Dear MGCCC Community,

On May 6, 2020, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued new regulations mandating how all colleges and universities must investigate and adjudicate sexual misconduct cases under Title IX, a federal statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in any federally funded education program or activity. MGCCC’s existing Title IX policies comply with the statute and with prior OCR guidance. However, MGCCC is required to amend its current policies to implement these new regulations.

Over the coming weeks, the college will be carefully reviewing the new regulations and determining how to implement the new requirements in a way that best preserves our current system’s fairness, thoroughness, and sensitivity to the needs of all parties and witnesses. The required implementation date of the new regulations is by August 14, 2020.

We will remain steadfast in our commitment to providing every member of our community a safe, inclusive, vibrant, nurturing, and welcoming environment free from discrimination and harassment. In adjudicating cases of sexual misconduct, we will remain equally steadfast in our commitment to protect the rights of all parties involved in complaints fairly and with sensitivity.

In the meantime, our existing Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures will remain in effect until the new regulations have been implemented.

Jocelyn Bays
Compliance Officer
Title IX Coordinator

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (gender) in any educational program or activity that receives federal funding. Jocelyn Bays (Jocelyn.bays@mgccc.edu) is the College’s Title IX Coordinator.

For more information about Title IX, see the Office of Civil Rights website.

MGCCC Sexual Misconduct Policy

As indicated in the MGCCC Sexual Misconduct Policy, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College fosters an environment of respect for the dignity and worth of all members of the college community, including students, faculty and staff, etc. The College is committed to maintaining an educational and work environment free of sexual misconduct: an environment where no member of its community shall engage in sexually harassing or sexually violent behavior toward another.

The term “sexual misconduct” describes a broad range of behavior that includes, but is not limited to:

  • Non-consensual sexual intercourse
  • Non-consensual sexual contact
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Sexual harassment
  • Dating/relationship violence; and
  • Stalking

Reporting

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College strongly encourages prompt reporting of sexual misconduct pursuant to the MGCCC Sexual Misconduct Policy. Reporting provides resources to victims and contributes to keeping the campus safe. Although victims can directly report sexual misconduct allegations to the College’s Title IX Coordinator, the College provides other reporting and disclosure options to students, faculty, and staff to address concerns related to sexual misconduct prohibited by Title IX and College policy. These options are detailed below and in the MGCCC Sexual Misconduct Policy and in the College’s Procedure for Reporting Sexual Misconduct Complaints.

Who to report a Title IX sexual misconduct compliant to?

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College encourages complainants of sexual violence to talk to somebody about what happened – so complainants can get the support they need, and so the College can respond appropriately. Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a complainant’s confidentiality. The College Statement on Privacy and Confidentiality is intended to make members of the college community aware of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available to them – so they can make informed choices about where to turn should they become a complainant of sexual violence. The College encourages complainants to talk to someone identified in one or more of these groups:

I. Disclosure to Responsible Employees

A “responsible employee” is a College employee who has the authority to address sexual violence, who has the duty to report incidents of sexual violence or other student misconduct, or who a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. When a complainant tells a responsible employee about an incident of sexual violence, the complainant has the right to expect the College to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably.

A responsible employee must report all relevant details about the alleged sexual violence shared by the complainant and that the College will need to determine what happened – including the names of the complainants and alleged perpetrator(s), any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the date, time and specific location of the alleged incident. To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling the College’s response to the report.

Before a complainant reveals any information to a responsible employee, the employee should ensure that the complainant understands the employee’s reporting obligations – and, if the complainant wants to maintain confidentiality, direct the complainant to confidential resources. With the exception of Enrollment Specialists, all other College employees are considered “responsible employees.”

What should employees do if a student approaches them with a sexual misconduct complaint?

  1. If a student approaches you with a sexual misconduct complaint before that student reveals any information of the incident, the employee should ensure that the student understands the employee’s reporting obligations, stated above, and if the student wants to maintain confidentiality direct the student to confidential resources (See sections II and III).
  2. If the student decides to not seek confidential resources have them provide the details of the incident. Write down their name, contact information, address, date of the incident, time of the incident, location of the incident, details of the incident, and respondent’s name. Have the student describe the impact the incident had on them and any actions they have taken and the outcome of those actions. Include any information that supports the complaint. Also gather supporting documents if any.
  3. As a “responsible employee” you’ll report the above information to the Campus Police.
  4. The Campus Police will then take the initial report and follow their reporting procedures.
  5. If the report falls under Title IX, Campus Police will notify their Dean of Business and the Title IX Coordinator.
  6. The Title IX Coordinator will arrange a meeting with the complainant and other individuals named in the complaint separately to discuss the nature of the complaint, inform all parties of their rights, explain the prohibition against retaliation, explain the process for investigating a complaint, and explain the availability of interim measures and campus resources (counseling, no contact order, switching classes, criminal charges, etc.).
  7. The Title IX Coordinator will investigate the complaint.
  8. At the conclusion of the investigation the Title IX Coordinator will report the findings to the Executive Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management.
  9. The Executive Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management will review the findings from the Title IX investigation and the following determinations could be made:
    1. More information is needed from the Title IX Coordinator in order to make a valid decision.
    2. It is concluded from the investigation there is a possible violation of the sexual misconduct policy and therefore a code of conduct hearing is valid.
    3. It is concluded from the investigation there is no violation of the sexual misconduct policy but there could be a violation to the student code of conduct.
  10. The Executive Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management will notify the campus Vice Presidents and Deans of a final determination and what steps should be taken.
II. Disclosure to Confidential Employees

Enrollment Specialists are individuals who work in the college’s Enrollment Services Centers can generally talk to a complainant without revealing any personal identifying information about an incident to the College. A complainant can seek assistance and support from these individuals without triggering a College investigation that could reveal the complainant’s identity or that the complainant has disclosed the incident. These employees are known as Confidential Employees.

While maintaining a complainant’s confidentiality, Enrollment Specialists should report the nature, date, time, and general location of an incident to Campus Police or the Title IX Coordinator. This limited report – which includes no information that would directly or indirectly identify the complainant – helps keep the Title IX Coordinator and/or Campus Police informed of the general extent and nature of sexual violence on and off campus so the coordinator can track patterns, evaluate the scope of the problem, and formulate appropriate campus-wide responses.

Before reporting any information to the Title IX Coordinator and/or Campus Police, Enrollment Specialists will consult with the complainant to ensure that no personally identifying details are shared with the Title IX Coordinator and/or Campus Police. A complainant who speaks to a confidential employee must understand that, if the complainant wants to maintain confidentiality, the College will be unable to conduct an investigation into the particular incident or pursue disciplinary action against the individuals involved.

What should confidential employees do if a student approaches them with a complaint?

  1. If a student approaches you with a sexual misconduct complaint before that student reveals any information the employee should ensure that the student understands the employee’s reporting obligations.
  2. Write down their name, contact information, address, date of the incident, time of the incident, location of the incident, details of the incident, perpetrator’s name, title, etc., have the student describe the impact the incident had on them, and any actions they have taken and the outcome. Include any information that supports the complaint. Also gather supporting documents if any.
  3. As a “confidential employee” you’ll only report the nature of the incident, date, time and general location of the incident to Campus Police. The confidential employee will consult with the claimant to ensure that no personal identifying details are shared with the Title IX Coordinator and Campus Police.
  4. Campus Police will then take the limited report and follow their reporting procedures.
  5. Campus Police will notify their Dean of Business and the Title IX Coordinator.
  6. The Title IX Coordinator along with Campus Police will use the information to track patterns, evaluate the scope of the problem, and formulate appropriate actions.
III. Disclosure to Privileged Employees

Professional, licensed counselors in the College’s Enrollment Services Centers who provide mental-health counseling to members of the school community are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX coordinator, Campus Police, or Dean of Student Services without a complainant‘s permission. These employees are known as Privileged Employees. While these professionals may maintain a complainant’s confidentiality from the college, they may have reporting or other obligations under state law.

Resources

Review the Contacts and Resources page for a list of available resources.

Retaliation

The College prohibits retaliation against anyone who reports or witnesses an incident of possible sexual misconduct. Employees or students who engage in retaliation will face disciplinary action up to and including separation from The College.

Title IX Reporting Requirements

Employees designated as Campus Security Authorities must report possible sexual misconduct to the College Police. For additional information, please contact the Title IX Coordinator, Jocelyn Bays, (jocelyn.bays@mgccc.edu) or the Dean of Student Services on the campus convenient to you.

Other Civil Rights Complaints

For all other civil rights complaints, please review the EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY (EEO) PROCEDURES.