Information for complainants involved with sexual violence

INTRODUCTION: GENERAL COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

PERTAINING TO EMPLOYEES

These complaint procedures apply to complaints by or regarding employees of the Council on Postsecondary Education (the “Council”), the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, The Community College of Rhode Island (the “Institutions”) and the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner (“OPC”), alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation as well as all types of sexual harassment and sexual violence that are prohibited by Title IX (including sexual assault, sexual battery, rape and sexual coercion) and all types of sexual or relationship assault or violence that are prohibited by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (“VAWA”) of 2013, (which are sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking). All sexual and relationship offenses are prohibited under Title IX and VAWA, which are also all prohibited by the Council’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy, will hereinafter be collectively referred to by the general term “sexual violence.”

The Council prohibits discrimination, including harassment and retaliation, on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, citizenship status or status as a special disabled veteran, recently separated veteran, Vietnam era veteran, or any other veteran who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized. The Council also prohibits all forms of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

These procedures are also applicable to complaints and cases that may arise under, and are intended to be consistent and compliant with the procedural and substantive provisions of, applicable state and federal law and regulations including but not limited to Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments to the Higher Education Act; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended; the Equal Pay Act of 1963; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; ADA Amendment Act of 2008; the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended; the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013; the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, Executive Order 11246, as amended; Executive Order 91-39; Executive Order 92-2; and Rhode Island General Law §28-5.1, as amended.

These procedures also describe the process for individual members of the relevant campus communities (e.g., faculty, staff or students), and employees of the Office of Postsecondary Commissioner (“OPC”), to follow in the event they believe themselves or others, to have been victim of unlawful discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual harassment, or sexual violence. (These procedures also describe the required process for the investigation and resolution of allegations of such wrongful conduct by the institutions and OPC).

Complaints regarding the institutions' President or the Commissioner of Postsecondary Education should be filed with the Office of General Counsel for the Council on Postsecondary Education.

A complaint may also be filed against institutional service providers, vendors, and other contractors. In these instances, the Affirmative Action Office shall determine, within its discretion, appropriate response and action.

The provisions of the collective bargaining agreements governing unionized employees may provide additional mechanisms for addressing allegations of discrimination.

OFFICES FOR COMPLAINANTS TO CONTACT

If any member of the relevant campus communities (e.g.: faculty, staff or students) or employees of the OPC believe that their rights (and/or the rights of others) have been violated and wish further information, advice or assistance in filing a complaint, they should, as a first step contact:

Name Title Campus Telephone E-mail
Elizabeth Canning Director, Institutional Equity/Title IX Coordinator Warwick 401-825-1230 ehcanning@ccri.edu

INFORMATION FOR COMPLAINANTS ALLEGING SEXUAL VIOLENCE

In cases involving allegations of sexual violence, Complainants shall be provided an explanation of his/her rights and options, which shall include a description of available options for, and assistance in, changing academic, living, transportation, and working situations, as well as information about:

  • The importance of seeking immediate medical attention for sexual violence
  • Other available health care and counseling services.
  • The importance of preserving evidence for proof in the investigation or subsequent proceedings, or for obtaining a protective order.
  • To whom the alleged sexual violence should be reported.
  • Options regarding notifying law enforcement and/or campus authorities, including notification of the Complainant regarding the Complainant’s right to:
    • notify either police (local or campus) or campus authorities
    • be assisted by campus authorities in notifying law enforcement if the Complainant so chooses
    • decline to notify such authorities
    • The rights of Complainants and the institutions in notifying law enforcement if the protection, no contact orders, restraining orders, or similar lawful orders issued by a criminal, civil, or tribal court.

If the Complainant is a student, the student shall also be referred to the appropriate Student Affairs Office responsible for advising student victims of alleged sexual violence, providing further relevant information and assisting the student, as required by Title IX, VAWA, local law and institution/OPC policies. If the Complaint alleges sexual violence, the complainant investigation and proceedings shall provide a prompt, fair and impartial process (which includes providing the parties with timely and equal access to any information that will be used during the formal resolution process), be conducted by an official (or officials) who does not have a conflict or bias for or against the Complainant or Respondent, and who have received annual training on methods and processes for conducting complaint investigations and proceedings in a manner that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability, and any other training required by law or University policy.

COMPLAINTS AGAINST STUDENTS

In the event that an employee files a complaint against a student, the Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator and the Division/Office of Student Affairs will determine which office will proceed with the processing of the complaint. Proceedings involving student-to-student complaints will be adjudicated through the Division/Office of Student Affairs and must comply with the procedural guidelines contained in the institution’s student handbook.

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Last Updated: 6/9/17