CVCC Operations Part 2
CVCC Policies of Catawba Valley Community College CVCC Operation Part 2
CVCC is committed to providing its students, faculty, and staff with an educational and work environment in which all people are treated with respect and dignity. CVCC maintains a strict policy prohibiting sexual harassment, discrimination, and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran or active military status, genetic characteristics, or any other category protected by law. This policy is applicable to all employees and students and applies to the workplace, the classroom, or in any other setting where students, faculty, and staff may find themselves in connection with their education or employment. Such conduct is unlawful and will not be tolerated by CVCC.
While this policy sets forth CVCC’s goal of promoting an educational and work environment that is free of harassment, it is not designed or intended to limit our authority to discipline or take remedial action for conduct which is deemed unacceptable, regardless of whether that conduct satisfies the legal definition of harassment.
In the employment context, sexual harassment refers to sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which when:
- submission to or rejection of such advances, requests, or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, or as a basis for employment decisions or ;
- such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or sexually offensive work environment.
Under these definitions, direct or implied requests by a supervisor for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job benefits, such as favorable reviews, salary increases, promotions, increased benefits, or continued employment constitutes sexual harassment.
Likewise, direct or implied requests for sexual favors by one who has the power or authority to influence a student’s academic record or to compromise one’s full and unfettered participation in the CVCC community, academically, and otherwise, constitutes harassment. Similarly, harassment consists of sexual advances, requests, or conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with one’s freedom by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or sexually offensive academic environment.
While in some cases individuals may make sexual comments or jokes or personal advances without intending harm, such actions can be unwanted, threatening, and perceived as harassment. Stopping sexual harassment in its many forms requires an increased awareness by everyone at the College of the impact that such actions may have on others. The following is a partial list of unwelcome, unwanted behavior, which may be considered sexual harassment:
- Unwelcome sexual advances or propositions – whether they involve physical touching or not;
- Written or verbal sexual epithets, jokes, or references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life;
- Written or verbal abuse of a sexual nature, use of sexually degrading, or vulgar words to describe an individual;
- Leering, whistling, brushing against another’s body, sexual gestures;
- The display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, posters, cartoons, websites, and any form of electronic communication;
- Comments about an individual's body or appearance, or regarding one's sex life, experience, sexual prowess, or sexual deficiencies;
- Asking questions about sexual conduct or probing in to one’s sex life or relationships; and
- Harassment consistently targeted at only one sex, even if the content of the verbal abuse is not of a sexual nature.
Discriminatory harassment in the employment context refers to any verbal or physical conduct that denigrates, threatens, intimidates, or shows hostility or aversion to an individual because of that person’s race, color, religion, gender, national, or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran or active military status, genetic characteristics when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive work environment.
Likewise, discriminatory harassment in the educational context refers to verbal or physical conduct of a similar nature directed at a student, which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with one’s freedom by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or sexually offensive academic environment.
The following is a partial list of unwelcome, unwanted behavior, which when based upon one’s race, color, religion, gender, national, or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran or active military status, or genetic characteristics, may be considered discriminatory harassment:
- Verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group;
- Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, or threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts;
- Written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group, including the display of objects, pictures, posters, cartoons, websites, and any form of electronic communication.
Unprofessional Relationships and Abuse of Authority
Amorous relationships that might be appropriate in other circumstances have inherent dangers when they occur between supervisor and employee, or between any member of the faculty, administration or staff, and students of the College. Such relationships are fundamentally asymmetric, and unprofessional and they raise serious concerns about the validity of the consent, conflict of interest, and unfair treatment of others.
CVCC faculty, administrators, managers, and officers should be aware that any romantic involvement with any student or employees over whom they serve in a supervisory capacity could expose them to disciplinary action under this policy and individual liability under the law. Even when both parties have initially consented to such a relationship, it is the administrator, manager, or faculty member who, by virtue of his or her status, may be held accountable for the unprofessional relationship or abuse of authority. In addition, such relationships are to be avoided because they may create an impression on the part of colleagues of inappropriate or inequitable academic or professional advantage or favoritism that is destructive to the working and learning environment that the College seeks to foster and may raise doubts about the integrity of the work performed.
Reporting A Complaint of Harassment or Discrimination
Employees who believe that they are being harassed or discriminated against, or have taken measure to stop the harassment or discrimination but have been unsuccessful, may report a complaint to any of the following persons:
- The employee’s immediate supervisor;
- Any CVCC administrator;
- CVCC’s personnel office; or
- The CVCC President.
Students who believe that they are being sexually harassed, or who have taken measures to stop the harassment but have been unsuccessful, may report a complaint with any to the following College representatives:
- The Chief Student Services Officer;
- Any Dean;
- Any Vice President; or
- The CVCC President.
If individuals decide they want to make a report, contact should be made with the CVCC representative (in list above) with whom they feel the most comfortable. As with any job-related or student complaint, CVCC encourages following the chain of command where possible. However, due to the personal nature of harassment and discrimination and CVCC’s strong opposition to sexual harassment, any employee/student who feels he or she is being subject to l harassment or discrimination can complain to any one of the persons listed previously, orally or in writing.
When making a complaint of harassment or discrimination, the employee/student should be prepared to provide the following information:
- The name of the person or persons committing the harassment or discrimination;
- The specific nature of the harassment or discrimination; or
- Whether the employee/student has previously reported such harassment or discrimination and, if so, when and to whom.
The appropriate Vice President is the person designated by the President to be investigator of complaints of harassment or discrimination which involve only employees. The Vice President may delegate the investigation to another College employee, under his or her supervision. In the event the harassment or discrimination complaint is against the Vice President, the investigator shall be a CVCC employee appointed by the President.
The Chief Student Services Officer is the person designated by the President to be investigator of complaints of harassment or discrimination which involve students only or students and employees. The Chief Student Services Officer may delegate the investigation to another CVCC employee under his or her supervision. In the event the harassment or discrimination complaint is against the Chief Student Services Officer, the investigator shall be a CVCC employee appointed by the Vice President with primary responsibility for student services or the President.
The College’s complaint procedure provides for an immediate, thorough and objective investigation of the harassment or discrimination. All actions taken to investigate and resolve complaints through this process will be conducted in a matter that preserves confidentiality to the greatest extent possible under the circumstances, without compromising the thoroughness of the investigation. The investigation will be completed and a determination made and communicated to the person filing the harassment complaint as soon as practical.
If CVCC determines that a violation of this policy has occurred, it will take appropriate remedial action against a person found to have engaged in prohibited conduct. The discipline will be commensurate with the severity of the offense. Any person who is found to be in violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge from employment or expulsion.
Protection Against Retaliation
Retaliation is a very serious violation of this policy and should be reported immediately using the complaint process described above. Retaliation, whether by the alleged wrongdoer or other individuals, can take any of many forms. Retaliation is defined as any materially adverse action that might well have dissuaded a reasonable person from making or supporting a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Examples of tangible, adverse actions may include a transfer to an undesirable location, a reduction in work hours, a serious loss in responsibility, the denial of an earned benefit, or termination of employment.
Retaliation against any individual for reporting discrimination or harassment or against one who participates in an investigation will not be tolerated. In responding to reports of retaliation, the College will follow the same process, outlined above, including conducting a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation and taking appropriate remedial measures.
CVCC recognizes that the question of whether a particular course of conduct constitutes discrimination or harassment requires a factual determination. The College also recognizes that false accusations can have serious effects on innocent persons. If, after investigation, it is clear that a person who has accused another of discrimination or harassment has maliciously or recklessly made a false accusation, the accuser will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination or, in the case of a student, expulsion. In such an event, the College will also take appropriate action to restore the reputation of the accused.
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CVCC is committed to the maintenance of an environment that is supportive of its primary educational mission and free from all exploitation and intimidation. CVCC will not tolerate rape, sexual assault, or other forcible and non-forcible sex offenses and supports this policy for students, faculty and staff by sponsoring prevention, intervention and education programs specifically addressing these offenses. Information and awareness programs are offered at various times by way of a variety of events throughout the year. CVCC recognizes the importance of assisting individuals who are victims of sexual assault and helping them to regain a sense of personal control over their lives and decisions. The protocol for reporting of and responding to sex offenses is available on the CVCC website, in Student Services, and in the Personnel Office.
Definition of Sex Offenses:
- Sex Offenses (Forcible) – Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
- Forcible Rape – The carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (or because of youth).
- Forcible Sodomy – Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of youth or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- 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; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of youth or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Forcible Fondling – The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of youth or because of temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
- Sex Offenses (Non-forcible) - Unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse.
- Incest – Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
- Statutory Rape – Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
Technology resources include, but are not necessarily limited to, computers, software, networks, Internet access, telephones, voice mail, printers, scanners, copiers, and electronic (e-mail) services provided by CVCC. Technology resources also include CVCC web pages, social media sites sponsored by CVCC, and other online resources provided or sponsored by CVCC. This policy applies to all users of technology resources provided by CVCC. Compliance is critical to the security and integrity of technology resources and is mandatory.
CVCC is committed to moving students, faculty, and staff forward in an ever-changing technology rich learning environment. As part of this plan, CVCC will allow students and employees to bring their own mobile devices (BYOMD) during the teaching and learning day.
Use of technology resources shall be in compliance with local, state, and federal law. Use of technology resources shall comply with any contractual or professional obligations of CVCC. All users are responsible for using technology resources in an efficient, responsible, considerate, ethical, and lawful manner. Any information distributed by a user must accurately identify the creator, distributor, and recipient of that information.
The college relies on email to communicate officially with its employees and students asynchronously, and as such, it is required that all employees and students check their email in a timely manner and should use only official CVCC accounts when conducting any CVCC academic and/or operational communications.
Access to technology resources is a privilege rather than a right. Access may be withdrawn from those who use it inappropriately or irresponsibly. Users who violate any of the technology resource policies may be subject to disciplinary action and/or legal action.
Technology resources are to be used to fulfill CVCC’s mission. Acceptable uses by faculty and staff include:
- Use to complete the official work of the CVCC (including instruction and administration);
- Use directly related to academic research activities approved by CVCC;
- Use directly related to service on behalf of CVCC;
- Use directly related to professional development activities approved by CVCC; or
- Very limited non-commercial personal use as long as that use does not interfere with the work of the CVCC and does not create additional cost for CVCC.
Acceptable uses by students include:
- Use directly related to classes in which the student is officially enrolled;
- Use directly related to service activities approved by the College; or
- Very limited non-commercial personal use as long as that use does not interfere with the work of the CVCC and does not create additional cost for CVCC.
Technology resources may not be used for any purpose which is illegal, immoral, unethical, dishonest, damaging to the reputation of CVCC, inconsistent with the mission of CVCC, or which may subject CVCC to liability. Unacceptable uses of technology resources include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Libel or slander;
- Fraud or misrepresentation;
- Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the College or to others;
- Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications;
- Unauthorized access of electronically stored information;
- Infringement of copyrights, trademarks, or the rights of others;
- Use of the CVCC logo without prior approval from the Director of Community Relations for the CVCC;
- Violation of computer system security;
- Unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes (including passwords), or network identification numbers (including e-mail accounts) assigned to others;
- Unauthorized access to the CVCC’s information systems, Internet or other networked computers;
- Use of computer communications resources in ways that disrupt or impede the computing activities of others;
- Use of technology resources for commercial business purposes unrelated to CVCC, for personal profit, or for solicitation of resources for non-CVCC sponsored activities;
- Academic dishonesty;
- Violation of software license agreements;
- Violation of network usage policies and regulations;
- Violation of privacy;
- Posting, sending, or intentionally accessing pornographic, sexually explicit, or offensive material;
- Posting, sending, or intentionally accessing material that is contrary to the mission of CVCC;
- Intentional distribution of computer viruses, Trojan horses, timebombs, worms, or other rogue programming; or
- Use of electronic mail (e-mail) for chain letters, pyramid schemes, unsolicited mass mailings (spamming).
All installations, modifications, and/or repairs of technology resources must be authorized by the Executive Officer of Technology Services Chief Operations Officer or designees. Unauthorized resources are subject to seizure by CVCC. The usage of CVCC technology resources may be monitored as authorized by the Executive Officer of Technology Services Chief Operations Officer or designee. CVCC personnel or designees will generally not access the content of user files except as follows: a. The user gives prior consent; b. CVCC needs to ensure the security or operating performance of its systems or networks; c. There is reasonable concern that a violation of CVCC policy or law has occurred; d. CVCC is complying with a valid subpoena or search warrant issued by a court of competent jurisdiction; or e. Other reasons as determined necessary by the President. Therefore, CVCC does not does not guarantee privacy regarding the use of its technology resources. Any questions as to the appropriate use of technology resources should be directed to the Executive Officer of Technology Services Chief Operations Officer.
The President or designee shall establish guidelines and procedures for the use of social media sites sponsored by CVCC.