Title IX Policy on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual- or Gender-Based Discrimination and Harassment

New England Conservatory is committed to providing a safe environment where all students can reach their artistic, academic and personal potential. We comply with all state and federal guidelines relating to sexual misconduct and sexual- or gender-based discrimination or harassment, including Title IX of the Higher Education Amendment Act (1972) and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (2013).

This policy applies to allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual- or gender-based discrimination and harassment between students at NEC as mandated by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.

Allegations of Title IX violations that involve students should be reported to the Dean of Students:

Suzanne Hegland
St. Botolph Building (Room 224)
Phone: 617-585-1313
suzanne.hegland@necmusic.edu

Allegations of Title IX violations that also involve staff or faculty may also be reported to the Director of Human Resources:

Marianne Wisheart
St. Botolph Building (Room 203)
Phone: 617-585-1229
marianne.wisheart@necmusic.edu

Any allegations of Title IX violations that involve students, staff or faculty may be reported our Director of Public Safety and Title IX Coordinator: 

Michael Ryan 
295 Huntington Avenue
Phone: 617-585-1180
michael.ryan@necmusic.edu

IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF SEXUAL ASSAULT OR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WE URGE YOU TO IMMEDIATELY CONTACT THE BOSTON POLICE (617-343-4400), AND SEEK ASSISTANCE FROM:

  • THE NEAREST HOSPITAL
  • THE NEC HEALTH & COUNSELING CENTER (617-585-1284) DURING REGULAR HOURS
  • THE BOSTON AREA RAPE CRISIS CENTER (800-841-8371)
  • NEC’S OFFICE OF PUBLIC SAFETY (617-585-1100)

Sexual Assault is a traumatizing experience. NEC encourages victims of sexual assault to seek immediate medical evaluation at a local hospital emergency department where you will likely be examined by a nurse who specializes in sexual assault treatment. The collection of evidence is important, should you decide to press legal charges. Therefore, do not shower, bathe, douche, brush teeth, eat, drink, change clothing or urinate until you have reached the hospital. It is advisable to bring any clothing, bedding or towels that might contain evidence to the hospital in a paper (not plastic) bag. You will not be required to use this as evidence, but it is best to preserve it anyway. Evidence may be collected for up to five days. The hospital staff will assist you with the reporting process. However, they will not force you to file a police report.

I. Violations of NEC’s Title IX Policy

Sexual misconduct and sexual- or gender-based discrimination or harassment can take a number of forms, including intimidation and the creation of a hostile environment. It can occur between strangers or acquaintances, or people who know each other well, including between people who are or have been involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. It can be committed by anyone, regardless of gender or gender identity, and can occur between people of the same or different sex or gender. This prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct and sexual- or gender-based discrimination or harassment. Below you will find definitions and examples of violations of NEC’s Title IX policy.

A. Sexual Assault (including Rape)

Sexual assault is actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:

  • Intentional touching of another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent; or
  • Other intentional sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent; or
  • Coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force a person to touch another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent; or
  • Rape, which is penetration, no matter how slight, of (1) the vagina or anus of a person by any body part of another person or by an object, or (2) the mouth of a person by a sex organ of another person, without that person’s consent.
  • Rape is defined in Massachusetts by three elements: penetration of any orifice by an object; force or threat of force; against the will of the victim. Sexual assault is often more broadly defined as any sexual activity that is forced or coerced or unwanted.

B. Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that has the effect of creating a hostile or stressful living, learning, or working environment, or whenever toleration of such conduct or rejection of it is the basis for an academic or employment decision affecting an individual. Conduct is considered “unwelcome” if the person did not request or invite it and considered the conduct to be undesirable or offensive.

Sexual harassment includes any conduct or incident that is sufficiently serious that it is likely to limit or deny a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the Conservatory’s educational programs or a faculty or staff member’s ability to work, which may include a single incident of sexual assault or other serious sexual misconduct.

 

1. Forms of Prohibited Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can take many forms, and can:

  • Occur between equals, such as student to student, faculty member to faculty member, staff to staff, or visitor/contracted employee to staff or student.
  • Occur between persons of unequal power status, such as supervisor to subordinate, faculty member to student, ensemble coach to student, or between any student leaders to their peers. Although sexual harassment often occurs in the context of an exploitation of power by the person with the greater power, a person who appears to have less power in a relationship can also commit sexual harassment (such as a student harassing a faculty member).
  • Be committed by an acquaintance, a stranger, or someone with whom the complainant has or had a personal, intimate, or sexual relationship.
  • Occur by or against a person of any sex, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.

2. Examples of Sexual Harassment
The following non-exhaustive list includes examples of behavior that could be considered sexual harassment:

  • Unwelcome sexual innuendo, propositions, sexual attention, or suggestive comments and gestures.
  • Unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature, such as touching, hugging, kissing, patting, or pinching, that is uninvited and unwanted or unwelcome by the other person.
  • Humor and jokes about sex or gender-specific traits; sexual slurs or derogatory language directed at another person’s sexuality or gender.
  • Insults and threats based on sex or gender; and other oral, written, or electronic communications of a sexual nature that a person communicates and that are unwelcome.
  • Written graffiti or the display or distribution of sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials; sexually charged name-calling; sexual rumors or ratings of sexual activity/performance; the circulation, display, or creation of e-mails or websites of a sexual nature. (For more information on misconduct using the Conservatory’s computing facilities, please see the Computer, Internet Use and Account Policy.)
  • Non-academic display or circulation of written materials or pictures degrading to a person(s) or gender group.
  • Unwelcome attention, such as repeated inappropriate flirting, inappropriate or repetitive compliments about clothing or physical attributes, staring, or making sexually oriented gestures.
  • Change of academic or employment responsibilities (increase in difficulty or decrease of responsibility) based on sex, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.
  • Use of a position of power or authority to: (i) threaten or punish, either directly or by implication, for refusing to tolerate harassment, for refusing to submit to sexual activity, or for reporting harassment; or (ii) promise rewards in return for sexual favors.
  • Acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping.

C. Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that person without that person’s consent. Examples of behavior that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation include:

  • Prostituting another person;
  • Recording images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness without that person’s consent;
  • Distributing images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness, if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person depicted in the images or audio did not consent to such disclosure and objects to such disclosure; and,
  • Viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s consent, and for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.

D. Stalking

Stalking is a course of conduct involving more than one instance of inappropriate and unwanted attention, harassment, threatening or intimidating physical or verbal contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a person that could be reasonably regarded as likely to alarm or place that person in fear of harm or injury, including physical, emotional, or psychological harm. This includes the use of technology to pursue, harass, threaten, intimidate, or otherwise make unwelcome contact with another person. Stalking may involve people who are known to one another or have an intimate or sexual relationship, or may involve people not known to one another.

E. Relationship (Dating and Domestic) Violence

Relationship violence is abuse, violence, or intentionally controlling behavior between partners or former partners involving one or more of the following elements: (i) battering that causes bodily injury; (ii) purposely or knowingly causing reasonable apprehension of bodily injury; (iii) emotional abuse creating apprehension of bodily injury or property damage; (iv) repeated telephonic, electronic, or other forms of communication — anonymously or directly — made with the intent to intimidate, terrify, harass, or threaten. Relationship violence can occur in all type of relationships (e.g., heterosexual, same sex, or any other type of relationship)

F. Retaliation

Retaliation is an adverse action or attempt to seek retribution against the complainant, or any person or group of persons involved in the investigation and/or resolution of a sexual misconduct complaint. Retaliation can be committed by any person or group of persons, not just a respondent. Retaliation may include continued abuse or violence, other forms of harassment, and slander and libel.

It is a violation of Massachusetts and federal law and a violation of this policy to retaliate against a person for filing a complaint of sexual misconduct or for cooperating in a sexual misconduct investigation. Any person who retaliates against a person who has reported sexual misconduct, filed a sexual misconduct complaint, or participated in a sexual misconduct investigation is subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

G. Hostile Environment

A hostile environment exists when sexual harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive to interfere with, or to deny or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program based on sex. To determine whether a hostile environment exists, NEC will consider a variety of factors related to the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the sex-based harassment, including: (1) the type, frequency, and duration of the conduct; (2) the identity and relationships of persons involved; (3) the number of individuals involved; (4) the location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred; and, (5) the degree to which the conduct affected the student’s education or the employee’s employment.

The more severe the sex-based harassment, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to find a hostile environment. Indeed, a single instance of sexual assault may be sufficient to create a hostile environment. Likewise, a series of incidents may be sufficient even if the sex-based harassment is not particularly severe.

H. Conduct in Relationships between Individuals of Different Conservatory Status

In the academic context, sexual harassment often involves the inappropriate personal attention by an instructor or other faculty or staff member who is in a position to exercise professional power over another individual. This could include an instructor who determines a student’s grade or who can otherwise affect the student’s academic performance or professional future. Sexual harassment can also occur between persons of the same Conservatory status. An example would be persistent personal attention from one colleague to another in the face of repeated rejection of such attention. Both types of harassment are unacceptable. They seriously undermine the atmosphere of trust essential to the academic enterprise.

Amorous relationships that might be appropriate in other circumstances have inherent dangers when they occur between an instructor or other faculty or staff member of the Conservatory and a person for whom he or she has a professional responsibility (i.e., as studio teacher, ensemble coach, instructor, advisor, evaluator, supervisor). Implicit in the idea of professionalism is the recognition by those in positions of authority that in their relationships with students or staff there is an element of power. It is incumbent upon those with authority not to abuse, nor to seem to abuse, the power with which they are entrusted.

The consequences of asymmetries can be felt in many different contexts and types of relationships. What constitutes “power” varies according to context and individual. For example, although the conservatory may not recognize a student in an extracurricular organization to have power over a student who would like to join that organization, one or both of the students in question may perceive their relationship to be affected by a power dynamic. As members of a community characterized by multiple formal and informal hierarchies, it is incumbent upon each of us to be aware of and sensitive to the ways in which we exercise power and influence and to be judicious in our relationships with others.

1. Prohibited Sexual Relations with Students
No faculty member shall request or accept sexual favors from, or initiate or engage in a romantic or sexual relationship with any undergraduate student at NEC. Faculty members are defined as full-time, part-time, and visiting faculty.

Furthermore, no faculty member, studio teacher, ensemble coach, instructor, teaching assistant, teaching fellow, tutor, graduate student, or undergraduate course assistant, shall request or accept sexual favors from, or initiate or engage in a romantic or sexual relationship with, any student, including a graduate student, who is enrolled in a course taught by that individual or otherwise subject to that individual’s academic supervision before the supervision has concluded and, if applicable, a final grade on the student’s supervised academic performance has been submitted to the Registrar. Academic supervision includes teaching, advising a thesis or dissertation, supervising research, supervising teaching, grading, or serving as Chair of the Department of the student’s academic program.

2. Relationships between Individuals of Different Conservatory Status
Amorous relationships between individuals of different Conservatory status that occur outside the instructional context can also lead to difficulties. In a personal relationship between an instructor or other faculty or staff member, and an individual for whom the instructor or other faculty or staff member has no current professional responsibility, the instructor or other faculty or staff member should be sensitive to the possibility that he or she may unexpectedly be placed in a position of responsibility for that individual’s instruction or evaluation. This could involve being called upon to write a letter of recommendation or to serve on an admissions or selection committee involving the individual. In addition, one should be aware that others may speculate that a specific power relationship exists even when there is none, giving rise to assumptions of inequitable academic or professional advantage for the student involved. Although graduate students, teaching fellows, tutors, and undergraduate course assistants may be less accustomed than Faculty members to thinking of themselves as being in a position of greater authority by virtue of their professional responsibilities, they should recognize that they might be viewed as more powerful than they perceive themselves to be.

II. KEY TERMS

A. Consent
Consent must be informed and voluntary, and can be withdrawn at any time. Consent can be given by words or actions as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable permission regarding the scope of sexual activity. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or when coercion, intimidation, threats, or duress is used. Whether a person has taken advantage of a position of influence over another person may be a factor in determining consent.

Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Past consent to sexual activity with another person does not imply ongoing future consent with that person or consent to that same sexual activity with another person.

If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that he or she cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption that meets this standard, or being asleep or unconscious.

B. Incapacitation
Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent, because the person is mentally and/or physically helpless due to drug or alcohol consumption, either voluntarily or involuntarily, or the person is unconscious, asleep, or otherwise unaware that the sexual activity is occurring. Some signs of incapacitation may include, but are not limited to, lack of control over physical movements (e.g., stumbling, falling down), lack of awareness of circumstances or surroundings, the inability to speak or communicate orally, or the inability to communicate for any reason.

It is a violation of this policy and Massachusetts law to engage in sexual activity with a person who is incapacitated, regardless of whether the person appeared to be a willing participant. It is especially important, therefore, that anyone engaging in sexual activity be aware of the other person’s level of capacitation, especially in cases when alcohol or drugs are involved.

C. Force
The use of force to cause someone to engage in sexual activity is, by definition, non-consensual contact, and is prohibited. Force may include words, conduct, or appearance. Force includes causing another’s intoxication or impairment through the use of drugs or alcohol. Under this policy, force includes the use of any of the following:

  • Physical Force, Violence, or a Weapon
  • Threats
  • Intimidation and Implied Threats
  • Coercion

D. Miscellaneous Definitions.

  • Complainant: The person making the allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • Respondent: The person against whom a complaint of sexual misconduct has been made.
  • Reporter: A person who has information that sexual misconduct may have been committed by a student or a participant in an NEC program and who initiates a complaint.

III. REPORTING VIOLATIONS OF NEC’S TITLE IX POLICY

Confidentiality and Disclosing

Who can I tell if I want to keep it confidential?
Members of our Health and Counseling Center are the only NEC employees NOT required to disclose Title IX violations. Any information shared at the NEC Health and Counseling Center is strictly confidential. Health care providers in our center can provide confidential advocacy, crisis counseling and medical services, as well as explain options for additional support. Visits are confidential and medical records cannot be released without your consent except if subpoenaed by a court of law. There is a healthcare professional on-call for phone consultations after-hours. If the Health and Counseling Center is closed, listen to the outgoing message for directions on how to page the doctor on-call.

The NEC Health and Counseling Center
241 St. Botolph St, Room 112
617-585-1284

Who can I tell if I’m not sure if I want to keep it confidential?
All NEC employees who are not members of the Health and Counseling Center are required to report allegations of Title IX violations to the Title IX coordinator. However, it is important to understand the importance between disclosing and reporting.

Disclosing is when you tell someone about a possible violation, but not necessarily with the intent to officially report the incident to the school or to initiate a disciplinary procedure. If it is your intent to tell someone about an incident because you need to talk or because you want help finding services, NEC recommends that you speak to a member of our Health and Counseling Center. The staff of our Health and Counseling Center will not share information without your permission unless they are subpoenaed by a court of law. Please note that all other NEC employees, including all members of the Residence Hall staff, are required to report any allegation of sexual misconduct or sexual- or gender-based discrimination or harassment to the Title IX Coordinator, including names of the students involved, and relevant facts such as date, time and location of incident. In addition, NEC is obliged to include, without attribution, all allegations of sexual misconduct in our Clery report. (No names are ever included in the Clery report.)

Reporting is when you tell someone because you want the school to be aware of the violation or you want to initiate a complaint and/or start a grievance or disciplinary process. When you initiate a conversation with one of the administrators named below or with a member of the Residence Hall staff, they will advise you on the difference between disclosing and reporting and of their responsibility to report all violations to the Title IX Coordinator. While NEC strongly advises victims of sexual assault to pursue their case through the NEC adjudication system and the local police, we will not require students to do so.

Are there times when NEC cannot keep the information confidential?
NEC respects a student’s desire for confidentiality and will always strive to protect a student’s right to privacy. However, confidentiality can limit the Conservatory’s ability to conduct a thorough investigation and take appropriate disciplinary action. Additionally, the Conservatory may be required to break confidentiality if the reported incident poses a credible threat to the safety of the NEC community or the public at large. Official school records are protected under FERPA, but like medical records, are subject to subpoena. Please see Appendix A for complete information about maintaining confidentiality.

Criminal Trial vs Administrative Adjudication

Do I have to tell the police?
NEC urges students to report instances of sexual misconduct or domestic abuse to the police. However, we understand that sometimes students are hesitant to take this step. A police report is NOT required for NEC to begin an investigation into a Title IX violation.

How do I report a violation to someone at NEC?
Designated NEC administrators are available to support both the complainant and the respondent, and provide an explanation of rights, including:

  • Access to counseling and medical services
  • Access to legal services, including obtaining a restraining order through the Boston Police Department
  • Strategies to avoid contact with the respondent while the investigation is pending
  • The option to change enrollment status, such as taking a Leave of Absence

Students are encouraged to report violations to any of the following NEC administrators who have been educated in the rights of and services available for both complainants and respondents:

Suzanne Hegland; Dean of Students
Title IX Coordinator for Student against Student Sexual Assault
Office of Student Services (St. Botolph Building, room 224)
617-585-1310
suzanne.hegland@necmusic.edu

Rebecca Teeters; Assistant Dean of Students
Office of Student Services (St. Botolph Building, room 224)
617-585-1311
rebecca.teeters@necmusic.edu

Stephanie Barnes; Academic and International Student Advisor
Office of Student Services (St. Botolph building, room 224)
617-585-1312
stephanie.barnes@necmusic.edu

Davey Harrison; Academic and International Student Advisor
Office of Student Services (St. Botolph building, room 224)
617-585-1327
davey.harrison@necmusic.edu

Allesandra Cionco; Assistant Dean of Campus Life
Office of Student Services (St. Botolph building, room 224)
617-585-1792
allesandra.cionco@necmusic.edu

Michael Ryan; Director of NEC’s Department of Public Safety
295 Huntington Ave, Room 207
617-585-1187
michael.ryan@necmusic.edu

What will happen to the person I have accused?
The responding party has a right to be informed of the accusation and of the investigative procedures, including the right to an NEC advocate. (Please see Appendix B: Rights of the Complainant and the Respondent.) During the investigation, the Title IX coordinator will attempt to separate the accused from the accuser. This may require a room-change in the residence hall, and/or a temporary change of course/rehearsal schedules.

As with all disciplinary cases, if the Title IX Coordinator determines that there is an imminent risk to the safety of community members or the ongoing functions of NEC and its community, he/she may suspend or otherwise restrict NEC access for the accused student without prejudice to his or her record until the conclusion of the disciplinary proceeding.

IV. NEC Adjudication Process

When the Title IX Coordinator receives credible allegations of a violation, he/she will take the following steps:

  1. Provide the complainant with access to healthcare and counseling services
  2. Advise the complainant on his or her right to pursue the allegations through the courts and/or through the NEC’s adjudication process
  3. Advise all students involved on our efforts to maintain confidentiality
  4. Advise all students involved on our policy against retaliation (see below)
  5. Advise the respondent of the accusations and the investigative and adjudication process
  6. Initiate an investigation and appoint an investigator

At the conclusion of the investigation, NEC will proceed as follows:

  1. The Title IX Team (see below) will review the report submitted by the designated investigator and make a determination as to whether there was a violation(s).
  2. The respondent and the complainant will receive written notification of the Title IX Team’s findings within ten working days of the receipt of the investigator’s report, unless specific circumstances preclude a decision within that time. Sanctions may range from exoneration to expulsion or termination.

Appeals:
The respondent has the right to appeal any finding or sanction. To do so, he or she must file a letter of appeal within one week of notification. This appeal must be based on either procedural error or new evidence (that is, evidence not available at the time of the initial investigation) and must be addressed to the President’s Office. The President or appointed designee will consider and decide all appeals from a student. An appeal does not presuppose a right to a new investigation, although the President or designee may appoint a new investigator, provided that it is conducted in accord with regular procedures.

The President or designee may affirm the Title IX Team’s original decision, modify or amend sanctions, or direct that the case be re-investigated. The decision will be communicated to the complainant and respondent, in writing, no more than two weeks after the appeal is filed; such a decision is final.

The designated investigator will allow for the following provisions:

  • The respondent will receive written notice of an interview at least five working days in advance, unless the Title IX coordinator determines that circumstances warrant an interview on shorter notice.
  • The respondent may ask for an advisor from within the NEC community to help in preparing a response to the allegations and/or to appear at an interview. Attorneys are not permitted, unless related criminal charges are pending in the courts, in which case the respondent’s attorney may be present but may not participate. Note: Any person bringing charges may seek the support of any member of the Conservatory community.
  • Both respondent and complainant have a right to present relevant evidence, testimony, and witnesses to the designated investigator; to know the nature and source of any evidence or testimony; and to question any such testimony. The Conservatory expects all participants to respect the confidentiality of its proceedings.
  • All investigations will be thorough, reliable, impartial, prompt and fair. Investigations entail interviews with all relevant parties and witnesses, obtaining available evidence and identifying sources of expert information, as necessary. See Appendix C for a complete description of investigative procedures.

Title IX Team for Adjudication:

  • Suzanne Hegland, Dean of Students
  • Marianne Wisheart, Director of Human Resources
  • Michael Ryan, Director of Public Safety

Amnesty for Underage Drinking, Excessive Drinking and Illegal Drug Use:
Although underage drinking, excessive drinking and illegal drug use are violations of NEC’s Code of Conduct, students will be given amnesty for these offenses when there are allegations of sexual assault. In other words, a student who is assaulted while under the influence of drugs or alcohol should not be afraid to report the incident to school officials.

Policy against Retaliation:
Retaliation, occurring either during or after the filing of a Title IX complaint, is a violation of NEC policy. If a student feels that they are being harassed or retaliated against due to their involvement in a Title IX investigation, he or she should immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator.

False Allegations:
Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations under this policy, as opposed to allegations which, even if erroneous, are made in good faith, are a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Withdrawal While Charges Pending:
Should a student decide to withdraw from NEC while charges are pending, the investigative process will proceed in the student’s absence to a reasonable resolution. The student will not be permitted to return to NEC unless all sanctions have been satisfied. The student will not have access to an academic transcript until the allegations have been resolved.

Appendix A – Determining Confidentiality

If a complainant requests that his or her name not be used, NEC will take all reasonable steps to respond and investigate in a manner consistent with that request, so long as doing so does not prevent the school from responding effectively and preventing the harassment of other students or the reporting party.

Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed if there is a Pattern, Predation, Threat, Violence, or a Weapon involved in the report. To make this determination, NEC will consider

  • Additional complaints of sexual violence involving the same perpetrator
  • Whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators (as this shows predation)
  • Whether the perpetrator has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indication a history of violence
  • Whether the student’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a particular group
  • Whether the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual violence against the student or others
  • Whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon
  • Age of the victim
  • Whether the school possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence (e.g. security camera or personnel, or physical evidence)

If confidentiality cannot be granted:

  • The adjudication process will still be available to the complainant;
  • NEC will continue to support the complainant as outlined in Appendix B (e.g. housing, classes, no contact, etc.);
  • NEC will provide relevant information only to those with a need to know.

Appendix B: Rights of the Complainant and Respondent

Complainant’s rights:

  • The right to an investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible allegations of sexual misconduct or discrimination made in good faith to NEC officials;
  • The right to be informed in advance of any public release of information regarding the incident;
  • The right not to have any personally identifiable information released to the public, without consent;
  • The right to be treated with respect by NEC officials;
  • The right to have NEC policies and procedures followed without material deviation;
  • The right not to be pressured to mediate or otherwise informally resolve any reported sexual misconduct or sexual- or gender-based discrimination or harassment;
  • The right not to be discouraged by NEC officials from reporting sexual misconduct or sexual- or gender-based discrimination or harassment to both on-campus and off-campus authorities;
  • The right to be informed by NEC officials of options to notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police, and the option to be assisted by campus authorities in notifying such authorities, if the reporting party so chooses. This also includes the right not to be pressured to report, as well;
  • The right to have reports of sexual misconduct or sexual- or gender-based discrimination or harassment responded to promptly and with sensitivity by campus law enforcement and other campus officials;
  • The right to be notified of available counseling, mental health, victim advocacy, health, legal assistance, student financial aid, visa and immigration assistance, or other student services, both on campus and in the community;
  • The right to a campus no-contact order (or a trespass order against a non-affiliated third party) when someone has engaged in or threatens to engage in stalking, threatening, harassing or other improper behavior that presents a danger to the welfare of the reporting party or others;
  • The right to notification of and options for, and available assistance in, changing academic and living situations after an alleged sexual misconduct or sexual- or gender-based discrimination or harassment incident, if so requested by the reporting party and if such changes are reasonably available. No formal report, or investigation (campus or criminal), need occur before this option is available. Accommodations may include:

Change of an on-campus student’s housing to a different on-campus location;
Assistance from NEC support staff in completing the relocation;
Transportation accommodations;
Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and pro-rating a refund;
Exam (paper, assignment) rescheduling;
Taking an incomplete in a class;
Transferring class sections;
Temporary withdrawal;
Alternative course completion options

  • The right to have NEC maintain such accommodations for as long as is necessary, and for protective measures to remain confidential, provided confidentiality does not impair the institution’s ability to provide the accommodations or protective measures;
  • The right to be fully informed of campus policies and procedures as well as the nature and extent of all alleged violations contained within the report;
  • The right to ask the investigators to identify and question relevant witnesses, including expert witnesses;
  • The right to be informed of the names of all witnesses whose information will be used to render a finding, in advance of that finding, except in cases where a witness’s identity will not be revealed to the respondent for compelling safety reasons. This exception does not apply to the disclosure of the name of the complainant, which will always be provided to the respondent;
  • The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence;
  • The right to regular updates on the status of the investigation and/or resolution;
  • The right to have reports addressed by investigators and Title IX Team members who have received annual training on sexual misconduct or sexual- or gender-based discrimination or harassment;
  • The right to preservation of privacy, to the extent possible and permitted by law;
  • The right to meetings and/or interviews that are closed to the public;
  • The right to petition that any NEC representative in the process be recused on the basis of demonstrated bias or conflict-of-interest;
  • The right to bring a victim advocate or advisor of the reporting party’s choosing to all phases of the investigation and resolution proceeding;
  • The right to submit an impact statement in writing to the Title IX Coordinator following determination of responsibility, but prior to sanctioning;
  • The right to be promptly informed of the outcome and sanction of the resolution process in writing, without undue delay between the notifications to the parties;
  • The right to be informed in writing of when a decision is considered final, any changes to the sanction to occur before the decision is finalized, to be informed of the right to appeal the finding and sanction of the resolution process, and the procedures for doing so in accordance with the standards for appeal established by NEC.

Statement of the Respondent’s rights

  • The right to an investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible reports of sexual misconduct or sexual- or gender-based discrimination or harassment made in good faith to NEC administrators;
  • The right to be informed in advance, when possible, of any public release of information regarding the report;
  • The right to be treated with respect by NEC officials;
  • The right to have NEC policies and procedures followed without material deviation;
  • The right to be informed of and have access to campus resources for medical, health, counseling, and advisory services;
  • The right to timely written notice of all alleged violations, including the nature of the violation, the applicable policies and procedures and possible sanctions;
  • The right to review all documentary evidence available regarding the report, subject to the privacy limitations imposed by state and federal law, prior to the finding by Title IX Team;
  • The right to be informed of the names of all witnesses whose information will be used to render a finding, prior to final determination, except in cases where a witness’s identity will not be revealed for compelling safety reasons. This exception does not include the name of the complainant, which will always be revealed;
  • The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus resolution process;
  • The right to have reports addressed by investigators and Title IX Team members who have received annual training on sexual misconduct or sexual- or gender-based discrimination or harassment;
  • The right to petition that any NEC representative be recused from the resolution process on the basis of demonstrated bias and/or conflict-of-interest;
  • The right to meetings and interviews that are closed to the public;
  • The right to have an advisor of their choice to accompany and assist throughout the campus resolution process;
  • The right to a fundamentally fair resolution, as defined in these procedures;
  • The right to provide an impact statement in writing to the Title IX Coordinator following any determination of responsibility, but prior to sanctioning;
  • The right to a decision based solely on evidence presented during the resolution process. Such evidence shall be credible, relevant, based in fact, and without prejudice;
  • The right to be promptly informed of the outcome and sanction of the resolution process in writing, without undue delay between the notifications to the parties;
  • The right to be informed in writing of when a decision is considered final, any changes to the sanction to occur before the decision is finalized, to be informed of the right to appeal the finding and sanction of the resolution process, and the procedures for doing so in accordance with the standards for appeal established by NEC.

Appendix C: Investigation Process

Once the decision is made to commence a formal investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint a designated investigator to conduct the investigation, usually within two (2) days of determining that an investigation should proceed. Investigations are completed expeditiously, normally within ten (10) days, though some investigations take weeks or even months, depending on the nature, extent, and complexity of the allegations, availability of witnesses, police involvement, etc.

The investigator(s) will typically take the following steps, if not already completed (not necessarily in order):

1. In coordination with campus partners (e.g.: the Title IX Coordinator), initiate or assist with any necessary remedial actions;

2. Determine the identity and contact information of the complainant;

3. Identify all policies allegedly violated;

4. Assist the Title IX Coordinator with an immediate preliminary inquiry to determine if there is reasonable cause to believe the respondent has violated policy.

5. If there is insufficient evidence to support reasonable cause, the inquiry should be closed with no further action;

6. Commence a thorough, reliable, and impartial investigation by developing a strategic investigation plan, including a witness list, evidence list, intended timeframe, and order of interviews for all witnesses and the respondent, who may be given notice prior to or at the time of the interview;

7. Prepare the notice of allegation(s) on the basis of the preliminary inquiry;

8. Meet with the complainant to finalize his or her statement, if necessary;

9. Prior to their interviews, NEC will provide written notification to both parties of their right to have an NEC advocate of their choosing present for all meetings attended by the applicable party;

10. Provide complainant and respondent with a written description of the alleged violation(s), a list of all policies allegedly violated, a description of the applicable procedures; and a statement of the potential sanctions/responsive actions that may result;

11. Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, provide the complainant and the responding party respondent with a list of witnesses interviewed whose statements will be used to render a finding;

12. Allow each party the opportunity to suggest questions they wish the investigators to ask of the other party and witnesses.

13. Provide parties with all relevant evidence to be used in rendering a determination and provide each with a full and fair opportunity to address that evidence prior to a finding being rendered;

14. Complete the investigation promptly, and without unreasonable deviation from the intended timeline;

15. Provide regular updates to the reporting party throughout the investigation, and to the responding party, as appropriate;

16. Present a final report of the investigation to the Title IX Team

17. The Title IX Team will then find whether a policy violation is more likely than not to have occurred, based on a preponderance of the evidence;

18. Findings will be presented to the appropriate NEC Administrator, who will then determine appropriate sanctions:
           a. For sanctions against students, the Dean of Students
           b. For sanctions against NEC employees, the President

19. The Title IX Coordinator will finalize and present the findings and sanctions to the parties, without undue delay following the end of the investigation;

20. At any point during the investigation, if there is no reasonable cause to believe that NEC’s Title IX policy has been violated, the Title IX Coordinator has authority to terminate the investigation and end resolution proceedings.

Appendix D: Education Programs and Campaigns

1. All incoming students are required to complete the Haven course, a web-based informational program that educates students on healthy relationships, the meaning of sexual consent and the role of the bystander in creating a safe and healthy community.

2. All incoming undergraduate students are required to attend an Orientation session sponsored by the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. Tailored specifically to the NEC student community, the program is designed to address assumptions about sexual violence and the concept of the active bystander.

3. All members of the community will receive updates about ongoing campaigns to increase awareness about how to practice safe sex and avoid Title IX violations, which are sponsored by various departments of the Office of Student Services including Residence Life, Student Activities, and the Health and Counseling Center.

4. All members of the community will benefit from ongoing “passive programs” (i.e., bulletin boards, emails, social media notifications, etc.), which are updated annually to ensure community knowledge about NEC’s commitment to providing a safe environment in compliance with all state and federal guidelines


2016-08-18


TO PLAY WITHOUT PASSION IS INEXCUSABLE! LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN