Sexual harassment, sexual violence and other gender-based harassment occurring in the college setting implicates a federal law called Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities and which triggers certain responsibilities on the part of the College.
Washtenaw Community College is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working and living environment. WCC will not tolerate acts of sexual harassment or sexual violence or related retaliation against or by any employee or student. When sexual harassment or sexual violence has occurred, the College will take steps to end the harassment or violence, prevent its reoccurrence, and address its effects.
A Respondent in a Title IX case is someone alleged to have violated another person’s rights under Title IX.
If you are a student and have been named a respondent, you will be typically be contacted by one of the two individuals below:
Linda Blakey, EVP Student and Academic Services & Title IX Coordinator
Room No: SC247
Email: Linda Blakey
Joy Berry, Director of Student Affairs & Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Room No: SC 249
Email: Joy Berry
If you are an employee and have been named a respondent, you will typically be contacted by your supervisor or the Office of Human Resources.
Complainants (the victim) have the right to file a complaint with both the College and local law enforcement. The College process is completely separate from the police and courts however the College is obligated to inform and assist complainants if they wish to file reports with local law enforcement. Washtenaw Community College provides a student conduct process for investigating those cases whether they occur on or off campus. That process, the Board of Trustee Policy 4095 Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct Code.
For students, the hearing officers will review the allegations and determine an appropriate course of action. Some cases can be handled informally and outside of the formal investigative process, although the College will not mediate cases of sexual violence even on a voluntary basis. For cases that result in an investigation, those investigations are conducted by individuals who have received specialized training in those types of investigations. All investigations will be conducted in a thorough and neutral manner. The process for resolving these allegations can be found on our procedure page.
A respondent may be accompanied by an advisor during any investigatory or conduct proceeding/meeting. If a hearing is held, complainants and respondents do not directly question each other and typically there are provisions to have the parties in separate rooms for the hearing. Both a complainant and a respondent have the right to identify witnesses and provide other information relevant to the investigation. The College will decide the case based on a preponderance of the information standard (whether or not it is more likely than not that the conduct occurred).
In most cases, the College will not wait until a criminal case is resolved before proceeding with the case. In addition, if a College official has a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed, she or he may be obligated to report that to law enforcement if police have not already been notified. In cases where a police investigation has been conducted or is being conducted, law enforcement may be able to provide some information to the Title IX officers with the victim’s consent. The College’s fact-finding investigation may be delayed for a short period of time upon a request from law enforcement, but we will promptly resume the investigation as soon as possible. Most sexual violence or sexual harassment investigations conducted through the Title IX offices are resolved as quickly as possible but may take up to 60 days to be resolved, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of parties involved. The College will keep both parties advised as to the status of the case. Both parties will be informed of the outcome of the case in writing.
The College will take interim steps to protect a complainant while the case is pending. Any adjustments made will be designed to minimize the burden on the complainant’s educational program. Some of these actions may also be remedies in those cases resulting in a finding of a policy violation.
Washtenaw Community College has a policy which prohibits retaliation against any employee or student who reports an incident of alleged sexual harassment or sexual violence, or any employee or student who testifies, assists or participates in a proceeding, investigation or hearing relating to these allegations.