Sometimes a student may wish to report an incident of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking without pursuing disciplinary or legal action. The College will seek to respect the wishes of the student when possible, recognizing that the College has a legal obligation to review all reports of sexual misconduct. Even if a student does not want to proceed, the College may need to proceed nonetheless. Depending on the circumstances such as the severity of the event, the respective ages and roles of the parties, whether there have been prior complaints against the accused, and right of the accused to be informed of the allegations against him/her, the College may determine it is necessary to proceed with a disciplinary response or implement other appropriate remedies. In such cases, the College will notify the Complainant. For more information, please carefully review the Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct Policy in the Student Handbook.
Students are urged to keep in mind that reporting acts of sexual violence, dating or domestic violence and stalking can help prevent future similar acts.
Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an act of sexual harassment or other forms of misconduct (e.g., dating or domestic violence or stalking). An individual may report the incident without disclosing his / her name, identifying the Respondent or requesting any action. Depending on the level of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, however, the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited.
Anonymous reports may be made during the regular academic year to the Campus Assault Resources and Empowerment (CARE) 24-hour telephone hotline: 925-878-9207. This campus based service allows anyone to report suspected misconduct or other issues with complete confidentiality. This service allows the person making the report and College administrators to confer about additional details, while the reporting party’s identity remains anonymous. Members of the CARE Team are trained to assist students by providing information and discussing available resources and options (medical, legal, emotional, and academic), by making referrals and providing access to appropriate College and community services as needed. Team members do not act as counselors. All reports will go to the Title IX Coordinator.
Where reports of sexual harassment, violence, stalking or other similar misconduct has been reported, the College will make reasonable efforts to preserve the privacy of the Complainant (or reporting party) to protect the confidentiality of his or her information. The degree to which confidentiality can be protected, however, will often depend upon the professional role of the person being consulted: Clergy, (when acting in the capacity of performing penitential services) or sexual assault victim counselors may keep the confidentiality of statements made to them in such roles. For additional information, see the Confidential Resources section of the Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct Policy in the Student Handbook.
Complaint and Reporting Procedures
The Assistant Vice President of Human Resources is responsible for overseeing Saint Mary’s compliance with the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, and Harassment (Including
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence), and Retaliation and will determine the appropriate next step for investigation and resolution. All members of the Saint Mary’s community must cooperate fully with the Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Deputy(s) in the fulfillment of her/his responsibilities. Please see the Reporting Procedures and Resources section under this Policy in the Student Handbook for additional details.
In addition, individuals who believe they have experienced discrimination, harassment, including sexual harassment or sexual assault, based on the protected characteristics listed above and/or retaliation are also free to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and/or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing to pursue external legal remedies.
Investigation and Corrective Action
The College will investigate every reported complaint of unlawful discrimination or harassment. The investigation will be conducted in a thorough, prompt and professional manner.
If the conclusion of the investigation is that unlawful discrimination or harassment occurred, the College will initiate corrective action, as appropriate under the circumstances. For employees, the corrective action may range from verbal warnings up to and including termination from employment. For students, the corrective action will be imposed in a manner consistent with the College's Student Code or other applicable procedures. If the individual found to have engaged in unlawful discrimination or harassment is not an employee or student of the College, corrective action within the reasonable control of the College, and as appropriate under the circumstances, will be initiated. If termination of a faculty member is contemplated, the applicable rules governing dismissal for unfitness will be followed.
The employee or student who raised the complaint will be advised of the results of the investigation, unless doing so is prohibited by FERPA or other applicable law. Similarly, an employee or student who is accused of the unlawful discrimination or harassment will be advised of the results of the investigation.
Intentionally False Reporting
Discriminatory activity and harassment, and particularly sexual harassment or assault, often is not witnessed by others, and reports of such activity cannot always be substantiated by additional evidence. Lack of any such additional evidence should not discourage an individual from reporting any incident in violation of this policy. However, individuals who make reports that are later found to have been intentionally false or made maliciously, without regard for truth, may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.
The College advises Complainants that they can also pursue criminal action for incidents of sexual harassment or misconduct that may also be crimes under the law. In every case of sexual violence, the College, through the Director of Public Safety of the College, will notify the Moraga Police Department of the allegations. The College will provide a Complainant information concerning how to make a criminal report. In the event that law enforcement agencies pursue the complaint, the College will cooperate to the extent permitted by law.
Upon receipt of a report, the College will provide interim support and reasonable protective measures to provide a safe educational and work environment. The College will determine the necessity and scope of any interim measures keeping in mind both the Complainant’s and Respondent’s respective positions. Even when a Complainant or Respondent does not specifically request that protective action be taken, the College may choose to impose interim measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of any individual, the broader College community or the integrity of the review process. The range of interim measures may include no contact directives, changes in class or work schedules, changes in living, interim suspension or other measures as necessary.
Students seeking such assistance should speak with the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students, who will coordinate such requests on the behalf of the student. The College will maintain contact with the parties to ensure that all safety, emotional, and physical well-being concerns are being addressed.
Prohibition Against Retaliation
It is a violation of College policy to retaliate in any way against an individual or a group because the individual or group of individuals reported an allegation of sexual harassment or misconduct. The College recognizes that retaliation can take many forms, may be committed by an individual or a group against an individual or a group, and that a Respondent can also be the subject of retaliation by the Complainant or a third party. The College will take immediate and responsive action to any report of retaliation and may pursue disciplinary action as appropriate.
All individuals participating in the student discipline process, including but not limited to making an initial report or complaint, are expected to tell the truth in all disciplinary matters. In order to ensure this is possible, individuals participating in student discipline hearings regarding an alleged violation of the Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct Policy will not be charged and held responsible for minor violations of the Code or other College policy. However, if there is a concern about a student’s safety and/or use of alcohol and other drugs, the College may recommend counseling or other educational resources to the affected student.
Reports Involving Minors
Saint Mary’s College is committed to the prevention of child abuse and encourages reporting of suspected child abuse by all members of the Saint Mary’s community. Saint Mary’s students, staff or faculty may interact with minors on campus or through programs in the community sponsored by the College. Under California law, an employee or administrator of the College, whose duties bring the administrator or employee into contact children on a regular basis or supervises those whose duties bring the administrator or employee into contact with children on a regular basis, as to child abuse or neglect occurring on that institution’s premises or at an official activity of, or program conducted by, the institution are considered mandatory reporters. In addition, other mandatory reporters on campus include, but are not limited to any athletic coach, assistant coach or a graduate assistant coach, physicians, counselors and any priest, minister, religious practitioner or any member of a recognized religious denomination or organization, including any custodian of records for them. This means that College employees must report if there is reasonable cause to believe that a child (under 18 years of age) is suffering physical or emotional injury resulting from abuse, including sexual abuse, which causes harm or substantial risk of harm to the child’s health or welfare. Reasonable cause to believe that a child is suffering harm or substantial risk of harm may be based on information shared with the employee by the child or any other individual; or the employee’s own observations or knowledge.
Child abuse includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect. Child abuse may be committed by any individual, including an employee, volunteer, parent, caregiver or other party in the child’s life. The duty to report exists regardless of the specific role the suspected offender occupies in the child’s life. The duty to report is triggered by reasonable suspicion or belief. There is no requirement that an employee has actual evidence of abuse, nor should an employee seek to investigate the matter himself/herself. For mandatory reporters, failure to report suspected child abuse is a crime and may constitute grounds for discipline, including termination.
All Saint Mary’s College employees are directed to bring all suspicions or beliefs to the immediate attention of the College’s Department of Public Safety or the Title IX Coordinator, who will then make the appropriate external report to the California Department of Children and Families or to local law enforcement. Any member of the Saint Mary’s College community may also make a direct report to any of these agencies. Children’s Protective Services for Contra Costa County can be reached at the following numbers: 925-646-1680 Central Contra Costa County, or 510-374-3324 West Contra Costa County.
The notification to DCF should be made immediately. For further information go to childsworld.ca.gov.
The College is required to document all reports of sexual misconduct, including but not limited to domestic and dating violence and stalking, to satisfy the College’s obligation to report statistics of crime on campus consistent with the Clery Act. No personally identifiable information about the Complainant will be shared for the purpose of maintaining these statistics. Identities and specific fact patterns will remain anonymous.
If a report of misconduct discloses an immediate threat to the College campus community, where timely notice must be given to protect the health or safety of the community, the College may not be able to maintain the same level of confidentiality. Immediately threatening circumstances include, but are not limited to, reported incidents of sexual misconduct that include the use of force, a weapon, or other circumstances that represent a serious and ongoing threat to the College students, faculty, administrators, staff, or visitors.