Policy Against Harassment

Purpose and Scope

  1. Purpose. This policy establishes the College’s commitment to the health, safety, and well-being of all Kalamazoo College students and employees. The College has a legal obligation to ensure a working and learning environment free from all forms of sexual assault and harassment. The College does not discriminate nor tolerate discrimination in any form, in any education program or activity of the College, and will investigate complaints and take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the behavior, avoid its repetition, and prevent future harassment.
  2. Scope. This policy applies to conduct of all students, student organizations, faculty, staff, administrators, and Board members of Kalamazoo College, as well as vendors and individuals or organizations operating events or programs on campus.
    1. The policy applies to conduct that takes place:
      1. On Kalamazoo College’s campus,
      2. On all properties owned or leased by the College,
      3. In the context of any education program or activity of the College, regardless of location (including but not limited to service-learning activities, study abroad, and internship programs),
      4. Where either the Complainant or the Respondent involved is a member of the K community, or
      5. Off campus when the conduct has continuing adverse effects on campus, or in an off-campus program or activity that is sponsored or recognized by the College.
    2. If the Respondent is not a member of the K community, the College will still implement supportive measures, as they are reasonably available and accessible, in order to support the Complainant and redress any harm caused by sexual misconduct or harassment.
    3. The College will monitor any continuing adverse effects produced by prohibited conduct and reserves the right to take steps to eliminate and redress such effects as is necessary based on the situation.
    4. Online or social media conduct may also violate this policy if it meets the definition of any form of prohibited conduct. Blogs, webpage entries on sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and other similar online postings are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject an individual to allegations of conduct violations. The College does not regularly search for this information but may take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of the College.

This policy replaces all previous College policies regarding Harassment.

  1. Contacts for general information about this policy: Questions specific to College employees may be directed to the Director of Human resources in the HR office (269.337.7248); questions specific to students may be directed to the Dean of Students (269.337.7209); questions specific to faculty may be directed to the Provost (269.337.7158); and any inquiry about the scope or application to this policy may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator (269.337.7480).
  2. Designation of Title IX Coordinator. Kalamazoo College has designated the Director of Gender Equity as the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will be informed of all reports of gender-based harassment and violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, and will oversee the College’s review, investigation and resolution of these cases to ensure compliance with Title IX and effective implementation of this policy. Contact information can found below and on the Title IX website.

Tanya Jachimiak, JD
Director, Gender Equity/Title IX Coordinator
Office of the President
1200 Academy Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Location: Upjohn Library Commons, 217
Phone: (269) 337-7480
Email: TitleIX@kzoo.edu or Tanya.Jachimiak@kzoo.edu


The following terms used throughout and for the purposes of this policy are defined below.

  1. Employee. An employee of Kalamazoo College includes but is not limited to persons employed full-time, part-time, regular, short-term, and temporary.
  2. Student. The term “student” includes:
    1. all persons taking courses at Kalamazoo College, either full-time or part-time;
    2. persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the College by participating in programs such as study abroad or domestic exchange programs, or who are on leave;
    3. persons who have been notified of their acceptance for admission and have made a deposit to the College; and
    4. persons who withdraw after allegedly violating this policy or the Student Code of Conduct, until the complaint against them is resolved.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct during the academic year and between terms of enrollment, even if conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded.

  1. Respondent. The Respondent is the person whose alleged conduct could constitute harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or discrimination in violation of this policy.
  2. Complainant. The Complainant is the individual who has claimed subjection to conduct that could constitute harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or discrimination in violation of this policy.
  3. Consent. Consent is the act of freely, actively, and willingly agreeing to engage in sexual behavior. Silence or non-communication does not constitute consent, and a person in a state of diminished judgment cannot be considered to consent. Consent requires that a person be able to freely choose between two options: yes and no. Consent cannot be inferred or assumed.  A person is considered to be incapable of giving consent if she/he is asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unable to communicate. No one who has been threatened, coerced or drugged can be considered to consent. A person is usually considered to be unable to give consent when she/he is under the influence or incapacitated due to alcohol and/or drugs, or is mentally handicapped. A current or prior sexual or dating relationship does not constitute consent. A person can withdraw consent at any time during the course of a sexual encounter.  (MCL 750.520(b)-(e).)
  4. Harassment. Harassment means behavior consisting of physical, graphical, or verbal conduct that substantially interferes with an individual’s employment, education or access to College programs, activities, or opportunities. Harassment may include, but is not limited to, verbal or physical attacks, graphic or written statements, threats, or slurs. Whether the alleged conduct constitutes prohibited harassment depends on the totality of the circumstances, including the nature, frequency and duration of the conduct in question, the location and context in which it occurs and the status of the individuals involved. Additionally, federally prohibited discrimination includes harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, veterans’ status, genetic history, and disability. Michigan state law also prohibits discrimination and harassment based on height and weight. Examples of harassment include:
    1. Verbal abuse, offensive innuendo or derogatory words concerning a person’s gender, age, race, color, ethnic or national origin, religion, disability or other protected status;
    2. Display of pictures or objects designed to create a hostile learning or working environment based on a person’s protected status;
    3. Pervasive and offensive but non-sexual comments regarding a particular gender;
    4. Offensive jokes or pranks;
    5. Threats, intimidation or hostile acts relating to a protected characteristic
  5. Title IX Sexual Harassment. Kalamazoo College has adopted the following definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment in order to comply with the requirements mandated by 34 CFR § 106.30. Sexual harassment that does not meet the definition set forth in this section may be addressed under Article II(f), above.
  6. Sexual harassment, as an umbrella classification, includes the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and is defined as one or more of the following:
    1. Quid pro quo. An employee of the College conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the College on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; and/ or
    2. Sexual Harassment. Unwelcome conduct, determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the College’ education program or activity.
  7. Sexual Assault. Defined as any of the following:
    1. Sex Offenses, Forcible: any sexual act directed with the use of force against another person, including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent.
    2. Rape: penetration, no matter how slight, of any genital, anal, or oral opening of another person, without consent, by use of an object, instrument, or any body part. This includes using force or coercion to compel another person to use an object, instrument, or body part to penetrate another individual, as well as oral penetration by a sex organ of another person.
    3. Sodomy: oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly, and/ or without consent, or not forcibly but against the person’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
    4. Sexual Assault, Nonforcible: the intentional touching of intimate body parts of another person in a sexual manner without consent, causing another to touch intimate body parts without consent, or the disrobing or exposing of another person without consent. Intimate body parts include, but are not limited to, the mouth, neck, buttocks, anus, groin, genitalia, or breast; however, sexual contact can occur with any part of the body.
    5. Sexual Assault with an Object: the use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly, and/ or against that person’s will (non- consensually), or not forcibly or against that person’s will in instances where the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
    6. Fondling: the touching of the private body parts of another person (including genitalia, buttocks, groin, breasts), for the purposes of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually), or not forcibly or against that person’s will in instances where the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
    7. Other Sex Offenses:
      1. Incest: non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees where marriage is prohibited by Michigan law.
      2. Statutory Rape: non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent of 16.
  8. Dating Violence: violence committed on the basis of sex, committed by a person who is in or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant.
    1. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the Complainant’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.
    2. For purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
    3. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
  9. Domestic Violence: violence committed on the basis of sex, committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant, by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, or by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of Michigan, or by any other person against whose acts an adult or youth Complainant is protected under the domestic or family violence laws of Michigan.
    • To categorize an incident as Domestic Violence, the relationship between the Respondent and Complainant must be more than just two people living together as roommates. The people cohabitating must be current or former spouses or have an intimate relationship.
  10. Stalking: engaging in a course of conduct, on the basis of sex, directed at a specific person, that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.
    • For purposes of this definition:
      • A ‘course of conduct’ means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the Respondent 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.
      • ‘Reasonable person’ means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the Complainant.
      • ‘Substantial emotional distress’ means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
  11. Other discrimination and harassment prohibited by this policy. Kalamazoo College additionally prohibits the following offenses as forms of discrimination when the act is based upon the Complainant’s sex or gender, or actual or perceived membership in a protected class.
  12. Sexual exploitation: taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own benefit or for the benefit of anyone other than the person being exploited, and that conduct does not otherwise constitute sexual harassment under the policy.  Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
    1. Sexual voyeurism (such as observing or allowing others to observe a person undressing or using the bathroom or engaging in sexual acts, without the consent of the person being observed);
    2. Invasion of sexual privacy;
    3. Taking pictures, video, or audio recording of another in a sexual act, or in any other sexually-related activity when there is a reasonable expectation of privacy during the activity, without the consent of all involved in the activity, or exceeding the boundaries of consent (such as allowing another person to hide in a closet and observe sexual activity, or disseminating sexual pictures or video without the person’s consent, whether dissemination occurs online or not), including the making or posting of revenge pornography;
    4. Prostituting another person;
    5. Engaging in sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI), without informing the other person of the infection;
    6. Causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person (through alcohol, drugs, or any other means) for the purpose of compromising that person’s ability to give consent to sexual activity, or for the purpose of making that person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity;
    7. Misappropriation of another person’s identity on apps, websites, or other venues designed for dating or sexual connections;
    8. Forcing a person to take an action against that person’s will by threatening to show, post, or share information, video, audio, or an image that depicts the person’s nudity or sexual activity;
    9. Knowingly soliciting a minor for sexual activity;
    10. Engaging in sex trafficking;
    11. Creation, possession, or dissemination of child pornography
    12. Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
    13. Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that can cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;
    14. Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the College community, when related to the admission, initiation, joining, or any other group- or team-affiliated activity;
    15. Bullying, defined as repeated and/ or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control, or diminish another person, physically and/ or mentally.

Policy Statement

  1. General Policy. Kalamazoo College prohibits all harassment, including sex- or gender-based harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The College does not condone or allow harassment, whether engaged in by students, faculty or staff; by customers, vendors, or other non-employees who conduct business with the College; or by campus visitors. In response to every complaint, the College will promptly investigate, take appropriate corrective and preventive actions to eliminate the offending conduct and prevent its reoccurrence, and address its discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate. When appropriate, and only after a fair and equitable grievance process, the College will impose disciplinary action.
  2. Harassment and Academic Freedom. The College has a profound commitment to the free expression of ideas, including those that are controversial or unpopular, and affirms the Constitutional right to free speech as an integral part of the educational experience. No part of this policy is intended to abridge any such right. However, sexual harassment and other behaviors in violation of anti-discrimination laws are not legally protected forms of expression and may prevent some individuals from participating fully in the life of the academic community. Such behavior in violation of this Harassment Policy is not protected by law or the policies of the College.
  3. Consensual Relationships. Sexual relationships between employees and Kalamazoo College students are unacceptable and constitute personal and professional misconduct. Such actions may be considered adequate cause for faculty termination under the Plan of Employment of the Board of Trustees and for termination of employment of a staff member. Intimate or sexual relationships where there is an inherent power or authority differential produce risks to the campus community and undermine the authority of those in supervisory roles. An exception may be made for a personal relationship that was established prior to employment and was disclosed to Human Resources at the time of hire.
  4. Education and Training. Ongoing education regarding harassment and related College policies is required for all students and employees. The College educates its employees through mandatory annual online training and employee orientation. The College educates students about sexual misconduct through mandatory first-year orientation programs each fall, as well as mandatory annual online training and campus programming throughout the year for all returning students. This programming focuses on prevention, bystander intervention, sexual health and safety, and advocacy. The Title IX Coordinator offers sexual assault education and information programs to College students and employees upon request.
    1. Information about sexual misconduct education, bystander prevention programming, risk reduction, and College response is available through the College website, outside the Student Health Center, and on the website for Sexual Violence Prevention and Advocacy.
    2. Training materials for all members of the College’s Title IX response team, including the Title IX Coordinator, Investigators, Hearing Officers, Appeals Officers, and Informal Resolution facilitators will be posted on the Title IX website and will be conducted pursuant to CFR 34 § 106.45(b)(1)(iii), (b)(10).
  5. Bystander intervention. Bystanders can help create an empowering climate free of interpersonal violence by diffusing problem behaviors before they escalate. Bystanders can help by noticing an incident, interpreting the incident as an emergency, assuming responsibility, and attempting to help (such as helping the person leave the situation, confronting a behavior, diffusing a situation, or calling others for support).
  6. Risk reduction. Students and employees can minimize their risk of becoming targets of sexual harassment by clearly communicating intentions, understanding and respecting personal boundaries, making personal limits known as early as possible, telling an aggressor “no” clearly and firmly, or asking someone for help. Students and employees can also minimize risk by recognizing warning signs of abusive behavior, such as extreme jealousy, constant put-downs, explosive temper, severe mood swings, preventing the other person from doing things he/she wants to do, isolating the other person from family and friends, and calling/emailing/texting the other person too frequently or at odd hours to check-up on the person. Students and employees can minimize their risk of being accused of sexual harassment by not making assumptions about consent or not taking advantage of someone’s impaired state.

Surviving Sexual Misconduct

If you have been subjected to any form of sexual misconduct:

  • Get to a safe place and contact someone who can help you: a friend, colleague, Resident Assistant (RA), counselor, family member, Kalamazoo College Security (269.337.7321), the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (911), or the YWCA (269.385.3587).
  • Do not change clothes, bathe, shower, eat or drink. These activities can destroy important physical evidence if you decide to press legal charges.
  • Get medical attention at the YWCA or the emergency rooms of Borgess Hospital or Bronson Hospital.
  • If you wish to make a police report, contact Kalamazoo Public Safety (911).
  • Contact the YWCA (269.385.3587), Gryphon Place Help Line (269.381.4357), or the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800.799.7233) for immediate crisis support.
  • If you are able, write down your account of the incident. Though difficult, this will be helpful if you choose to pursue action against the accused through the College’s process and/or the legal system.

Detailed information about the process of surviving sexual misconduct is available at the following websites:

Additionally, employees may contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) from Unum, a free, confidential service for support and referral services at 1.800.854.1446.

Responding to Harassment

Kalamazoo College is committed to responding to each report of sex- or gender-based discrimination and harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and other forms of sexual misconduct. When a report is received, the College will support the Complainant in pursuing a meaningful resolution designed to provide a prompt, fair, and impartial process for those involved, in alignment with the College’s commitment to promoting safety and the goals of fairness and equity in all aspects of its education programs and activities.

  1. Making a formal complaint. A formal complaint is a document filed and signed by the Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator alleging a policy violation by a Respondent and requesting that Kalamazoo College investigate the allegations. A formal complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information for the Title IX Coordinator. A formal complaint may be made at any time (including non-business hours) by using the telephone number, email address, or mailing address listed for the Title IX Coordinator. Contact information is listed above.
  2. Reports. Reports of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation may be made using any of the following options. Unless reports meet the criteria for a formal complaint, they are not considered formal complaints.
    • Submit a written report to, or give verbal notice to, the Title IX Coordinator or any Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Such a report may be made at any time (including non-business hours) by using the telephone number, email address, or mailing address listed for the Title IX Coordinator. Contact information is listed above in Article I(d).
    • Report online using the reporting form posted at https://titleix.kzoo.edu/reporting/report/. Anonymous reports are accepted and may give rise to an investigation in some circumstances, but it is difficult for the College to provide any supportive measures without more information.  See Article VI(e), below.
    • Report by calling Campus Safety at 269.377.7321.
    • All reports or formal complaints, regardless of the status of the Complainant or Respondent, may be made using any of the above means.  Procedures governing the College’s response to all reports or complaints are discussed in the Complaint Process section below.
  3. Supportive Measures. Upon notice of alleged harassment, complainants may promptly receive supportive measures from the College whether the Complainant decides to pursue a formal process, informal process, or dismiss their complaint. Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive, individualized actions offered as appropriate and reasonably available. They are designed to protect the safety of all parties and restore or preserve access to the College’s education program or activity. The College will maintain the privacy of the supportive measures to the extent it does not impair the College’s ability to provide the measures. Additionally, supportive measures will be implemented in a way that does not unreasonably burden the other party. These actions may include, but are not limited to:
    • Referral to counseling, medical, and/ or other healthcare services,
    • Referral to the Unum Employee Assistance Program for employees,
    • Referral to community-based service providers,
    • Altering campus housing arrangements,
    • Altering work arrangements for employees or student-employees,
    • Safety planning,
    • Providing campus safety escorts,
    • Implementing restrictions on contact (no-contact orders) between parties,
    • Assistance obtaining academic support, extension of deadlines, or other course- or program-related adjustments,
    • Class schedule modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence, or
    • Other actions deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator.Violations of no-contact orders will be referred to appropriate student or employee conduct processes for enforcement.
  4. Pursue legal action. Complainants may also request assistance from the College to pursue legal action. Legal action involves the Complainant reporting the incident to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. A police investigation usually follows. This option can be pursued simultaneously with or separate from any College resolution or disciplinary processes, and College staff will help facilitate this reporting if requested.  The College will cooperate with legal investigations. The Complainant may also decline to notify law enforcement authorities, including Campus Security and police.
  5. Personal protection orders. If the College is notified by a student or employee that they have secured a Personal Protective Order (PPO), order of protection, no contact order, restraining order or similar order (collectively referred to as Personal Protective Orders (PPOs)) pertaining to another student or employee, the College will make a good faith effort to reasonably respond to the conditions of the PPO. The Office of Student Development and Human Resources, in conjunction with the Office of Campus Security, will work with the appropriate individuals to develop a plan to meet the requirements of the PPO as fully as reasonably possible.  This might include plans for travel across campus, scheduled events, or a nighttime escort or transportation. Information about the PPO and its conditions will only be shared with others on campus who need to know of it to provide accommodations. If the complainant rescinds the PPO, they must follow the formal legal process for doing so before the College will change its accommodations. The presence of a PPO does not constitute a harassment complaint or put the College on notice of harassment. When the College learns of a Complainant’s intention to pursue legal action, neither this knowledge nor the College’s cooperation with local law enforcement indicate a presumption of responsibility for violating this policy or the Student Code of Conduct. Prior to a final determination of responsibility for a policy violation, no presumption of a violation is made and no disciplinary action or sanction may be brought against any party.
  6. False reports and statements. It is a violation of this policy to knowingly bring false or malicious statements or complaints of harassment or of retaliation. Anyone who knowingly brings false charges will be subject to disciplinary action. The action of an individual who brings forth a complaint regarding false reporting shall not be considered an act of retaliation. Malicious gossip about individuals with regard to harassment may irreparably affect the standing of a member of the College community and may be considered a violation of the Honor System.
  7. Retaliation. Retaliation is any adverse action taken by a member of the College faculty, staff, or student body against any individual on the basis of a report made by such individual, or on the basis of such individual’s participation in an investigation, hearing, or inquiry by the College or an appropriate authority, or participation in a court proceeding relating to suspected wrongful conduct at the College. Retaliation includes but is not limited to harassment, threats of physical harm, job termination, punitive work schedule or research assignments, decrease in pay or responsibilities, or negative impact on academic progress. The College does not tolerate retaliation against anyone who in good faith brings complaints to the attention of the College or participates in investigations of such complaints.

Reporting Harassment

All members of the College community are encouraged to make a complaint about harassment, whether experienced firsthand, observed, or learned.

  1. Who must report. All College employees, except those exempt by law, are considered mandatory reporters and are required to report any instances of sexual harassment that they observe or of which they learn, even if the individuals involved do not report it. This includes Resident Assistants and other student workers with leadership or supervisory roles. Exempt College employees are confidential resources for students and include licensed mental health counselors in the Counseling Center and the College Chaplain.
  2. What to report. Employees must report everything they know as soon as they know it to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator. This includes, but is not limited to, the name of the complainant, the name of the alleged respondent, dates, times, and specifics of the incident, if known. Mandatory Reporters are encouraged to remind the individual making the disclosure of their requirement to report any conduct that may be a violation of this policy. This will help ensure the continued trust that is integral to the network of support needed to combat discrimination and harassment in all forms.
  3. To whom to report. Concerns about conduct by an employee or third party that may violate this policy should be reported to the Human Resources Director (269.337.7248), Provost (269.337.7162), or Title IX Coordinator (269.337.7480). Concerns about conduct by a student or student group that may violate this policy should be reported to the Dean of Students (269.337.7209) or the Title IX Coordinator (269.337.7480).  For complete contact information for the Title IX Coordinator, see Article I(d), above.
  4. Confidentiality. Some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation, although the College will comply with requests for confidentiality to the extent possible. No promise of nonaction or anonymity can be made once a complaint has been reported. The College has a legal duty to conduct an investigation. Information will be released on a need-to-know basis. Within these constraints, all parties involved are requested to maintain confidentiality. Publicly available records will be kept without including identifying information about the complainant to the extent permissible by law.

Students may speak confidentially to licensed mental health counselors employed by the College to provide counseling services in the Counseling Center and the College Chaplain. These resources provide students who may be interested in bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct or harassment with a confidential place to discuss their concerns.

Employees may also consult clergy and licensed mental health counselors off campus. Additionally, employees may contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) from Unum, a free, confidential service for support and referral services at 1.800.854.1446.

  1. Anonymous reporting. Anonymous reports may be made at https://titleix.kzoo.edu/reporting/report/. However, the more information the College has about sexual harassment, the better it can prevent and redress it. The College may be limited in its investigation if it does not have information specific to a complaint. See Article V(b)(1)(B), above.
  2. Statement on alcohol and drug use. The College strongly encourages students to report incidents violating this policy. Therefore, students who act responsibly by reporting to the appropriate authorities information about conduct violating this policy typically will not face College disciplinary action for their own drug or alcohol possession or consumption in connection with the reported incident.
  3. Emergency removal process. If the College learns that an individual may pose a risk to the health and safety of anyone in the campus community due to an alleged violation of this policy, the College may act to remove that individual from the campus on an emergency basis. Student interim removal is subject to the procedures in Article IV(CC)(1) of the Student Code of Conduct. Employee interim removal is subject to the procedures in the Employee Handbook or Faculty Handbook, depending on the status of the employee.
    • Before acting to remove any individual on an emergency basis, the College must conduct an individualized risk and threat assessment before making a decision.
    • Emergency removal decisions will be made by the Title IX Coordinator and two Deputy Coordinators. Any coordinators making a decision in this process will remain neutral and unbiased, and shall not be involved in any subsequent investigation, hearing, or disciplinary or appeals process related to the matter.
    • When the risk and threat assessment results in a determination that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual justifies removal, written must be given immediately to the individual to be removed and must include the basis for removal.
    • An emergency removal may be challenged within three business days of receipt of the notice.
      • A challenge to the removal must be made in writing to the Title IX Coordinator and must state the basis for the challenge. Valid bases may include, but are not limited to, why the individual believes they were not a threat, evidence contradicting the initial complaint, or other information tending to support their claim.
    • Within three business days of receiving any challenge, the Title IX Coordinator will set a meeting with the Respondent. The Respondent will be given access to a written summary of the basis for the emergency removal prior to this meeting, and will have the opportunity to bring an advisor of their choice to the meeting. The Complainant and their advisor may be permitted to participate in this meeting if the Title IX Coordinator determines it is equitable to do so.
    • After review with the Deputy Title IX Coordinators, the Title IX Coordinator has discretion under this policy to implement or revoke an emergency removal and to determine the conditions and duration.  Violations of an emergency removal under this policy will be grounds for discipline, subject to the Student Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook, or Faculty Handbook.
    • There is no appeal process for emergency removal decisions.
    • Kalamazoo College will implement the least restrictive emergency actions possible in light of the circumstances and safety concerns.

Complaint Process

Kalamazoo College strives to uphold the values of fairness and equity in handling all matters of sexual harassment of any form. To this end, the following procedures will guide College’s response to all complaints, regardless of the status of the parties.

  1. Immediate action. Upon receiving a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will take appropriate immediate actions to protect the safety and well-being of the individuals involved in a complaint of sexual harassment.
  2. Formal complaint. A formal complaint means a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging a violation under this policy against a respondent and requesting that the College investigate the allegation. A formal complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information listed for the Title IX Coordinator. When a formal complaint is made, the College will follow the following steps regardless of the status of the respondent. After receiving the signed formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will:
    1. Notify the Respondent that a formal complaint has been made against them, including sufficient details known at the time and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview. Sufficient details include the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known, the conduct allegedly constituting a policy violation, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known. The written notice must include a statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process. The written notice must inform the parties that they may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, and may inspect and review evidence. The written notice must inform the parties of the College’s prohibition of knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.
    2. Provide a copy of the College’s Policy Against Harassment and include notice of individual rights to both parties;
    3. Conduct initial meetings with the Complainant and Respondent, during which both parties may have an advisor of their choice present;
    4. Ensure that all parties and witnesses acknowledge the expectation of confidentiality as outlined in this policy;
    5. Advise all parties and any witnesses that they may not retaliate against any party or any witness involved in a harassment complaint.
    6. Ensure that the Respondent is presumed not to have violated this policy until a final determination is made.
  3. Informal process. An informal complaint does not trigger the formal investigation process.
    1. When a student would like to engage in the informal resolution process, the Title IX Coordinator or Student Development office may be consulted to discuss available options and make a judgment about whether to make a formal complaint of harassment.
    2. Employees who believe they have been harassed or have witnessed harassment may consult with the Human Resources Director, Provost, or Title IX Coordinator, who will assist the individual in making a judgment about whether or not harassment has occurred and advise them regarding various ways to respond to the situation. In some cases, the individual may choose to communicate to the accused that the behavior is unwelcome and must stop. If the behavior continues, the employee should document it and immediately report it. The employee may also request that the Human Resources Director, Provost, or Title IX Coordinator speak with the accused and communicate the request that the behavior stop. Alternatively, the employee may request a mediated discussion with the accused (except in cases of sexual misconduct). If both the employee and the Respondent agree, mediation will be arranged.
  4. Timing of report.  All individuals are encouraged to report all violations of this policy as soon as possible in order to maximize the College’s ability to respond promptly and effectively. The College does not, however, limit the time frame for reporting. If the Respondent is not a member of the K community at the time of reporting, the College will still seek to meet its Title IX obligations by providing reasonably available support for a Complainant, but its ability to investigate or take action may be limited. The College will, however, assist a Complainant in identifying external reporting options if desired.
  5. The complaint process for students is subject to the Student Code of Conduct.
  6. The complaint process for employees is subject to the Faculty Handbook or Employee Handbook, depending on the status of the employee.

Investigation and Hearing Process

If, after an initial assessment, the formal complaint is referred for a formal investigation, Kalamazoo College will begin the investigation process. The College will provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution to all complaints of harassment. Investigations are conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking as well as how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of complainants and promotes accountability. Investigation and resolution procedures are intended to protect the rights of both the complainant and accused, to protect privacy, and prevent retaliation. Procedures in this section apply regardless of the status of the Complainant and Respondent, but are still subject to the specific, relevant portions of the Student Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook, Faculty Handbook.

  1. Notice. The accused will be informed of the name of the complainant as well as the substance of the complaint. Both the complainant and accused will be simultaneously informed, in writing, of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding that arises from an allegation of harassment.
  2. Timeliness. The investigation process will be completed in as timely a manner as reasonably possible. Regular communication with both complainant and accused regarding the status of the complaint investigation and resolution will occur throughout the process.
  3. Investigation process. Investigations into violations of this policy will be conducted by the Title IX Investigators, who will meet as soon as reasonably possible with the Complainant, the Respondent, and, if appropriate, with any witnesses to clarify what incidents occurred and what views each holds. Investigators may meet with other individuals who may have information relevant to the complaint. The Complainant and Respondent may both present evidence to the investigators. The College has the burden of collecting all evidence that may be relevant to making a policy violation determination; this is not the burden of the parties. Additionally, the College will not prevent a party from obtaining relevant evidence.
    1. After interviewing each party and witness, the investigators shall compile a preliminary written report including all evidence obtained. All parties will be provided with a copy of the preliminary report for review.
    2. Parties shall have ten business days to review the preliminary report and submit to the Title IX Investigators or Coordinator any additional comments, evidence, or additional questions for witnesses. Relevant supplementary information will be included into a final written investigation report.
    3. The final written report and findings of fact will be provided to all parties and advisors. Parties have an additional ten business days to make any comments to the final investigation report.
    4. After this review period, the report is finalized to incorporate all relevant comments or information.  The report is then sent to the Title IX Coordinator.
    5. The Title IX Coordinator ensures that all parties have had equal access to the report before the report is sent to the members of the hearing panel for review prior to a hearing.
    6. At the conclusion of an investigation, the findings are shared with all parties and advisors. If the Respondent is a faculty member, the findings will be communicated to the Provost; if the Respondent is a staff member, findings will be shared with the appropriate Senior Officer of the College.
  4. Hearing process. All parties have the right to a live hearing and the ability to ask questions and cross-examine parties and witnesses through their advisor of choice. Hearings will be conducted by neutral members of the Conduct Hearing Panel who are trained in the Title IX process and are not involved in any other portion of the process.
    1. If a party does not wish to be present with another party during a hearing, accommodations shall be made by the College to ensure that parties and witnesses can still be seen and heard by all members of the hearing panel and advisors.
    2. When necessary, technology can be used to allow a party to appear virtually during a hearing. The College will take steps to ensure that all parties, advisors, witnesses, and hearing panel members can access adequate technology to accomplish the goals of the hearing.
    3. All hearing panel members will be trained in the use of technology required to conduct a hearing virtually, when necessary.
    4. The hearing panel members will be responsible for ensuring that only relevant questions may be asked throughout the course of the hearing. Questions that are deemed irrelevant must be excluded from the record. The hearing panel chair must state the basis for exclusion on the record.
      1. Questions about a party’s sexual history is never relevant, barring the exceptions set out in 34 CFR § 106.45(b).
    5. Upon concluding the questioning and cross-examination of all parties and witnesses, the hearing panel will convene to make a determination of responsibility for violating this policy and appropriate sanctions. Parties, advisors, and witnesses are not permitted during this meeting.
    6. A final determination will be put in writing and submitted to the Title IX Coordinator. This determination will be shared to all parties and advisors concurrently.
    7. If a determination of responsibility is made, the Respondent will be referred to either the Dean of Students, Human Resources, or the Provost.
    8. It is the duty of the Title IX Coordinator to ensure the completion of all sanctions or disciplinary measures.
  1. Advisors. The Complainant and the Respondent are entitled to the same opportunities to have an advisor present during any meeting, interview, and institutional disciplinary proceeding or appeal proceeding.
    1. Advisors may be any individual chosen by a party, not limited to members of the K community.
    2. Advisors are responsible for conducting any questioning and cross-examination of parties or witnesses that occurs during the course of any hearing. Cross- examination may not be done by parties themselves.
    3. If a party does not have an advisor, the College shall appoint an advisor at no cost to the party.
    4. The College reserves the right to limit the nature of participation of advisors if such participation violates any policy of the College or to protect the rights of individuals involved in the hearing process.
  2. Standard of evidence. Kalamazoo College uses the preponderance of the evidence standard to determine whether harassment has occurred, irrespective of the status of the Complainant or Respondent.
  3. Harassment Review Board. The President of the College appoints a standing Harassment Review Board (HRB) to respond to complaints of harassment from employees. The HRB emphasizes mediation and conciliation, and relies on discreet inquiry and confidentiality in addressing complaints. All members of the College community are expected to cooperate fully with the HRB.
    1. The HRB is composed of the following members:
      • Human Resources Director (Chair)
      • Dean of Students
      • An Associate Dean of Students
      • Two faculty members
      • One additional staff member
    2. HRB appointments are guided by considerations of continuity; experience; sensitivity to the concerns of students, faculty and staff; ability to be objective and unbiased; and commitment to maintain confidentiality. Faculty members are nominated by the Provost based upon recommendations from the Faculty Executive Committee. Staff members are appointed by the President, based upon recommendations from the Community Council, the current HRB, the President’s Staff or any members of the College community. Membership on the HRB endeavors to be gender-balanced and members serve staggered three year terms. Initial appointments and later appointments as needed may be made for one, two and three-year terms to assure a regular annual rotation.
    3. The Human Resources Director serves as Chair of the HRB, acts as convener, facilitates administrative operations, participates in investigations, and equitably assigns to HRB members responsibilities for HRB activities. In the absence of the Human Resources Director, the President may assign the Provost, Dean of Students, or another designee to serve as Alternate Chair.
    4. Investigations referred to the HRB are conducted by the Chair of the HRB and two members of the HRB assigned by the chair. If the accused is a staff member, the investigators will include at least one staff member, and if the accused is a faculty member, the investigators will include at least one faculty member. In assigning investigators, consideration will be given to gender balance and the nature of the complaint. At least one investigator should be the same or superior rank as the accused. If there is a compelling reason, the Chair may, in consultation with the President, assign an investigator who is not a member of the current HRB.
    5. If the HRB recommends mediation and both complainant and accused agree, mediation will be arranged. Mediation does not preclude disciplinary action. The complainant may end mediation at any time. Mediation is not used in cases of sexual misconduct.
    6. When the Respondent is an employee, investigations may be conducted by either the Human Resources Director independently, or by the Harassment Review Board. Typically, investigations are conducted independently by the Human Resources Director. The Human Resources Director may decide to refer a complaint to the Harassment Review Board. The investigation will be fair and the proceedings will be conducted by officials who receive annual training including but not limited to issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.
    7. If the Human Resources Director has referred the complaint to the HRB, the HRB investigators will report their findings to the HRB. If the investigators have determined the accusation is invalid, and the HRB concurs, the Chair will communicate this determination to the complainant and the accused. If the investigators determine that harassment has occurred, and the HRB concurs, the Chair will report this to the complainant, the accused, the supervisor of the accused, and any other appropriate individuals. If the accused is a faculty member, the Chair communicates the findings to the Provost; if the accused is a staff member, to the appropriate Senior Officer of the College.

Suspension and Disciplinary Actions

  1. Suspension Pending Investigation. The College reserves the right to suspend employees or students if it deems it to be appropriate while an investigation is occurring. The College reserves the right to take necessary measures in order to protect employee and student rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing, and reporting the matter to the police. The College will consider the concerns and rights of both the Complainant and Respondent, and such actions will be taken pursuant to the Student Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook, or Faculty Handbook, depending on the status of the Respondent.
  2. Determination of disciplinary action.
    1. For Students: If the Respondent is a student, disciplinary action will be determined according to the student conduct process.
    2. For Faculty and Staff: If the Respondent is an employee, the Human Resources Director or the HRB may recommend possible resolutions, but College administration (President and Senior Officers) reserves the right to make the final decision regarding appropriate corrective, disciplinary action. Actions may include, but are not limited to, reporting the matter to the police, required counseling, required education, verbal or written reprimand or warning, probation, removal of privileges, removal from the residential system, leave of absence without pay, suspension or termination of employment. A decision to suspend or dismiss a faculty member is subject to the procedures for Termination of Appointment prescribed in the Faculty Plan of Employment. Sanctions will be reasonably calculated to end the harassment and avoid its repetition.


Any party involved in a proceeding governed by the Title IX process may appeal a final determination or a sanction or disciplinary action. Additional grounds for appeal may include procedural error during the investigative or hearing process.

  1. Students wishing to appeal a decision should refer to the processes contained in the Student Code of Conduct.
  2. Employees may appeal in writing to the President within seven business days of receipt of the written decision and must specify the grounds for the appeal. A business day is a day the College is open for regular business, including academic break days. Either the complainant or the accused may appeal. The President decides whether an appeal will be heard. The decision will be based on whether the person seeking the appeal has come forward with new evidence or has alleged a failure of appropriate process. Without new evidence or a legitimate claim of failure of appropriate process, appeals will not be heard.
    1. The President will assign an Appeal Board consisting of three members:
      1. The President or their designate, and
      2. Two faculty members, two administrative staff members, or two support staff members, depending on what accurately reflects the employment status of the appellant.
    2. Both the Complainant and Respondent will be simultaneously informed, in writing, of:
      1. The disciplinary action,
      2. The College’s procedures to appeal the results of the institutional disciplinary proceeding, and
      3. Any change in disciplinary action as a result of the appeal, and when the disciplinary decision becomes final.

Regulations revision effective date: 14 August 2020
Approved by President Jorge Gonzalez: 14 August 2020

Printed copy of this policy may be requested by contacting the Title IX Coordinator.