, written statements of position, summaries or transcripts of all interviews conducted, photographs, descriptions of relevant evidence, and summaries or copies of relevant electronic records.

Prior to the completion of the investigative report, the investigators will send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, an electronic or hard copy of any evidence obtained during the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the Formal Complaint, including (1) any evidence upon which WCC does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility; and (2) both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.

The parties have ten days from the time that the evidence is provided to submit to the investigators a written response to the evidence. In the response, the parties may address the relevancy of any evidence that the parties believe should be included in or excluded from the investigative report and may also address any further investigation activities or questions that they believe are necessary. If a party wishes to submit additional evidence at this stage, they should explain how the evidence is relevant and why it was not previously provided.

The investigators will review and consider the parties’ written submissions and may conduct additional investigative activities as appropriate prior to finalizing the investigative report. The need for additional investigative activities may result in a delay or extension to the timelines set forth in these Grievance Procedures.

At least ten days prior to the hearing, the investigators will send an electronic or hard copy of the investigative report to each party and the party’s advisor, if any. Any response a party wishes to make to the investigative report may be included in that party’s pre-hearing statement, which is discussed more below in Section 2C.05.

Due to the sensitive nature of the investigative report, neither the parties nor their advisors may copy, publish, photograph, print, image, record or in any other manner duplicate the report. Parties who violate these restrictions may be disciplined, and advisors who violate these restrictions may be disciplined and/or be barred from further participation in the grievance process.

Nothing in this document restricts the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather, preserve, and/or present relevant evidence.

D. SUBMISSION OF EVIDENCE; EXPERT WITNESSES

Any evidence that the parties wish for the hearing officer to consider should be presented to the investigators as early as possible during the investigation process. Evidence that is not submitted in a timely manner and prior to finalization of the investigative report may be excluded from the hearing at the discretion of the hearing officer.

Similarly, all relevant witnesses should be identified to the investigators as early as possible during the investigation. The hearing officer generally will not call or consider written statements from witnesses who were not identified to investigators and interviewed during the investigation. However, in their discretion and for good cause, the hearing officer may choose to consider information from witnesses who were not interviewed during the investigation.

Any party who wishes to present testimony from an expert witness should identify that witness by providing the witness’s name, contact information and a summary of (1) the witness’s qualifications to offer expert testimony; and (2) any opinions the witness expects to offer related to the allegations or evidence. Any evidence upon which the witness relies must be provided to the investigators and will be made available to the other party and their advisor, as well as to any expert witness the other party has identified. This information must be provided as early as possible in the investigation and in no event later than finalization of the investigative report. The parties must make any expert witnesses available to be interviewed by investigators and to testify at the hearing. If an expert witness is not available to provide live testimony at the hearing, the hearing officer must disregard any information submitted by that expert.

E. TREATMENT RECORDS

WCC will not access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use in a grievance process any party’s treatment records that are maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in their professional/paraprofessional capacity unless the party provides voluntary, written consent.

III. HEARING AND APPEALS

A. THE FORMAL RESOLUTION PROCESS

Unless a Formal Complaint is dismissed, following the investigation the appointed hearing officer will conduct a hearing in which they may question the Complainant, the Respondent, and any witnesses whose testimony the hearing officer deems relevant. During the hearing, the hearing officer and the parties may also question the investigators as necessary to clarify information provided in the investigative report.

B. APPOINTMENT OF THE HEARING OFFICER AND CHALLENGING OF THE SAME

The Title IX Coordinator will appoint a lead hearing officer and two employees to serve on the hearing panel for student cases. The hearing panel will serve as the decision-maker regarding responsibility and determine sanctions. The Title IX Coordinator will appoint a hearing officer for employee cases. The hearing officer will serve as the decision-maker regarding responsibility. The President will determine sanctions. The Title IX Coordinator will contemporaneously share the hearing officer’s name and contact information with the Complainant and the Respondent. The Title IX Coordinator will provide to the hearing officer the Formal Complaint, all evidence directly related to the allegations, the parties’ written responses to the evidence, and the investigative report.

Within two days of such appointment, the Complainant or the Respondent may identify to the Title IX Coordinator in writing any alleged conflicts of interest or bias on the part of the hearing officer or hearing panel. The Title IX Coordinator will promptly assign a different hearing officer or hearing panel member if the Title IX Coordinator determines that a material conflict of interest or material bias exists.

C. NOTICE OF THE HEARING

Promptly after the appointment of the hearing officer and no less than seven days prior to the hearing, the hearing officer will provide concurrent written notice to the Complainant and the Respondent setting forth the date, time, and location of the hearing. Any modifications to the hearing date, time, or location will be provided in writing to both parties prior to the date of the hearing.

D. PRE-HEARING SUBMISSIONS

Each party may submit a written statement to the hearing officer that includes any response the party wishes to make to the investigative report. Each party’s pre-hearing statement must be submitted at least five days prior to the hearing. The hearing officer will share the statement with the other party, who may submit a response within two days.

E. FAILURE TO APPEAR

If any party, advisor, or witness fails to appear at the hearing after having been provided proper notice of the hearing as set forth above, then absent extenuating circumstances the hearing officer will proceed with the hearing and issuance of their responsibility determination and, as applicable, sanction recommendation. WCC will provide an advisor to any party who attends the hearing unaccompanied.

F. EVIDENTIARY MATTERS

A Title IX hearing does not take place within a court of law and is not bound by formal rules of evidence.

Evidence of and questions about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant and will not be permitted at the hearing, with the following exceptions: (1) if the questions and evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant; or (2) if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove Consent.

Evidence regarding the past sexual activity of the Respondent (regardless of whether the Respondent was formally investigated or found responsible for such conduct) may be permitted to show that the Respondent has engaged in a pattern of behavior similar to the alleged Sexual Harassment at issue before the hearing officer, provided that the Respondent has not been found “not responsible” by WCC in a proceeding related to such conduct.

WCC will not access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use in a grievance process any party’s treatment records that are maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in their professional/paraprofessional capacity unless the party provides voluntary, written consent. Questions and/or evidence that constitute or seek disclosure of information protected under a legally recognized privilege are not permitted, unless the person holding the privilege has waived the privilege in writing.

WCC will make the evidence that the investigators provided to the parties for their review and inspection prior to finalization of the investigative report available at the hearing to give each party equal opportunity to refer to such evidence during the hearing, including for purposes of cross-examination.

G. CONDUCT OF THE HEARING AND QUESTIONING OF WITNESSES AND PARTIES

The hearing will be conducted with parties in separate rooms, using technology to ensure that each party can see and hear any party or witness answering questions. At the discretion of the hearing officer, the hearing may be conducted partially or entirely remotely, with any or all participants participating virtually.

The Complainant and the Respondent will have equal opportunity to address the hearing officer, if desired, and both the hearing officer and the parties’ advisors will have the opportunity to question the other party and any witnesses, including investigators and expert witnesses. The hearing officer will first ask any questions of each party and each witness through direct examination. After the hearing officer has completed direct examination, the advisor for each party will have an opportunity to conduct a cross-examination of the other party and/or the witnesses. Any questions that a party has for a witness or the other party must be posed by the party’s advisor. A party’s advisor will not have the opportunity to question the party for whom they serve as advisor.

Before a party or witness answers a cross-examination question, the hearing officer will determine whether the question is relevant and allowed under these Grievance Procedures. For example, the hearing officer may exclude as not relevant duplicative questions or questions posed solely to harass a witness or the other party. The hearing officer will explain any decision to exclude a question.

If a party does not have an advisor present at the hearing, WCC will provide an advisor, at no cost to the party, to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party.

Members of the WCC community are expected to provide truthful testimony, and any member of the WCC community who knowingly provides false information during this process is subject to discipline.

H. UNAVAILABILITY OR REFUSAL TO TESTIFY OR SUBMIT TO CROSSEXAMINATION

The Respondent and/or the Complainant may choose not to testify at the hearing; however, the exercise of that option will not preclude the hearing officer from making their responsibility determination and, as applicable, sanction recommendation regarding the Formal Complaint. Also, if a party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the hearing, the hearing officer will not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility or, as applicable, recommendation regarding sanctions. The hearing officer will not draw an inference regarding responsibility or sanctions based solely on a party’s or witness’ absence from the hearing or refusal to testify or submit to cross-examination.

I. RECORDING

WCC will record the hearing. This recording will be the only recording permitted of the proceedings and will be the property of WCC. The parties and the appeal officer may use the recording as part of the appeal process. Reasonable care will be taken to ensure a quality recording; however, technological problems that result in no recording or in an inaudible one will not affect the validity of the outcome of a hearing.

J. THE DETERMINATION OF THE HEARING OFFICER REGARDING RESPONSIBILITY

Following the hearing, the hearing officer will determine whether the evidence establishes that it is more likely than not that the Respondent committed Sexual Harassment. (In other words, the standard of proof will be the preponderance of the evidence standard.) The hearing officer will render a finding of “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” and will provide the rationale for the decision. If the Respondent is found “Responsible,” the hearing officer will specify the specific type(s) of Sexual Harassment for which the Respondent is found “Responsible” (for example, Sexual Assault, Stalking, etc.). When feasible, the hearing officer will orally communicate the finding of “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” to the parties on the day of or day following the hearing. Additional information regarding the decision, including the rationale and sanctions (if applicable) will be communicated in the final outcome letter (as described below).

K. DETERMINATION OF SANCTIONS

If the hearing officer concludes that the Respondent is “Responsible,” they will appropriate sanctions to be imposed on the Respondent. The sanctions will be determined within the context of the sanctioning guidelines, the Respondent’s disciplinary history, the institution’s handling of similar cases, and other relevant factors.

Sanctions following a finding of responsibility depend upon the nature and gravity of the misconduct, any record of prior discipline, or both. Sanctions for employees may include, but are not limited to, withholding a promotion or pay increase, reassigning employment, terminating employment, temporary suspension without pay, and compensation adjustments.

Sanctions for students may include, but are not limited to, expulsion or suspension from WCC, disciplinary probation, social restrictions, suspension or revocation of admission, suspension or revocation of degree.

Other potential sanctions for Respondents may include, but are not limited to, written warning, mandated counseling, completion of an intervention program, completion of violence risk assessment, parental notification, and/or education sanctions (such as community service, reflection paper(s), and/or fines) as deemed appropriate by the hearing officer.

In determining sanctions, the hearing officer will consider whether a sanction will bring an end to, prevent a recurrence of, and remedy the effects of the Sexual Harassment. The hearing officer also will consider the impact of separating a student from their education. The appropriate sanctions for Sexual Assault generally will include at a minimum a period of separation from WCC.

L. IMPLEMENTATION OF SANCTIONS

Sanctions generally are effective immediately upon issuance of the final outcome letter described below. However, if necessary to protect the welfare of the Complainant, Respondent, or WCC community, the hearing officer may determine that any sanctions are effective at any time after the conclusion of the hearing and continue in effect until the issuance of the final outcome letter.

M. FINAL OUTCOME LETTER

Within seven days after the hearing, the hearing officer will issue a final outcome letter through the Title IX Coordinator to the Respondent and Complainant simultaneously.

The final outcome letter will (1) name the Respondent; (2) identify the allegations potentially constituting Sexual Harassment; (3) describe procedural steps taken from the filing of the Formal Complainant through the determination; (4) provide findings of fact in support of the hearing officer’s determination; and (5) provide a statement of rationale for the result as to each allegation, including the responsibility determination and any sanctions.

N. APPEALS

The Complainant or the Respondent may appeal the decision of the hearing officer regarding responsibility and/or the sanction(s) imposed on the Respondent.

The following are the only permissible grounds for an appeal of the hearing officer’s responsibility determination: (1) procedural irregularity that affected the outcome; (2) new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the determination and that could affect the outcome; and (3) the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, an investigator, or the hearing officer had a conflict of interest or bias that affected the outcome.

Sanctions may only be appealed on the ground that the severity is incommensurate to the gravity of the Sexual Harassment for which the Respondent was found responsible.

Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within five days from the date of the final outcome letter. The Title IX Coordinator will promptly inform the other party of the filing of the appeal. The other party will have three days from such notification to submit a written response to the appeal.

O. APPOINTMENT OF THE APPEAL OFFICER AND CHALLENGING OF THE SAME

The Title IX Coordinator will appoint an appeal officer and will share the appeal officer’s name and contact information with the Complainant and the Respondent.

Within two days of being provided the contact information for the appeal officer, the Complainant, or the Respondent may identify to the Title IX Coordinator in writing alleged conflicts of interest or bias on the part of the appeal officer. The Title IX Coordinator will consider such statements and will promptly assign a different appeal officer if the Title IX Coordinator determines that a material conflict of interest or material bias exists.

P. APPELLATE REVIEW

The Title IX Coordinator will share the Formal Complaint, the investigative report, the hearing recording, all statements introduced at the hearing, any other evidence considered by the hearing officer, the hearing officer’s written findings, and the written appeal submissions with the appeal officer. In addition, if an appeal raises procedural issues, the Title IX Coordinator may provide the appeal officer additional information relevant to those issues.

Within ten days of the receipt of the appeal the appeal officer will determine (a) that the decision of the hearing officer should stand; or (b) that the decision of the hearing officer should be overturned and will issue a written explanation of that result and the rationale behind it.

In the event that the appeal officer determines that the decision of the hearing officer should be overturned, the appeal officer will specify, after consultation with the Title IX Coordinator and other WCC administrators as necessary, the appropriate steps to be taken to come to a final resolution of the Formal Complaint (which may include another hearing before the same hearing officer or a different one).

Adopted: 08/10/2020

Exhibit A: Suggested Actions for People Who Have Experienced Sexual Harassment

If you have experienced Sexual Harassment, WCC’s first priority is to help you take steps to address your safety, medical needs and emotional well‐being. You are encouraged to take the following actions, as applicable, regardless of whether you have made a decision about whether to pursue a criminal or WCC complaint.

A. Ensure Your Physical Safety.

You may seek help from local law enforcement agencies or by contacting the WCC Police Department. The WCC Police Department can assist you with contacting local law enforcement and can help you obtain transportation to the local law enforcement office. Officers are on duty at the WCC Police Department 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

B. Seek Medical Assistance and Treatment.

Local options for medical care include Wilkes Medical Center (336-651-8100), Ashe Memorial Hospital (336-846-0748), and Alleghany Memorial Hospital (336-372-5511). It is crucial that you obtain medical attention as soon as possible after a sexual assault, for example, to determine the extent of physical injury and to prevent or treat sexually transmitted diseases (such as HIV). Medical facilities can also screen for the presence of sedative drugs such as Rohypnol or GHB (date‐rape drugs).

If you choose to have an evidence collection kit (or “rape kit”) completed, it is important to do so within 120 hours.

Even if you have not decided whether to file charges, it is advisable to have the evidence collection kit completed so that you can better preserve the options of obtaining a protective order and/or filing criminal charges at a later date.

It is advisable to avoid showering, bathing, going to the bathroom, or brushing your teeth before an evidence collection kit is completed. You should also wear (or take with you in a paper – not plastic – bag) to the hospital the same clothing that you were wearing during the assault. An evidence collection kit can still be completed even if you have showered or bathed.

C. Obtain Emotional Support

The Counseling Center (located in Student Services Office, Alumni Hall) can help students sort through their feelings and begin the recovery process. The professionals at the Counseling Center are trained to provide crisis intervention on short‐term and emergency issues. The Counseling Center can also provide referral services for outside providers and law enforcement. Counseling is free of charge to all students. In some instances, the law may require the disclosure of information shared by students with counselors. However, absent a legal mandate to the contrary, counseling services are strictly confidential, are not part of students’ records, and will not be reported to other WCC personnel.

Employees may contact the Executive Director of Human Resources for a counseling referral.

D. Obtain Information / Report Misconduct

You are encouraged to report incidents of sexual assault to WCC’s Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator (even if you have filed a report directly with law enforcement). The Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator can help you access resources and can provide you with support and information, including information on WCC’s procedures for investigating and addressing instances of sexual assault.

E. Resources
1. Title IX Coordinator / Deputy Title IX Coordinators

Faculty/Staff:

Image of Sherry Cox
Sherry Cox, MS
Executive Director of Human Resources/ Title IX Coordinator
Phone: 336-838-6422
Fax: 336-903-3218
spcox072@wilkescc.edu

Curriculum and Workforce Development & Community Education Students:

Image of Scott Johnson
Scott Johnson, EdS
Dean of Student Services
Phone: 336-838-6141
sajohnson366@wilkescc.edu

College Readiness and Workforce Development & Community Education Students:

Image of Debbie Woodard
Debbie Woodard, MA
Dean of College Readiness and Basic Skills
Phone: 336-903-3231
drwoodard792@wilkescc.edu
2. Confidential Resources
Image of Lynda Black
Lynda Black, PhD, LCMHC
Director, Counseling, Career Services and Student Life
Phone: 336-838-6148
lkblack932@wilkescc.edu
Image of Michael Roope
Michael Roope, EdS, LCMHC
Coordinator, Career Services
Phone: 336-838-6147
msroope085@wilkescc.edu
3. Campus Police
Image of Jamie McGuire
Jamie McGuire, BS
Chief of Police
Phone: 336-838-6482
Fax: 336-903-3168
jdmcguire721@wilkescc.edu
4. Community Resources

A Safe Home for Everyone (A.S.H.E.)
626 Ashe Central School Rd., Unit 1
Jefferson , NC 28640
Office: 336-982-8851
Crisis: 336-246-5430
www.ashechildren.org

D.A.N.A. (Domestic Abuse is Not Acceptable)
Alleghany County Crisis Line: 336-372-DANA (3262)
Toll Free: 866-261-DANA (3262)
www.danaservices.com

OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Service, Information, and Shelter)
225 Birch St. Boone, NC 28607
Phone: 828-264-1532
www.oasisinc.org

Shelter Home of Caldwell County
Caldwell County: 828-758-0888
Alexander County: 828-635-8850
www.shelterhomecc.org

The College strives to make its campuses inclusive, safe and a welcome learning environment for all members of the College community. Pursuant to multiple federal and state laws and administrative regulations and pursuant to College policy, the College prohibits discrimination in its activities, services and programs based on race, color, national origin, religion, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, age, political affiliation or veterans’ status.

I. DEFINITIONS

The following definitions shall apply to this Procedure and shall be collectively referred to herein as “Unlawful Discrimination”.

The definitions are not intended to operate as speech codes, promote content and viewpoint discrimination or suppress minority viewpoints in the academic setting. Indeed, just because a student’s speech or expression is deemed offensive by others does not mean it constitutes discrimination or harassment.

In applying these definitions, College administrators shall view the speech or expression in its context and totality and shall apply the following standard: the alleged victim subjectively views the conduct as discrimination or harassment and that the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that the conduct is discriminatory or harassing.

  1. Discrimination: any act or failure to act that unreasonably differentiates treatment of others based solely on their Protected Status and is sufficiently serious, based on the perspective of a reasonable person, to unreasonably interfere with or limit the ability of that individual to participate in, access or benefit from the College’s programs and activities. Discrimination may be intentional or unintentional.
  2. Harassment: a type of Discrimination that happens when verbal, physical, electronic or other behavior based on a person’s Protected Status interferes with a person’s participation in the College’s programs and activities and it either creates an environment that a reasonable person would find hostile, intimidating, abusive or where submitting to or rejecting the conduct is used as the basis for decisions that affect the person’s participation in the College’s programs and activities. Harassment may include but is not limited to: threatening or intimidating conduct directed at another because of the individual’s Protected Status; ethnic slurs, negative stereotypes and hostile acts based on an individual’s Protected Status.
  3. Protected Status: race, color, national origin, religion, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, age, political affiliation or veterans’ status.
  4. Standard of Evidence: the College uses the preponderance of the evidence as the standard for proof of whether a violation occurred. In the student due process hearing and employee grievance process, legal terms like “guilt, “innocence” and “burden of proof” are not applicable. Student and employee due process hearings are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available from all relevant sources. The College will find the alleged Perpetrator either “responsible” or “not responsible” for violating these Procedures.

II. STATEMENTS OF PROHIBITION

A. Prohibition of Retaliation.

The College strictly prohibits punishing students or employees for asserting their rights to be free from Unlawful Discrimination. Retaliation against any person participating in connection with a complaint of Unlawful Discrimination is strictly prohibited. Reports of retaliation will be addressed through this procedure and/or other applicable College procedures. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, punitive actions from authority figures or peers, reprisals (acts of vengeance) or harassment. Retaliation is a serious violation and should be reported immediately. The College will take appropriate disciplinary action against any employee or student found to have retaliated against another.

B. Prohibition of Providing False Information.

Any individual who knowingly files a false report or complaint, who knowingly provides false information to College officials, or who intentionally misleads College officials involved in the investigation or resolution of a complaint may be subject to disciplinary action including, but not limited to expulsion or employment termination. The College recognizes that an allegation made in good faith will not be considered false when the evidence does not confirm the allegation(s) of Unlawful Discrimination.

III. REQUESTING ACCOMMODATIONS

A. Students.

Students with disabilities wishing to make a request for reasonable accommodations, auxiliary communication aids or services, or materials in alternative accessible formats should contact the College’s Office of Disability Services. Information provided by students is voluntary and strict confidentiality is maintained. All requests for accommodations will be considered following the appropriate federal and state laws.

The College will also provide reasonable accommodation of a student’s religious beliefs/practices provided such expression/practice does not create a hostile environment for other students and employees and/or the accommodation does not cause an undue hardship for the College.

B. Employees.

Employees with disabilities wishing to make a request for reasonable accommodations, auxiliary communication aids or services, or materials in alternative accessible formats should contact the College’s Office of Human Resources. Information provided by employees is voluntary and strictly confidential.

The College will also provide reasonable accommodation of an employee’s religious beliefs/practices provided such expression/practice does not create a hostile environment for other employees and students and/or the accommodation does not cause an undue hardship for the College.

IV. REPORTING OPTIONS

A. Student Complaints.

Any student wishing to make a report relating to Unlawful Discrimination may do so by reporting the concern to the Dean of Student Services.

For Unlawful Discrimination incidents between students and employees, the Vice President of Instruction or the Vice President of Instructional Support and Student Services (“Vice Presidents”) will work in partnership with the Director of Human Resources to investigate and resolve the allegations.

B. Employee Complaints.

Any employee wishing to make a report related to Unlawful Discrimination may do so by reporting the concern to the College’s Director of Human Resources.

V. INITIAL INVESTIGATION

As these Procedures apply to both students and employees as either the Complainant or the Respondent, the administrator receiving the incident report will determine if the case should be handled by: 1) the Dean, or designee (student/student); 2) the Director of Human Resources, or designee (employee/employee); or 3) both (student/employee). For incidents involving students and employees, the College will utilize the process for both the student investigation and the employee investigation sections as applicable.

A. Student Investigation.
  1. Students filing complaints (“Complainants”) are urged to do so in writing as soon as possible but no later than thirty (30) days after disclosure or discovery of the facts giving rise to the complaint. Complaints submitted after the thirty (30) day period will still be investigated; however, Complainants should recognize that delays in reporting may significantly impair the ability of College officials to investigate and respond to such complaints. The Dean shall fully investigate any complaints and will, as needed, and if the complaint also involves an employee, collaborate with the College’s Director of Human Resources. During the course of the investigation, the Dean may consult with other relevant College administrators and the College Attorney.
  2. During the investigation, and if applicable to the complaint, the Dean shall meet with the Complainant and the Respondent separately and give each party an equal opportunity to provide evidence, including informing the Dean of any potential witnesses. Both parties will be given access to any information provided by the other in accordance with any federal or state confidentiality laws. [Note: The Complainant’s complaint need not necessarily be against a specific individual but could concern an action, policy, procedure or decision by the College that the individual believes constitutes Unlawful Discrimination.]
  3. During the investigation process, the Dean may implement temporary measures in order to facilitate an efficient and thorough investigation process as well as to protect the rights of all parties involved. The temporary actions include but are not limited to: reassignment of class schedules; temporary suspension from campus (but be allowed to complete coursework); or directives that include no contact between the involved parties.
  4. A confidential file regarding the complaint shall be maintained by the Dean to the extent possible, the College will keep all information relating to the complaint and investigations confidential; however, to maintain compliance with the Clery Act, both parties will be informed of the outcome of any institutional proceedings under these Procedures.
  5. The Dean shall make every effort to conclude the investigation as soon as possible but no later than thirty (30) calendar days. If the nature of the investigation requires additional time, the Dean may have an additional ten (10) calendar days to complete the investigation. The Dean shall notify the parties of this extension.
  6. Complainants will be notified of available counseling services and their options of changing academic situations and other interim protective measures.
B. Employee Investigations.
  1. Employees filing complaints (“Complainants”) are urged to do so in writing as soon as possible but no later than thirty (30) days after disclosure or discovery of the facts giving rise to the complaint. Complaints submitted after the thirty (30) day period will still be investigated; however, Complainants should recognize that delays in reporting may significantly impair the ability of College officials to investigate and respond to such complaints. The Director of Human Resources shall fully investigate any complaints. During the course of the investigation, the Director of Human Resources may consult with other relevant College administrators and the College Attorney.
  2. During the investigation, and if applicable to the complaint, the Director of Human Resources shall meet with the Complainant and the alleged Perpetrator (“Respondent”) separately and give each party an equal opportunity to provide evidence, including informing the Director of Human Resources of any potential witnesses. Both parties will be given access to any information provided by the other in accordance with any federal or state confidentiality laws. [Note: The Complainant’s complaint need not necessarily be against a specific individual but could concern an action, policy, procedure or decision by the College that the individual believes constitutes Unlawful Discrimination.]
  3. During the investigation process, the Director of Human Resources may implement temporary measures in order to facilitate an efficient and thorough investigation process as well as to protect the rights of all parties involved. The Director of Human Resources may suspend an employee with pay pending an investigation if such action is in the College’s best interest.
  4. A confidential file regarding the complaint shall be maintained by the Director of Human Resources. To the extent possible, the College will keep all information relating to the complaint and investigations confidential; however, to maintain compliance with the Clery Act, both parties will be informed of the outcome of any institutional proceedings under these Procedures.
  5. The Director of Human Resources shall make every effort to conclude the investigation as soon as possible but no later than thirty (30) calendar days. If the nature of the investigation requires additional time, the Director of Human Resources may have an additional ten (10) calendar days to complete the investigation and shall notify the parties of this extension.
  6. Complainants will be notified of available counseling services and other interim protective measures.

VI. RECOMMENDATION AND APPEAL

A. Students.
  1. After the investigation is complete, the Dean will put forward a recommendation of finding, based on the Standard of Evidence, and sanction(s) to both the Complainant and Respondent. If the recommendation is accepted by both parties involved, the recommendation and sanction(s) will become effective. The Dean will submit to each party a final outcome letter that will include, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. Prior to the hearing, the Complainant and the Respondent have the right to review all evidence, including written statements by the Respondent, the Complainant, or witnesses. Strict rules of evidence do not apply. The Standard of Evidence shall apply for the hearing.
    2. Written notice including the date, time, and location of the hearing will be sent to all parties.
  2. If the Dean’s recommendations are not accepted by either the Complainant or the Respondent, both may appeal and request a formal hearing. The Vice President will preside over the hearing as the Presiding Officer. The process for the hearing is outlined below:
    1. Prior to the hearing, the Complainant and the Respondent have the right to review all evidence, including written statements by the Respondent, the Complainant, or witnesses. Strict rules of evidence do not apply. The Standard of Evidence shall apply for the hearing.
    2. Written notice including the date, time, and location of the hearing will be sent to all parties.
    3. At the hearing, all pertinent parties have a right to speak and be questioned by the Presiding Officer. Cross-examination between parties is not permitted. The College will provide options for questioning without confrontation. Each phase of the hearing will be heard by both parties in separate rooms by use of a speaker phone.
    4. The Complainant and the Respondent are allowed to be accompanied by an advocate. The advocate may not present on behalf of either party unless otherwise instructed to do so by the Presiding Officer. If the Complainant or the Respondent chooses to have an advocate who is an attorney, notification must be provided to the Presiding Officer at least three (3) College business days prior to the hearing date. In this case, the College Attorney will also be present.
    5. Both parties have a right to a written notice of the hearing outcome.
B. Employees.
  1. After the investigation is complete, the Director of Human Resources will put forward a recommendation of finding, based on the Standard of Evidence, and sanctions to both the Complainant and Respondent. If the recommendation is accepted by both parties involved, the recommendation and sanctions will become effective. A final outcome letter will be submitted to the Complainant and Respondent that may include, but not limited to, the following:
    1. Determination if the Respondent is responsible, not responsible, or if the decision is deemed inconclusive, or shared responsibility.
    2. Sanction(s), if appropriate.
    3. Monitoring of academic schedules or workplace schedule if needed.
    4. Short-term counseling services will be offered to each party.
  2. If the Director of Human Resources’ recommendations are not accepted by either the Complainant or the Respondent, both may appeal and request a formal hearing. If the Director of Human Resources recommends sanctions that he/she cannot impose (i.e., termination) the matter will automatically be set for a hearing. The President will preside over the hearing as the Presiding Officer. The process for the hearing is outlined below:
    1. Prior to the hearing, the Complainant and the Respondent have the right to review all evidence, including written statements by the Respondent, the Complainant, or witnesses. Strict rules of evidence do not apply. The Standard of Evidence shall apply for the hearing.
    2. Written notice including the date, time, and location of the hearing will be sent to all parties.
    3. At the hearing, all pertinent parties have a right to speak and be questioned by the Presiding Officer. Cross-examination between parties is not permitted. The College will provide options for questioning without confrontation. Each phase of the hearing will be heard by both parties in separate rooms by use of a speaker phone.
    4. The Complainant and the Respondent are allowed to be accompanied by an advocate. The advocate may not present on behalf of either party unless otherwise instructed to do so by the Presiding Officer. If the Complainant or the Respondent chooses to have an advocate who is an attorney, notification must be provided to the Presiding Officer at least three (3) College business days prior to the hearing date. In this case, the College Attorney will also be present.
    5. Both parties have a right to a written notice of the hearing outcome.
C. Sanctioning.

The following sanctions may be imposed for those who have violated these Procedures.

  1. Students.
    1. Verbal or Written Warning
    2. Probation
    3. Administrative withdrawal from a course without refund
    4. Required Counseling
    5. No Contact Directive
    6. Suspension
    7. Expulsion (President must impose)
    8. Other consequences deemed appropriate
  2. Employees.
    1. Verbal or Written Warning
    2. Performance Improvement Plan
    3. Required Counseling
    4. Required Training or Education
    5. Demotion (President must impose)
    6. Suspension with or without Pay (President must impose)
    7. Termination (President must impose)
    8. Other consequences deemed appropriate to the specific violation

Adopted: 08/08/2019

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Pregnant and parenting students are welcome at Wilkes Community College.

Title IX regulations specifically prohibit discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions. Absences due to medical conditions related to pregnancy and maternity leave will be excused for as long as deemed medically necessary by a student’s doctor and students will be given the opportunity to make up missed work.

Additional information is available in the US Department of Education Guidelines for Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students.

Students seeking accommodations related to pregnancy or childbirth should complete the Pregnancy & Childbirth Accommodation Request Form. Accommodations will be determined through a cooperative process between the director of disability services and faculty members on a case by case basis to determine reasonable accommodations for a student. WCC may require documentation from a medical professional if an accommodation is medically necessary.

  • Accessible Parking
  • Access to Nursing Mother Space
  • Class Section Change (e.g., seated to online)
  • Excused Tardiness
  • Excused Absences
  • Excused Leave of Absence
  • Limited Exposure to Potentially Dangerous Substances (e.g., Lab or Clinical)
  • Limited Lifting
  • Limited Standing
  • Separate or Different Table/Chair
  • Restroom Use (e.g., frequency)
Wilkes Community College supports nursing mothers and provides a lactation room at the following locations:
Campus Location Contact Person to Schedule
Alleghany Center Room WCC 5 (back hall of the Alleghany Center) Sabrina Edwards
336-903-3140
saedwards404@wilkescc.edu
Ashe Campus Main Office Angela McCrory
336-903-3115
ammccrory850@wilkescc.edu
Wilkes Campus Student Services Office (Alumni Hall) Cindy Core
336-838-6137
cgcore955@wilkescc.edu

Each room provides an electrical outlet, comfortable chair and nearby access to hot running water.

Guidelines for Use of a Lactation Room

  1. Anyone planning to use a lactation room must register with the designated contact person at the applicable location.
  2. Each room is available on a first-come, first-served basis, Monday – Friday, during business hours and as scheduled. The person whose name appears on the schedule at a designated time has priority use of the room at that scheduled time.
  3. It is each person’s responsibility to notify the appropriate person at their location of any schedule changes and/or discontinued use of the room.
  4. Mother’s using the space are responsible for providing personal breast pumps and accessories.
  5. It is the responsibility of everyone using a room to clean up after themselves.
Question Answer
What are the requirements under Title IX related to pregnant and parenting students? Title IX specifically prohibits discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery from any of these conditions. Under Title IX it is illegal for a college to exclude a pregnant student from participating in any part of an educational program.
Why is the issue of equitable treatment of pregnant and parenting students an issue that is regulated by the Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR)? The Department of Education found an alarming number of high school and college students were not completing their education as a result of pregnancy or pregnancy related issues. The Department of Education wants to make certain that all pregnant and parenting students are not faced with discrimination as they strive to stay in school.
What types of assistance must WCC provide to a pregnant student? To ensure a pregnant student’s access to its educational program, when necessary, WCC must make adjustments to the regular program that are reasonable and responsive to the student’s temporary pregnancy status. For example, WCC might be required to provide a larger desk, allow frequent trips to the bathroom, or permit temporary access to elevators.
Are pregnant students required to receive the same services / accommodations that are provided to students with other temporary medical conditions? Any special services provided to students who have temporary medical conditions must also be provided to a pregnant student. Schools cannot require a pregnant student to produce a doctor’s note in order to stay in school or participate in activities unless the same requirement to obtain a doctor’s note applies to all students being treated by a doctor.
Must WCC excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or childbirth? Yes. Title IX requires a school to excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary. When the student returns  to school, she must be reinstated to the status she held when the leave began, which should include giving her the opportunity to make up any work missed. WCC may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, such as retaking a semester or allowing the student additional time in a program to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date, especially after longer periods of leave. The student should be allowed to choose how to make up the work.
Is Title IX protection retroactive? No, students must apply for pregnancy and childbirth accommodations in a timely manner. WCC cannot go back in time to make accommodations.

For additional information, please contact one of the following individuals:

Image of Sherry Cox
Sherry Cox, MS
Executive Director of Human Resources/ Title IX Coordinator
Phone: 336-838-6422
Fax: 336-903-3218
spcox072@wilkescc.edu
Image of Scott Johnson
Scott Johnson, EdS
Dean of Student Services
Phone: 336-838-6141
sajohnson366@wilkescc.edu
Image of Debbie Woodard
Debbie Woodard, MA
Dean of College Readiness and Basic Skills
Phone: 336-903-3231
drwoodard792@wilkescc.edu
Image of Renee Macemore
Renee Macemore, MS
Director of Disability, Inclusion, & Diversity
Phone: 336-838-6560
Fax: 336-903-3209
rmmacemore052@wilkescc.edu

Notice of Non-Discrimination

Wilkes Community College (WCC), in compliance with and as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and its implementing regulations (“Title IX”) and other civil rights laws, as well as in furtherance of its own values as a higher education institution, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, disability, age, religion, veteran status, or any other characteristic or status protected by applicable local, state, or federal law in admission, treatment, or access to, or employment in, its programs and activities.

Discrimination and harassment are antithetical to the values and standards of the WCC community; are incompatible with the safe, healthy environment that the WCC community expects and deserves and will not be tolerated. WCC is committed to providing programs, activities, and an education and work environment free from discrimination and harassment. WCC is also committed to fostering a community that promotes prompt reporting and fair and timely resolution of those behaviors.

Inquiries concerning discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex may be referred to WCC’s Title IX Coordinator (for employees) or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for students).  See the “File A Report” tab for their contact information.

Inquiries concerning discrimination or harassment based on a protected characteristic or status other than sex may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator (for employees) or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for students).

Individuals may also make inquiries regarding discrimination or harassment to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights by contacting:

Office of Civil Rights
District of Columbia Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1475
Phone: 800-421-3481
Email: OCR@ed.gov

File A Report

Any person (whether or not alleged to be the victim) may report sex discrimination or harassment, including Sexual Harassment, by using the online Title IX Report Form. Additionally, reports may be filed in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information for the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. Such a report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours).

Faculty/Staff:

Image of Sherry Cox
Sherry Cox, MS
Executive Director of Human Resources/ Title IX Coordinator
Phone: 336-838-6422
Fax: 336-903-3218
spcox072@wilkescc.edu

Curriculum and Workforce Development & Community Education Students:

Image of Scott Johnson
Scott Johnson, EdS
Dean of Student Services
Phone: 336-838-6141
sajohnson366@wilkescc.edu

College Readiness and Workforce Development & Community Education Students:

Image of Debbie Woodard
Debbie Woodard, MA
Dean of College Readiness and Basic Skills
Phone: 336-903-3231
drwoodard792@wilkescc.edu

In addition to the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators, WCC has designated the following employees as individuals with the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of WCC: President, Vice Presidents, and Deans. Accordingly, these employees are required to report discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

WCC strongly encourages all employees and other members of the WCC community to promptly report concerns regarding suspected or known discrimination/harassment on the basis of sex to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

Confidential Resources

Confidential resources are available on campus and in the community.

  • Image of Lynda Black
    Lynda Black, PhD, LCMHC
    Director, Counseling, Career Services and Student Life
    Phone: 336-838-6148
    lkblack932@wilkescc.edu
  • Image of Michael Roope
    Michael Roope, EdS, LCMHC
    Coordinator, Career Services
    Phone: 336-838-6147
    msroope085@wilkescc.edu
  • A Safe Home for Everyone (A.S.H.E.)
    626 Ashe Central School Rd., Unit 1
    Jefferson , NC 28640
    Office: 336-982-8851
    Crisis: 336-246-5430
    www.ashechildren.org
  • D.A.N.A. (Domestic Abuse is Not Acceptable)
    Alleghany County Crisis Line: 336-372-DANA (3262)
    Toll Free: 866-261-DANA (3262)
    www.danaservices.com
  • OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Service, Information, and Shelter)
    225 Birch St. Boone, NC 28607
    Phone: 828-264-1532
    www.oasisinc.org
  • Shelter Home of Caldwell County
    Caldwell County: 828-758-0888
    Alexander County: 828-635-8850
    www.shelterhomecc.org

Additional WCC Resources

Watch the WCC website and social media for events occurring each term.

Additional Community Resources

Title IX Training

All members of the Title IX Team (Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Deputy Coordinators, investigators, hearing officers, appeal officers, and advisors) receive annual training on Title IX. Click here to access the most recent training materials.