Sexual Misconduct and Title IX

Policy Overview

Sexual Misconduct Policy Overview

All members of the ArtCenter community have the right to engage with their work and education in a safe environment, free from sexual harassment, sex discrimination, interpersonal violence, and other sexual misconduct. ArtCenter’s Sexual Misconduct Policy defines the College’s administrative policies and procedures designed to provide a prompt, fair, and impartial process to address alleged sexual misconduct or alleged retaliation for reporting or supporting the reporting of sexual misconduct. Such procedures are an internal process specific to ArtCenter and do not relate to or mirror any legal or criminal process outside of the College.

Scope of the Policy

The Sexual Misconduct Policy applies to all ArtCenter students and employees, including administrators, faculty, and staff. Any third party other than an ArtCenter student, faculty, or staff member, such as visitors, guests, independent contractors, and vendors, are also expected to abide by Sexual Misconduct Policy and other institutional non-discrimination policies. The Title IX Coordinator will determine the appropriate manner of addressing reported concerns regarding the behavior of third parties.

ArtCenter values and upholds the equal dignity of all members of its community and strives to balance the rights of all parties involved in an informal or formal grievance process. An individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy is called the complainant. An individual who is alleged to have violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy is called the respondent. Other involved individuals who may be invited to participate in a process to share potentially relevant information are referred to as witnesses.

The Title IX Coordinator has the responsibility to determine whether alleged misconduct occurred within the College’s jurisdiction under the Sexual Misconduct Policy. The Policy outlines that ArtCenter exercises jurisdiction over alleged sexual misconduct on-campus and off-campus, as deemed appropriate. This includes, but is not limited to, all academic, educational, co-curricular, extracurricular, and other programs and activities of the College, whether those programs or activities take place at ArtCenter’s Hillside or South campus, at a designated satellite studio, or at another location if these programs are sponsored by ArtCenter or are under ArtCenter’s control. ArtCenter may also extend jurisdiction to off-campus and/or to online conduct when the Title IX Coordinator determines that the conduct affects a substantial College interest, such as a situation that is detrimental to the educational interests or mission of the College or when misconduct or its effects may effectively deprive someone of access to ArtCenter’s educational program or employment.

Prohibited Conduct

The Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits behaviors within and outside of Title IX regulations. These prohibited behaviors may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved. Prohibited conduct includes:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Dating violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Stalking
  • Discriminatory harassment on the basis of sex
  • Sex/gender-based discrimination
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Threats, intimidation, hazing, or bullying on the basis of sex
  • Retaliation
  • Bad faith complaint of sexual misconduct

Full definitions and examples of prohibited conduct can be found in Section 5 of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Amnesty for Complainants and Witnesses

ArtCenter encourages the reporting of violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy by any member of the community. In support of this, ArtCenter offers student complainants and witnesses amnesty for minor violations of Student Handbook, such as the use of alcohol or other drugs, unless the violation is deemed egregious. At its discretion, ArtCenter may also offer employee complainants amnesty for certain minor violations of Employee Handbook policies occurring at or near the time of the alleged incident or as a result of the incident in question. Any complainant or witness with questions about amnesty are encouraged to connect with the Director of Title IX Compliance and Programs (Title IX Coordinator) at Kristen.Entringer@artcenter.edu.

Rights of Involved Parties

A core principle of both informal resolutions and the formal grievance process under the Sexual Misconduct policy is the equitable treatment of both complainants and respondents. Complainants and respondents are afforded the following in a formal grievance process as outlined by the Sexual Misconduct Policy:

  • The right to receive written information about available resources, including available supportive measures and the choice to report to local authorities;
  • The right to timely written notice of the alleged policy violations and have those explained clearly and fully, including the identity of the parties involved (if known), the precise misconduct being alleged, the date and location of the alleged misconduct (if known), the implicated policies and procedures, and possible sanctions, as well as timely written notice of any material changes to such notice;
  • The right to be accompanied by an advisor;
  • The right to provide a verbal or written statement outlining their perspective on the allegation(s);
  • The right to discuss the allegations under investigation and gather and present relevant documentation, information, witnesses, and questions to investigator(s) and hearing officer(s);
  • The right to review all relevant and directly related information and materials concerning the allegations, including a copy of the investigation report, and the right to respond to such information;
  • The right to cross-examine other parties through the party’s own advisor in any formal hearing that may occur;
  • The right to not respond to specific questions asked by administrators handling the matter;
  • The right to receive written notice of the date, time, and location or mode of any meeting or formal hearing that is part of the resolution process;
  • The right to receive the outcome in writing, including applicable appeal information.

Privacy and Confidentiality

ArtCenter is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals involved in a process related to alleged sexual misconduct. Every effort will be made to protect the privacy interests of all involved individuals and treat all parties with dignity and respect. The College maintains the privacy of the identity of any complainant, respondent, witness, and individual who has made a report of an alleged violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, except as may be permitted or required by law, or to carry out any investigation, hearing, or other relevant process.

In the context of the work conducted by the Title IX Team at ArtCenter, the terms privacy and confidentiality have specific meanings:

  • Privacy relates to the practice of limiting those who are aware of or have access to information related to an allegation, case, or involved parties. The use of this information is limited to members of the Title IX Team or other ArtCenter employees who, due to their role, have a legitimate “need to know” in order to fulfill their duties related to the intake, investigation, hearing, appeal, supportive measures, or informal resolution of reported allegations.
  • Confidentiality relates to the legal obligation to maintain secure information, which is prescribed by an individual’s role at the College, such as mental health counselors. Confidentiality means that the information disclosed with a certain ArtCenter employee or outside professional cannot be disclosed to others without the express permission of the individual who disclosed the information. The only employees at ArtCenter who are identified as having a professional requirement to maintain confidentiality are licensed counselors working in Student Mental Health Counseling Services out of the Center for the Student Experience.

Other than licensed counselors in Student Mental Health Counseling Services, all ArtCenter employees are required to report potential violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy to the Title IX Coordinator. Therefore, all members of the community should understand that disclosures made to any ArtCenter employee outside of Student Mental Health Counseling Services cannot be maintained as confidential.