5.3.1 Prohibition of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Violence and Gender Based Discrimination

adopted: Feb-2010
last revised: Jan-2018

It is the policy of the College to provide an educational and employment environment free from all forms of Sexual Discrimination of employees, students and other individuals at any College facilities or in connection with any College activities. Retaliation for making a good faith complaint of sexual discrimination or for participating in a sexual discrimination investigation is also prohibited.

This policy applies to all Richland staff, students, and third party vendors. Several methods of reporting violations are available; the college’s Title IX coordinator shall serve as the first contact for filing a complaint; you may directly contact the coordinator, or fill out the Title IX Complaint Form available on the Richland website. Violations shall also be reported to campus security, Human Resources, or any responsible employee of the college; who are then mandated to report to the Title IX coordinator. Options are also available for students to anonymously report a violation and/or confidentially report a violation through several selected “Confidential Advisors”.

Upon notice of a violation the college will respond to the report with information and a list of available resources (within 12 hours).

External complaints shall be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Office of Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education.


  • Sexual discrimination:
    • Discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation or ender-related identity.
    • Sexual discrimination includes sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual violence.

  • Sexual harassment:
    • Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which denies or limits, on the basis of sex, gender identity or sexual orientation, a student’s ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services, or opportunities in the College’s programs or activities.
    • Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature when:
      • submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of employment or education, or
      • submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or education decisions affecting such individual, or
      • such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a reasonable individual’s work or learning performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.

  • Sexual misconduct: includes dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual violence, and sexually based stalking.

  • Sexual violence: Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent, due to the person’s age, use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent. Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse and sexual coercion.

  • Domestic violence: A violent misdemeanor or felony committed by the victim’s current or former spouse or intimate partner, current or former cohabitant, or by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common.

  • Dating violence: Violence committed by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was, such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.

  • Gender based discrimination: Discrimination based on a person’s gender or sex, including identity; transgender or sexual orientation.

  • Stalking: A course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his, or others’ safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

  • Consent: At a minimum, recognizes that:
    • consent is a freely given agreement to sexual activity,
    • a person's lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from the use or threat of force does not constitute consent,
    • a person's manner of dress does not constitute consent,
    • a person's consent to past sexual activity does not constitute consent to future sexual activity,
    • a person's consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity with another,
    • a person can withdraw consent at any time, and
    • a person cannot consent to sexual activity if that person is unable to understand the nature of the activity or give knowing consent due to circumstances, including without limitation the following:
      • The person is incapacitated due to the use of influence of alcohol or drugs;
      • The person is asleep or unconscious;
      • The person is underage; or
      • The person is incapacitated due to mental disability.

  • Confidential advisor: A person who is employed or contracted by the college to provide emergency and ongoing support to student survivors of sexual violence with the training, duties, and responsibilities described in Section 20 of the ILCS 155 Act.

Examples of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Discrimination and Sexual Violence and Misconduct:

  • A professor insists that a student have sex with him/her in exchange for a good grade. This is harassment regardless of whether the student accedes to the request.

  • A student repeatedly sends sexually oriented jokes around on an email list s/he created, even when asked to stop, causing one recipient to avoid the sender on campus.

  • A professor engages students in her class in discussions about their past sexual experiences, yet the conversation is not in any way germane to the subject matter of the class. She probes for explicit details, and demands that students answer her, though they are clearly uncomfortable and hesitant.

  • A student persistently criticizes, jokes about, and disparages another student because of that person’s gender, sexual orientation or gender related identity or knowingly permits other students to exhibit such behavior.

Other Gender Based Misconduct Offenses can include:

  • Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;

  • Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of sex or gender;

  • Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;

  • A student stalking another student.

These are examples only and not intended to be all inclusive.

Training and Prevention:

The safety and well-being of any individual who believes they have been subject to sexual discrimination will be first priority. These individuals will be provided information about appropriate college or local area resources, including law enforcement, legal services, medical services, counseling and victim advocacy/support.

The College will take interim actions necessary to protect victims of sexual discrimination and prevent retaliation pending the investigation. Interim actions may include changes in academic or work situations, orders directing the victim and alleged perpetrator to avoid contact with one another, or any other appropriate measures.

Confidential Counseling will be available for individuals who believe they have been a victim of sexual discrimination who wish to speak with someone confidentially and do not want to pursue an internal complaint. Individuals can contact any of the designated trained “Confidential Advisors” at the college.


To the extent possible, given the need to conduct a thorough investigation, the confidentiality of all participants in an investigation will be protected. A timely resolution of each complaint will be reached and communicated to the principal parties involved in the complaint. Information obtained during an investigation will be communicated only on a need-to-know basis. Requests not to investigate complaints cannot be honored. To further the College’s commitment to maintaining an atmosphere free from discrimination and harassment, all College employees and students are required to cooperate with investigations.


The College prohibits retaliation against a person that in good faith believes he or she has been subjected to an act of sexual discrimination or because he or she has in good faith made a charge, filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing regarding sexual discrimination.

Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment. If any employee or student believes that he or she has been retaliated against for exercising his or her rights under this policy, the employee or student should immediately report such conduct using the complaint procedure set forth. Employees and students are not required to approach the person who is exhibiting the alleged retaliatory behavior. A person engaging in retaliatory conduct shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge or dismissal.