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The following administrative procedures pertain to the Clark State Community College policy on sexual discrimination and Title IX approved by the board of trustees. These procedures apply to sex discrimination complaints filed by Clark State Community College students or employees against other College employees, students or third parties. They are meant to assist employees and students in understanding their rights and responsibilities under the current policy.

Title IX and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 106, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

Title IX protects students, employees and third parties with a relationship to the College, whether on or off campus. This includes:

  • Clark State students, faculty, staff and interns
  • Applicants for employment or educational training
  • High school students participating in programs at Clark State
  • Visiting student athletes
  • Campus visitors

Definitions
Due to the sensitive and sometimes violent nature of incidents involving sexual misconduct, the following definitions are provided for informational use by students and for guidance in the investigation and processing of alleged violations. It is possible that a particular action may constitute sexual misconduct even if not specifically mentioned in these examples.

Stalking - Stalking involves repeatedly following, harassing, threatening or intimidating another by telephone, mail, electronic communication, social media or any other action, device or method that purposely or knowingly causes substantial emotional distress or reasonable fear of bodily injury or death. (Examples of stalking include but are not limited to: monitoring an individual's phone calls, reading a person's mail, following a person outside the home, breaking into a person's home, stealing a person's belongings, calling, texting, emailing, mailing a person repeatedly at home or work, repeated, uninvited appearances at a place of work or residence.) 

Rape - Although the legal definition of rape varies from state to state, rape is generally defined as forced or non-consensual sexual contact. 

Intimate Partner Violence - A pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partners. IPV includes wide-ranging coercive behaviors, some physically injurious, all psychologically damaging. IPV can occur in any relationship, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Some behaviors are chargeable as crimes in most states (e.g., physical assault, sexual assault, menacing, arson, kidnapping, harassment), while other battering episodes are not illegal (e.g., name-calling, interrogating children, denying access to the family automobile, control of financial resources). While intervening professionals may try to make sense of one specific incident that resulted in an injury, the complainant is typically dealing with that incident in the context of a pattern of both obvious and subtle coercion. IPV also includes acts that may represent first-time perpetration and/or victimization. IPV is another term for “domestic violence” or “dating violence” that is often considered more inclusive of LGBTQI+ relationships. 

Sexual Assault - Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact. This includes rape, acquaintance rape, incest, forced sodomy, unwanted fondling and kissing, assault with an object and verbal threats.

Sexual Misconduct - Sexual misconduct is a broad term used to encompass a range of behaviors including sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape and sexual exploitation. Terms that are also used culturally include date rape, acquaintance rape or intimate partner violence. Sexual misconduct can occur between individuals who know each other, have an established relationship, have previously engaged in consensual sexual activity and between individuals who do not know each other. Sexual misconduct can be committed by persons of any gender identity, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex. 

Coercion - Coercion is the use of pressure to compel another individual to initiate or continue sexual activity against an individual’s will. Coercion can include a wide range of behaviors, including intimidation, manipulation, threats and blackmail. A person’s words or conduct are sufficient to constitute coercion if they wrongfully impair another individual’s freedom of will and ability to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity. Examples of coercion include threatening to “out” someone based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression and threatening to harm oneself if the other party does not engage in the sexual activity.

Romantic/Dating Relationships
The College’s educational mission is promoted by professionalism in faculty-student relationships. Professionalism is fostered by an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Actions of faculty members and students that harm this atmosphere undermine professionalism and hinder fulfillment of the College’s educational mission. Trust and respect are diminished when those in positions of authority abuse, or appear to abuse, their power.

Faculty members exercise professional responsibility and power over students. This faculty-over-student power is manifested primarily in the instructional context, which includes course work, advisorships, student evaluation, recommendations and similar processes.

Romantic/dating relationships between faculty members and students are wrong and unacceptable when the faculty member has professional responsibility for the student. Such situations greatly increase the chances that the faculty member will abuse his or her power and sexually exploit the student. Voluntary consent by the student in such a relationship is suspect given the fundamentally asymmetric nature of the relationship. Moreover, other students and faculty may be affected by such unprofessional behavior because it places the faculty member in a position to favor or advance one student’s interest at the expense of others and implicitly makes obtaining benefits contingent on amorous or sexual favors.

Therefore, the College will view it as unethical and unacceptable if faculty members engage in romantic/dating relationships (consensual or otherwise) with students enrolled in their classes or subject to their supervision even when both parties appear to have consented to the relationship. Romantic/dating relationships outside the instructional context, while not specifically prohibited, are discouraged, and are very unwise.

Complaint Process
All incidents of sexual harassment should be reported to enable the College to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. In order to enable the College to respond effectively and to stop instances of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct, all College employees must, within 24 hours of receiving the information, report information they have about alleged or possible sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator (hereafter collectively referred to as “Title IX Coordinator”).

Complaints of sexual harassment should be made to the Title IX Coordinator. There are several avenues available for submitting a complaint: the complainant can (1) leave a private voice message for the Title IX Coordinator; (2) send a private email to the Title IX Coordinator; (3) submit a letter to the Title IX Coordinator; or (4) make the complaint in person to the Title IX Coordinator.

Minor Complainants - The College will follow all laws regarding minors who are complainants or respondents in matters of sexual misconduct. At Clark State, minors have privacy rights pursuant to FERPA; therefore, information is not disclosed to parents or guardians unless the student has signed a release of information or the information falls under an exception to FERPA. In the case of minor students involved with College Credit Plus, the College will work with high school officials as appropriate to address incidents of sexual misconduct. 

The Title IX Coordinator will provide for the prompt, thorough, reliable, and impartial investigation of all complaints and will afford a prompt and appropriate resolution. Once a complaint of sex discrimination is made, an investigation of the report shall be pursued within seven (7) calendar days. The Clark State Title IX Coordinators are:

Title IX Coordinator: Marvin Nephew, Chief Human Resources Officer
Brinkman Educational Center 412 | 937.328.6125

Title IX Deputy Coordinator: Ron Gordon, Dean, Student Support Services
Rhodes Hall 115 | 937.328.6095

Title IX Deputy Coordinator: Nina Wiley, Dean, Enrollment Services
Sara T. Landess Technology and Learning Center 115 | 937.328.7936

Title IX Deputy Coordinator: Laura Whetstone, Human Resources Manager
Brinkman Educational Center 414 | 937.328.7958

Title IX Deputy Coordinator: Natalie Johnson, Director Academic Affairs
Greene Center 109| 937.429.8926

To ensure a prompt and thorough investigation, the complainant should provide as much of the following information as possible:

  • The name, department, and position of the person or persons allegedly causing the sex discrimination (which includes: sexual misconduct, sexual violence, and harassment) or retaliation.
  • A description of the incident(s), including the date(s), location(s), and the presence of any witnesses, or potential witnesses.
  • Any steps the complainant has taken to try to stop the sex discrimination or retaliation.
  • Any other information the complainant believes to be relevant to the sex discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Investigation
An investigation into the report shall be conducted by the Title IX Coordinator. The investigation shall be concluded as quickly as possible, typically within twenty (20) calendar days of receipt of the complaint or within a reasonable amount of time required to complete the investigation. The investigation will be conducted in a manner so that it is adequate, reliable, impartial, and confidential to the extent possible.

The College will provide the alleged perpetrator with notice of the allegations as well as an opportunity to be heard concerning the allegations.

The investigation may include interviews of the parties involved, including witnesses, potential witnesses, and the gathering of other relevant information.

Both parties to the complaint will be afforded an equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other evidence.

The College will take interim measures as necessary to prevent the Complainant from being subjected to discrimination or harassment during the investigative process. The College will take steps to ensure that any interim measures taken do not adversely affect the Complainant. These protections or remedies may include separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, or suspension. Failure to comply with the terms of interim protections may be considered a separate violation of the code of student conduct or applicable College policy.

The Title IX Coordinator will use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard (i.e., it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred) to determine whether unlawful sex discrimination has occurred. This means that individuals are presumed not to have engaged in alleged conduct unless a “preponderance of the evidence” supports a finding that the conduct has occurred. This “preponderance of the evidence” standard requires that the evidence supporting each finding be more convincing than the evidence in opposition to it.

Consent
In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age (in Ohio, age 16, or 18 if the offender is four or more years older than the reporting party).

Confidentiality
The Title IX coordinator will seek to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the individuals involved in any report of alleged sexual misconduct or relationship violence to the extent possible and allowed by law. The Title IX coordinator cannot guarantee confidentiality, however, and must evaluate any request for confidentiality in the context of Clark State's responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment.

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse
All Clark State employees, including confidential resources, are required to immediately report any knowledge or reasonable suspicion that a minor (someone under 18 years of age) is experiencing abuse or neglect based on information shared by the minor, any other individual, or one's own observations or knowledge. Any employee suspecting abuse or neglect is required to bring all suspicions to the immediate attention of a Title IX Coordinator. In addition to notifying the Title IX Coordinator, Clark State must make a direct report to the appropriate authorities in any case of suspected child abuse. Associates of Clark State who are not employed are strongly encouraged to report any knowledge or reasonable suspicion of child abuse to law enforcement. 

Notification
A resolution shall be determined at the conclusion of the investigation. The title IX coordinator will create a written report describing the findings. The title IX coordinator will make every effort to complete the investigation within sixty (60) calendar days of receipt of the complaint. Both parties will concurrently receive written notification of the outcome within seven (7) calendar days of the completion of the report. This period may be extended in the event a longer period of time is necessary in order to thoroughly investigate a complaint.

The dean of student support services is charged with imposing sanctions/corrective actions on students who are found to have violated the policy. Sanctions may include suspension, expulsion, probation, a warning, or any other sanction set forth in the code of student conduct. The director of human resources is charged with imposing sanctions/corrective actions on employees who are found to have violated the policy.

Appeal
Parties to the complaint may appeal the findings of the investigation. Appeals must be made in writing and submitted to the title IX coordinator within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of the written notification of the resolution of the investigation. All grounds for appeal shall be based on the emergence of new evidence that was previously unavailable, or based on the grounds that some aspect of this policy or procedure was not adequately followed. All appeals will be conducted in an impartial manner.

Appeals involving students will be conducted by the vice president of student Affairs and greene center operations. Appeals involving employees and/or third parties will be conducted by the vice president of business affairs. The vice president of student affairs and greene center operations and/or vice president of business affairs shall provide written notification of the outcome of the appeal within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the notice of appeal.

Objections concerning the outcome of the appeal, if any, must be submitted in writing to the President within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the written notification of the outcome of the appeal. If written objections are timely submitted, the President shall, within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the written objections, review the findings as well as the objections to the investigation and provide a written notification of the President’s decision.

The decision of the President is final.

The College shall take reasonable steps to prevent the recurrence of sex discrimination or retaliation in any form. If the reoccurrence takes place, those responsible for such behavior may be subject to disciplinary action under the code of student conduct, if the person is a student, or the sexual discrimination and title IX policy if the person is an employee or third party.

The College will take all necessary steps to remedy the discriminatory effects on the victim(s) and others.

Protection Against Retaliation
Clark State Community College shall not retaliate against an individual who makes a report of sexual harassment, nor permit any supervisor, manager, student, or employee to do so. Retaliation is a very serious violation of this policy and should be reported immediately. Any individual found to have retaliated against an individual for reporting sexual harassment or against anyone participating in the investigation of a complaint shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary procedures.

Clark State Community College has developed this policy to insure that all of its employees, students, supervisors, and managers can work in an environment free from sexual harassment. This policy shall be immediately disseminated to all employees, supervisors, managers and students. This policy shall be communicated to all new employees and students by the director of human resources and the vice president of student affairs, respectively. The human resources office will also develop a series of training sessions for persons who are likely to receive complaints that the college policy has been violated.

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