Shimer College

VAWA/SaVE Acts

Shimer College seeks to foster an atmosphere of respect for all members of the Shimer community. Shimer College is committed to providing an educational and work environment free from discrimination and sexual misconduct. All members of the Shimer College community, visitors, and guests are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe on the rights of others. Shimer College expects members of the Shimer community to comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, and policies of the United States, the State of Illinois, Cook County, the City of Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and VanderCook College of Music (VCM) are in effect on the campus of Shimer College.   The College does not condone nor tolerate discrimination in the form of sexual misconduct, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual exploitation, and stalking. 

Amnesty Provision

Shimer College recognizes that victims and individuals with information about Sexual Misconduct may hesitate to come forward out of fear that their own actions are violations of Shimer’s Student Conduct Policies, including without limitation policies related to the use of drugs and alcohol and/or sexual activity. While Shimer does not condone violations of such policies, it considers reporting incidents of Sexual Misconduct to be of paramount importance.
Therefore, in order to facilitate reporting and resolution of Sexual Misconduct, Shimer will extend amnesty for any violation of Shimer’s Student Conduct Policies, including without limitation policies concerning drug or alcohol possession or consumption or sexual activity, for conduct in which any victim or witness of Sexual Misconduct might have engaged in connection with the reported Title IX incident.
However, amnesty will not be extended to the extent Shimer determines that the violation of Shimer’s Student Conduct Policies was egregious, involved any illegal activity, or involved violations that did, do, or may place the health or safety of any other person at risk.

Types of Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct is one or more acts of, sexual violence (rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse), dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, or gender-based harassment or discrimination.
Sexual misconduct can occur among, between or to heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Dating Violence

Every relationship is different, but the things that unhealthy and abusive relationships have in common are issues of power and control. Violent words and actions are tools an abusive partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner.

Dating Violence is committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

It is the act of threatening to use physical, mental, or emotional abuse to control another person who is in a dating relationship with the person; or the existence of a dating relationship in the above mentioned shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of dating violence, you may file a Title IX report or contact Samantha L Bennett, Title IX Coordinator at titleixreporting@shimer.edu or 312.235.3511.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a violent confrontation between family or household members involving physical harm, sexual assault, or fear of physical harm. The violence may not happen often, but may remain a hidden and constant terrorizing factor.

Domestic Violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by:

  • current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim
  • a person with whom the victim shares a child in common
  • a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner
  • a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred
  • 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 in which the crime of violence occurred

Domestic Violence is also physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation of a family or household member, which includes:

  • spouses or former spouses
  • parents
  • children or stepchildren
  • other persons related by blood or by present or prior marriage
  • persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling
  • persons who have or allegedly have a child in common
  • and persons who share or allegedly share a blood relationship through a child

If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence, you may file a Title IX report or contact Samantha L Bennett, Title IX Coordinator at titleixreporting@shimer.edu or 312.235.3511.

Gender / Sex-Based Discrimination

Gender/Sex-Based Discrimination are acts of a verbal or nonverbal nature or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based upon sex/gender or sex/gender-stereotyping (even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature) that is sufficiently serious to limit or deny the ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s programs and activities or the terms and conditions of employment.

Examples include: the repeated sabotaging of female students’ laboratory experiments by male students in the class.

If you have been subjected to gender/sex-based discrimination, you may file a Title IX report or contact Samantha L Bennett, Title IX Coordinator at titleixreporting@shimer.edu or 312.235.3511.

Sexual Harassment

You should be able to feel comfortable in your place of work or learning. If you are being sexually harassed, you can report it to the Shimer Title IX Coordinator or Shimer Human Resources Director.

Sexual Harassment is an unwelcome, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature (such as sexual advances or requests for sexual favors) sufficiently serious that it unreasonably interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational programs, activities, and/or employment.

Sexual harassment may be based on a power differential, the creation of a hostile environment (reasonably severe conduct that is sufficiently pervasive to have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work or educational performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment), or retaliation.

If you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you may file a Title IX report or contact Samantha L Bennett, Title IX Coordinator at titleixreporting@shimer.edu or 312.235.3511.

Sexual Violence

It’s hard to know what to do, how to feel, or what your options are when a sexual assault has occurred. Please know that you’re not alone. Sexual Violence includes rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse.

Sexual Violence is nonconsensual physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the person’s age, use of drugs or alcohol, or a disability that prevents a person from having the capacity to give consent). Conduct will be deemed sexual violence whether obtained by force or threat of force and whether completed or attempted.

Sexual exploitation (taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for your own benefit) may also be considered a form of sexual violence, depending on the circumstances.

What To Do if You Are a Victim of Sexual Violence

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Talk to someone you trust. IIT’s Student Health and Wellness Center  provides confidential, support and advocacy to all students regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This includes assistance navigating resources.
  • Preserve physical evidence. Physical evidence may be necessary to prosecute the offender and be helpful in obtaining an order of protection. If at all possible, do not bathe, wash your hands, use the restroom, drink, smoke, change clothing, or brush your teeth following an assault.
  • Seek medical attention. Mercy Hospital (2525 S. Michigan Avenue / 312.567.2000 and the University of Chicago Hospital (5841 S. Maryland Avenue / 773.702.1000 can provide medical services and evidence collection. FOR SEVERE INJURIES CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.
  • Report the incident. Victims are encouraged to report incidents of sexual assault to the IIT Public Safety Department or to the Chicago Police Department. This is not a requirement. You may also file a Title IX/Sexual Misconduct complaint.

Retaliation against anyone who reports a sexual assault is strictly prohibited. 

If you or someone you know has been subjected to any form of sexual violence, you may file a Title IX report or contact Samantha L Bennett, Title IX Coordinator at titleixreporting@shimer.edu or 312.235.3511.

Stalking

Discovering that you are being stalked, either in person, online, or via technology, can be incredibly scary. It’s normal to feel fear, anxiety, confusion, and to be overwhelmed. Learning more about stalking behaviors can help you notice them before they escalate and help you protect yourself.

Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property;

  1. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim;
  2. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling; or

Knowingly and without lawful justification, on at least two separate occasions, following another person or placing the person under surveillance or any combination thereof and

  1.  At any time transmitting a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint and the threat is directed towards that person or a family member of that person, or
  2. Places that person in reasonable apprehension of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to or of that person or a family member of that person; or

When, having been previously convicted of stalking another person, knowingly and without lawful justification on one occasion:

  1. Follows that same person or places that same person under surveillance; and
  2. Transmits a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to that person or a family member of that person.

Stalking may be accomplished by physical act or electronic means, such as computer or cell phone.

If you have been subjected to stalking, you may file a Title IX report or contact Samantha L Bennett, Title IX Coordinator at titleixreporting@shimer.edu or 312.235.3511.

Responsible Employee

Under Title IX, a Responsible Employee must report incidents of sexual violence and/or sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. Responsible employees have an obligation to report immediately any information they come to learn regarding suspected Sexual Misconduct; thus, these individuals cannot agree to maintain privacy or confidentiality with respect to such matters.

YOU ARE A RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEE IF:

  • You have the authority to take action to redress sexual misconduct.
  • You have been given the duty of reporting sexual violence or any other misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.
  • You represent an employee a student would reasonably believe has this authority or duty.

Obligations

As a Responsible Employee, you are required to advise a student and/or employee of your obligation to:

  1. Report the incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.
  2. Advise the student/employee of their right to request confidentiality and/or to speak directly to available confidential resources.
  3. Inform the student/employee of their right to file a Title IX report and/or police report.

What to report

When reporting an incident to the Title IX Coordinator, you should be prepared to discuss:

  1. Relevant details of the incident
  2. Name of the alleged offender
  3. Name of the victim/survivor
  4. Names of witnesses
  5. Date, time and location of incident

How to help

Here are important tips on how to help a student or employee discuss a report of sexual misconduct.

SUPPORT them by actively listening.

INFORM the victim/survivor of your reporting obligations as a responsible employee.

REFER the victim/survivor to confidential resources that are available.

REPORT the incident to the Title IX Coordinator.

OBTAIN support for yourself. 

Important: Please note that all Shimer College employees must report suspected or known child abuse* (including any suspected Sexual Misconduct perpetrated against those under the age of 18) to the applicable state children and family services department: Illinois Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Hotline: 800.252.2873 *All employees are mandated reporters under the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act and are thus required to report suspected or known child abuse to DCFS.

Reporting Instances of Sexual Misconduct

Who May File A Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Complaint:

Any Shimer student, employee, third party, or bystander on the Shimer College campus, or those acting on another’s behalf (for example, Departments, parents, or guardians), may file a Title IX/Sexual Misconduct complaint to report sexual misconduct in the treatment of students or employees. A Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Complaint may also concern retaliation for filing a Complaint or participating in an investigation relating to acts of sexual misconduct. The College expects that all Title IX/Sexual Misconduct complaints will be filed in good faith. All incidents of sexual misconduct will be taken seriously by the College when formally reported, and such incidents will be investigated and properly resolved.

How to File a Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Complaint:

A formal Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Complaint can be filed utilizing one of the following options: 

  1. Contact a Title IX Coordinator: The Title IX Coordinator may be contacted for an appointment to discuss the nature of the complaint, during which the employee/student should be prepared to discuss all factual circumstances and information upon which the Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Complaint is based.                                                          
  2. File an Electronic Report: The reporting party may file a Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Complaint by completing the Shimer College Community Incident Report online.  Additional documents may be submitted with the Title IX Complaint (e.g., police report, e-mails), but is not required.
    Within 12 hours after receiving an electronic report, whether the offense occurred on or off campus, the reporting party and victim will receive information about available rights and options to address the alleged sexual misconduct. This information will be sent via email to both individuals.   The student will be provided (and in the case of electronic reports, the reported will be responded to with) the following information in writing: (a) The possible sanctions or protective measures that could be imposed upon an individual found, after a disciplinary proceeding pursuant to the Shimer Student Conduct Policies, to have committed such an offense after a disciplinary proceeding. (b) The procedures an individual who has experienced sexual misconduct should consider, including, but not limited to, information about the importance of preserving evidence, to whom the alleged offense should be reported, and options regarding law enforcement and campus public safety authorities, including notifying the same, how Shimer and Illinois Tech staff can assist with making such notification and the individual’s right to decline to notify such authorities. (c) The ability of an individual who has experienced sexual misconduct seek to secure an order of protection or no contact orders under Illinois law. (d) Detailed information concerning Shimer College’s disciplinary process for cases of sexual misconduct, including the victim’s rights and options. (e) Information about how and to what extent Shimer College can and will protect the confidentiality of victims. (f) The available counseling, physical and mental health treatment options, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid and other services available for victims of sexual misconduct both on campus and in the area. (g) The options for, and available assistance in, changing academic, living, dining transportation and working situations (collectively, known as “accommodations”). (h) The contact information for the Shimer College Title IX Coordinator, Confidential Advisors, IIT Department of Public Safety, Chicago Police Department, and community-based sexual assault crisis centers.                                                                                                                                               
  3. Shimer College respects the fact that the decisions whether to inform authorities and which authorities to inform rest with the individual who experienced the sexual misconduct.  Filing a Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Complaint does not constitute filing a Criminal Complaint with the police. To file an official police report, please contact the IIT Public Safety Department (for incidents occurring on campus) at 312.808.6300 or Chicago Police Department at 911 {or relevant local police deparment} (for incidents occurring off campus).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  4. Help can also be received from the IIT Student Health and Wellness Center 312.567.7550, the Shimer Title IX Coordinator 312.235.3511, or the Office of Student Life 312.235.3511. Representatives from these offices are available to assist the victim in notifying law enforcement authorities if the victim so chooses. An individual who experienced sexual misconduct may also wish to contact a community-based sexual assault crisis center.                                                                                                                            
  5. Though individuals are encouraged to come forward and report crimes, reports may be made anonymously by contacting the Public Safety Department at 312.808.6300 or filing a Shimer College Community Incident Report. All reports of sexual misconduct against and by students will be reviewed by the Shimer Title IX Coordinator or designee. However, the College’s ability to investigate and respond to an anonymous incident report unless sufficient information is furnished to enable the efficiency of a meaningful and fair investigation. The more information that can be provided, the more thorough the investigation will likely be.

Preservation of Evidence:

It is important for victims or witnesses of Sexual Misconduct to preserve evidence as it may be necessary to the proof of the Sexual Misconduct. In cases of sexual misconduct, it is important to preserve relevant evidence as failure to do so could compromise any subsequent investigation, jeopardize the ability to punish the perpetrator and/or complicate the ability to obtain an order of protection. Because some evidence, particularly evidence that may be located on the body, dissipates quickly (within 48-96 hours).  Victims of Sexual Misconduct who wish to preserve evidence should go to a hospital or medical facility immediately to seek a medical examination and/or forensic evidence collection. An individual who experienced sexual misconduct is encouraged to consider filing a report with the police; filing a report does not obligate the victim to press charges or pursue legal action.

The closest hospitals to Shimer College are Mercy Hospital (2525 S. Michigan Avenue / 312.567.2000 and the University of Chicago Hospital (5841 S. Maryland Avenue / 773.702.1000. The emergency rooms at these hospitals do conduct a forensic examination. Such an examination often serves a valuable evidentiary purpose. Completion of a forensic examination does not require one to file a police report. 

(Note: Illinois law provides that any cost for an emergency medical or forensic examination for a victim of sexual violence that is not covered by private insurance or Illinois Public Aid will be covered by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and should not be billed to the patient.) 

Order of Protection 
If desired, a victim of sexual misconduct may seek an order of protection (750 ILCS 60/214) or no contact order (740 ILCS 22/101.1 et seq.) from an Illinois court. The decision to grant such an order in any particular instance is at the discretion of the court. If such an order is issued, Shimer College will honor it as and to the extent required by law. Additional information on orders of protection and the process for obtaining such an order is available on the website of the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court at www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/?section=SERVRESPage&SERVRESPage=orderprot.

Immediate Action and Interim Measures

Shimer College, as it may determine necessary to take interim measures to assist or protect the safety of the Shimer community or ensure the integrity of the Investigation during the Formal Process. Such measures for a student complainant may include arranging for changes in class schedules, living, dining, or transportation arrangements, issuing and enforcing a no-contact order, obtaining counseling, modifying test schedules or other class requirements temporarily, and honoring an order of protection or no-contact order entered by a State civil or criminal court, if such measures are applicable and reasonably available.

The Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Investigative Process

Title IX/Sexual Misconduct complaints will be investigated and, if warranted, disciplinary proceedings will be initiated according to the procedures outlined in the Shimer Student Conduct Policies.  The preponderance of the evidence standard set forth in the Shimer Student Conduct Policies will be utilized in all investigations and hearings pertaining to cases of sexual misconduct.

Please note that the sanctions for cases of sexual misconduct will vary based on the nature and severity of the situation as well as the perpetrator’s prior disciplinary history, if any. The full range of applicable sanctions is listed under the Conduct Status & Disciplinary Sanctions in the Shimer Student Handbook.

Pursuant to the Code of Conduct, sanctions of suspension and expulsion are automatically referred to the Dean of Shimer College for review. The Dean of the College may make any determination outlined in the Shimer Student Conduct Policies, and such determination shall not be subject to further appeal on the basis that the sanction imposed was inappropriate to the offense.

This process is designed to provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution and protect the safety of victims and promote accountability. Complainants have the right to request that the Formal Process begin promptly and proceed in a timely manner. The Formal Process will be conducted by Shimer Title IX Coordinator or designee (“Title IX Investigators” or “Investigators”) who receive a minimum of eight (8) to ten (10) hours annual training on issues related to Sex-Based Misconduct and how to conduct this Formal Process, in addition to annual survivor-centered and trauma-informed response training. Fairness to all individuals involved with a Title IX Complaint is a priority. 

Both the Complainant and Respondent will be given a copy of this Policy and Complaint Procedure and have the opportunity to respond to all allegations. The Complainant and Respondent will also receive notice of the Investigators, Shimer Conduct Process, and the JAG Appeals Committee members before being contacted by such persons (before determination of appropriate sanctions or written decision on an appeal is rendered).  Both the Complainant and Respondent will have the option to be accompanied to any meeting or proceeding related to the Formal Process by an advisor of their choice.

The role of the advisor is to provide support and counsel to the advisee in the Investigation, determination, and appeals processes; the advisor does not act as a representative of his or her advisee, does not have a voice in the processes, and may not actively participate in those processes. If the advisor violates the foregoing rules or engages in behavior or advocacy that harasses, abuses, or intimidates the other party, a witness, or an individual resolving the Title IX Complaint, that advisor may be prohibited from further participation in the Formal Process. Maintaining the privacy of all individuals involved with a Title IX Complaint, including participating parties and witnesses, is also a priority, and any proceeding or meeting held to resolve a Title IX Complaint shall protect the privacy of such individuals. Specifically, Shimer will not disclose the identity of the Complainant or Respondent, except as necessary to resolve the Title IX Complaint, to implement the interim measure in accordance with the investigation process, or to comply with State or federal law.

Sexual assaults may not be mediated. Further, in cases of sexual misconduct, the complainant and respondent will not be permitted to directly question one another, but each may suggest questions to be posed by the chair of the JAG Committee or the Director of Student Life (or designee), as the case may be. Upon request of either the complainant or respondent, at any time during the proceedings, Shimer College will provide reasonable accommodations to ensure that the complainant and respondent are separated, while still being able to hear one another. Both the complainant and respondent will have equal access to the same information to be provided in connection with a disciplinary proceeding. Both the complainant and respondent will be offered the same opportunity to participate in the process equally, meaning the complainant will have the same rights and options as are afforded to the respondent under the Shimer Student Conduct Policies. 

Confidentiality 
Shimer College will seek to protect the privacy of all parties to a complaint or other report of sexual misconduct to the extent possible, and a number of the procedures outlined in the Shimer Student Handbook.  Shimer College to the extent permitted by law, will also seek to ensure that the name and identifying information of an individual who has experienced sexual misconduct is not included in any publically available records. However, when a complaint of sexual misconduct is received, Shimer College may have an independent legal obligation to investigate the same incident. Shimer College will make a good faith effort to respond in a way that limits the effects of the sexual misconduct and prevents its reoccurrence, even if the individual who experienced the sexual misconduct has elected, as is his or her right, not to pursue it or has declined to cooperate.

Shimer College reserves the right to share information during or after an investigation with people who reasonably need to know it in order to promote campus safety; comply with law; provide for a prompt, fair and impartial resolution; and/or institute accommodations or protective measure. Such individuals may include Shimer College or Illinois Tech  officials, faculty members, staff, investigators, JAG Committee Board members, witnesses, the individual who experienced the sexual misconduct, and the person accused of committing such misconduct.

If an individual who experienced sexual misconduct is unsure of someone’s duties and abilities to maintain his or her privacy, he or she should ask the individual before speaking to them.  Certain, limited staff members at Shimer College or Illinois Tech departments are generally obligated by law to maintain confidentiality, including certain licensed health professionals acting in their professional capacity; pastoral counselors, meaning individuals who are associated with a religious order or denomination, recognized by that order or denomination as people who provide confidential counseling and acting within the scope of that recognition; designated confidential advisors; and staff of local rape and domestic violence crisis centers.

Persons with the Legal Ability to Maintain Confidentiality 
Illinois Tech’s Student Health and Wellness Center has licensed health professionals who can meet with victims on a professional basis and discuss matters in confidence. Staff members of the Student Health and Wellness Center, whose official responsibilities include providing mental health counseling to members of the student body, when acting within the scope of their license or certification, are generally obligated by law to maintain confidentiality, and these individuals when so acting are not required by law to report criminal offenses, including sexual misconduct, about which they are informed.

In addition, Illinois law has established the recognized role of “Confidential Advisor”, which is as an individual retained by a higher education institution who has certain mandated training and has the duty and ability to provide emergency and ongoing support to students who have experienced sexual misconduct. 

A free “Confidential Advisor/Advocate” for the Shimer Community is

Rape Victims Advocates, located 180 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 600, Chicago, Illinois 60601. Email: info@rapevictimadvocates.org The phone number for students needing to access Rape Victims Advocates’ TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH AN ADVOCATE, PLEASE CALL 312.443.9603

 

Crisis Hotlines

(All are 24 hours a day unless otherwise noted)

Local

State of Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline

877-863-6338 (877-TO END DV) | http://batteredwomensnetwork.org/

877-863-6339 for people who are deaf or hearing impaired

Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline

888-293-2080 | www.ywcachicago.org

National

Rape, Abuse and Incest National (RAINN) Hotline

1-800-656-HOPE  |  www.rainn.org

Planned Parenthood

1-800-230-7526  | www.plannedparenthood.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 |  www.thehotline.org

“Confidential Advisor/Advocate”

In the course of working with an individual who has experienced sexual misconduct, a Confidential Advisor will (a) inform him or her of the choice of possible next steps regarding reporting options and possible outcomes, whether through Illinois Tech’s policies and procedures or local law enforcement; (b) notify him or her of the resources and services available to him or her, both on and off campus; (c) discuss with him or her orders of protection and no contact orders; (d) provide confidential services to and have privileged, confidential communications with him or her in accordance with Section 8-804 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure; and (e) at his or her request, assist in contacting and reporting to Shimer College officials, local law enforcement or community-based sexual assault crisis centers as well as to secure accommodations from Shimer College. 

Definitions

Consent: a clear, unambiguous, informed and voluntary agreement between all participants to knowingly engage in sexual activity. Consent must be mutually understandable by words or actions (i.e. a reasonable person would consider the words or actions to indicate mutual agreement to engage in the sexual activity). Consent is active and cannot be based on the absence of an affirmative statement or act of denial. Silence or lack of resistance does not constitute consent.

Seeking and receiving consent is the responsibility of the person(s) initiating the sexual act or acts regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not in and of itself constitute consent to any other sexual act.

Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated (including, but not limited to, a person or someone with a physical or mental disability and/or level of intoxication that causes impairment resulting in incapacitation. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm. The university prohibits any sexual activity that does not involve the consent of each individual.

Consent must be given to engage in the act of sexual activity, and consent should also be given to any person who records or photographs any aspect of the sexual encounter as well as third parties who wish to view the sexual activity either in person or via any electronic equipment, methods, or devices. Any of these acts will be deemed to be sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation includes, but is not limited to, the following acts:

  • Sexual voyeurism or allowing others to witness or observe the sexual or intimate activity of another person without that person’s full knowledge and consent;

  • Indecent or lewd exposure or inducing another person to expose themselves when consent is not present;

  • Recording any person engaged in sexual or intimate activity in a private space without that person’s full knowledge and consent, even if the person recording the sexual or intimate activity is also engaged in the consented to sexual activity;

  • Distributing sexual or intimate information, images, or recordings about another person without that person’s full knowledge and consent;

  • Recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining another person for the purpose of sexual exploitation;

  • Inducing incapacitation in another person with the intent to engage in sexual conduct, regardless of whether prohibited sexual conduct actually occurs.

The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

 Active: consent must take the form of clearly understandable words or actions that reveal one’s expectations and agreement to engage in the specific sexual activity. This means that silence, passivity, submission or the lack of verbal or physical resistance (including the lack of a “no”) should not- in and of themselves- be understood as consent. Consent cannot be inferred by an individual’s manner of dress, the giving or acceptance of gifts, the extension or acceptance of an invitation to go to a private room or location, or going on a date.

Anonymous Complaint: is one where the identity of the Claimant is not known.  

Claimant: the student, employee, or third party who alleges they have been subjected to a form of sexual misconduct (i.e. the victim/survivor ).

ConfidentialComplaint: is one where the name of the Claimant is known, but does not want to file a complaint, pursue an investigation or to have their identity known.

Dating Violence: (1) Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence. Any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime.

(2) Threatening to use physical, mental, or emotional abuse to control another person who is in a dating relationship with the person

(3) The existence of a dating relationship in 1 or 2 above shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence: (1) A felony or misdemeanor crime 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 in which the crime of violence occurred; 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 in which the crime of violence occurred.

(2) Physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation of a family or household member, which includes spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren and other persons related by blood or by present or prior marriage, persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling, persons who have or allegedly have a child in common, and persons who share or allegedly share a blood relationship through a child.

Force: the use of physical violence and/or otherwise physically imposing on another person to gain sexual access. Also includes threats, intimidation, implied threats, and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent.

Gender-based Harassment or Discrimination: acts of a verbal or nonverbal nature or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based upon sex/gender or sex/gender-stereotyping (even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature) that is sufficiently serious to limit or deny the ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s programs and activities or the terms and conditions of employment. Example: the repeated sabotaging of female graduate students’ laboratory experiments by male students in the class.

Incapacitation: physical or mental impairment due to drugs or alcohol (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary); the lack of consciousness or being asleep; being involuntarily restrained; if any of the parties are under the age of 17; or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. Generally, an incapacitated individual is incapable of recognizing what is occurring and is not able to recognize the nature of sexual activity or the extent of a sexual situation;

Intoxication: when alcohol is involved, a person can be incapacitated due to intoxication. Some ways in which a person can be incapacitated as a result of alcohol use may include, but are not limited to, lack of control over physical movements, lack of awareness of circumstances or surroundings, or the inability to communicate for any reason. The individual may experience a blackout state in which they appear to be giving consent but does not actually have conscious awareness or the ability to consent. Therefore, individuals who engage in sexual activity of any kind must be aware of the other person’s level of intoxication;

Knowingly: Consent must demonstrate that all individuals understand, are aware of, and agree to the “who” (same partners), “what” (same acts), “where” (same location), “when” (same time), and “how” (the same way and under the same conditions) of the sexual activity.

Physical and Mental Disability: “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities of an individual, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. This also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.” (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Rape: the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

Resolution Officer: a representative from the Office of Student Conduct or Human Resource Services who will be appointed to administer sanctions.  

Respondent: the person alleged to have to have engaged in a form of sexual based misconduct . (i.e. the alleged offender/perpetrator/accused )

Responsible Employee: is any employee who:

  • Has the authority to take action to address sexual violence;

  • Has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct by students; or

  • Anyone a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.  

Result: any initial, interim, and final decision by any official or entity authorized to resolve disciplinary matters within the institution.  The result must include any sanctions imposed by the institution.

Retaliation: taking any adverse or hostile act, engaging in harassment and/or making an adverse employment/academic decision because an employee/student/third party has opposed violations of the ShimerTitle IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy. The unlawful employment/academic practices by filing a complaint, testifying, assisting, or participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.  Respondents are also protected from Retaliation.

Sexual Assault: (1) any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by Federal or Illinois law, including when the victim lacks the capacity to consent. An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape; or 

(2) an act of sexual penetration by the use of force or threat of force; or

(3) an act of sexual penetration and the respondent knew that the claimant was unable to understand the nature of the act or was unable to give knowing consent; or

(4) an act of sexual penetration with a claimant who was under 18 years of age when the act was committed and the respondent was a family member; or

(5) an act of sexual penetration with a claimant who was at least 13 years of age but less than 18 years of age when the act was committed and the respondent was 17 years of age or over and held a position of trust, authority or supervision in relation to the claimant.

Sex Discrimination: treating a person differently because of their sex in the terms and conditions of educational programs, activities, and/or employment; Example: A professor requires all male students in a class to do an extra assignment that is not required of female students.

Sexual Exploitation: taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for your own benefit.

Sexual Harassment: unwelcome, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature (such as sexual advances or requests for sexual favors) sufficiently serious that it unreasonably interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational programs, activities, and/or employment. Sexual harassment may be based on a power differential, the creation of a hostile environment (reasonably severe conduct that is sufficiently pervasive to have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work or educational performance, or creating an  intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment) , or retaliation.

The two types of sexual harassment are known as Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment. Quid Pro Quo is the Latin term for “this for that” and occurs when there is a demand for a sexual favor in exchange for some employment/academic benefit.  Sexual harassment in the form of a hostile work and/or academic environment occurs when the harassing behavior unreasonably interferes with the employee/student work/academic performance and/or creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work/academic environment.

  • In order for the conduct to be considered sexual harassment, the behavior must be:

  • Unwanted and/or unwelcome;

  • Sexual in nature and/or related to the sex or gender of the employee/student;

Sufficiently severe or pervasive enough to alter the conditions of the employee/student employment or academic environment (when describing sexual harassment resulting from a hostile work/academic environment).

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

A professor insists that a student have sex with him/her in exchange for a good grade;

 

  • A student repeatedly sends sexually oriented jokes in an email list they created, even when asked to stop, causing one recipient to avoid the sender on campus and in the residence hall in which they both live;

  • A professor demands that students discuss their past sexual experiences, yet the conversation is not in any way germane to the class;

  • A staff member repeatedly touches and makes sexually suggestive remarks to a student while the two are waiting at a stop for the school’s shuttle bus, causing the student to walk long distances instead of taking the shuttle bus;

  • One instance of rape and/or other acts of Sexual Violence;

Sexual Harassment also includes harassment of a sexual nature directed at gay or lesbian persons that is sufficiently serious to limit or deny the ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational and employment programs. Likewise, sexual harassment can occur where Claimant and Respondent are members of the same sex. Example: a male student or a group of male students target a gay student for physical sexual advances.

Stalking may also be a form of sexual harassment.  

Sexual Misconduct: one or more acts of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking or gender-based harassment or discrimination.   Sexual misconduct can occur among, between or to heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Sexual Penetration: any contact, however slight, between the sex organ or anus of one person by an object, the sex organ, mouth, or anus of another person, or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the body of one person or of any animal or object into the sex organ or anus of another person.  Includes,but not limited to, cunnilingus, fellatio, or anal penetration.

Sexual Violence: nonconsensual sexual acts:  physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the Claimant’s age, use of drugs or alcohol, or a disability that prevents the Claimant from having the capacity to give consent). Conduct will be deemed sexual violence whether obtained by force or threat of force and whether completed or attempted. Sexual exploitation (taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for your own benefit) may also be considered a form of sexual violence, depending on the circumstances.  Examples: Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse

Stalking: (1) engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (A) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition: (i) Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property; (ii) Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim; (iii) Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling;  (iv) Any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for the purposes of Clery Act reporting; or

(2) (A) Knowingly and without lawful justification, on at least 2 separate occasions, following another person or placing the person under surveillance or any combination thereof and (i) at any time transmitting a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint and the threat is directed towards that person or a family member of that person, or (ii) places that person in reasonable apprehension of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to or of that person or a family member of that person; or (B) when, having been previously convicted of stalking another person, knowingly and without lawful justification on one occasion, (i) follows that same person or places that same person under surveillance; and (ii) transmits a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to that person or a family member of that person.

(3) Stalking may be accomplished by physical act or electronic means, such as computer or cell phone.

Title IX Coordinator: the role of the Title IX Coordinator is to manage, implement and administer Shimer College’s procedures which prohibit discrimination including enforcement procedures for resolving Title IX/Sexual Misconduct complaint, Title IX training programs and ensuring the prompt and appropriate resolution of Title IX complaints.

Samantha L. Bennett
3424 South State Street
Shimer College
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 235-3511
titleIXreporting@shimer.edu

Voluntary: Consent must be freely given and cannot be the result of force (violence, physical restraint, or the presence of a weapon), threats (indications of intent to harm, whether direct or indirect), intimidation (extortion, menacing behavior, bullying), coercion (undue pressure) or fraud (misrepresentation or material omission about oneself or the situation in order to gain permission for sexual or intimate activity).

Voyeurism: the condition of one who derives sexual satisfaction from observing the sexual organs or acts of others, generally from a secret vantage point.