Policy FAQ

The following are frequently asked questions in regard to Title IX and related policies:

What does sexual assault mean? What is sexual misconduct?
Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual act that occurs without consent. Sexual Misconduct is a broad term covering a range of behaviors including sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

What conduct is prohibited by Title IX?
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender (sex). Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, sexual exploitation, sexual assault, relationship (dating or domestic) violence and stalking.

What is the purpose of Title IX as it relates to sexual misconduct?
The purpose of Title IX is to eliminate threatening or abusive behaviors, preventing the recurrence of these behaviors, and addressing their effects through support and resources. Title IX strives to create an equitable system for adjudicating cases and, ultimately, creating a community where sexual misconduct is non-existent, so that all community members can thrive.

What are the College’s responsibilities to address a Title IX related incident?
If the College knows or reasonably should know of possible sexual violence, Title IX requires the College to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred (subject to confidentiality considerations). If an investigation reveals that sexual misconduct created a hostile environment, the College must then take prompt and effective steps to end the sexual misconduct, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence and, as appropriate, remedy its effects.

To the extent of the person’s cooperation and consent, campus offices will work cooperatively to ensure that the person’s health, physical safety, and academic status are protected. Designated campus resource offices will provide information to the reporting party and will seek to prevent harassment from continuing and perhaps escalating and to otherwise assist the person harassed. Examples of accommodations (if appropriate and reasonably available) include no-contact orders, campus security escort services, non-retaliation notices, counseling, changes in class schedules, safety plans, disability student services, and training.

What should I do if I’ve been threatened with or experienced sexual violence, stalking, or sexual harassment?
If you have been threatened with, or experienced sexual violence, stalking, or sexual harassment, you are encouraged to contact the campus Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator can provide you with information on campus and community based resources; on-campus confidential resources; your rights to report (or not report) a criminal complaint; campus options for student conduct or administrative complaints; how confidentiality is handled; and other important information.

Who is Kapi‘olani Community College’s Title IX Coordinator?
Dr. Brenda Ivelisse
808-734-9522
kapvcsa@hawaii.edu

What are the Title IX Coordinator’s responsibilities?

  • Oversee the campuses response to Title IX reports and complaints and identify and address any patterns or systemic problems
  • Ensure that reports and complaints are handled through consistent practices that are equitable and reasonably prompt
  • Coordinate with other complaint offices so as to be informed of all complaints that raise Title IX issues throughout the campus
  • Maintain current knowledge and expertise on Title IX and related sex discrimination statutes and regulations

In addition to the above core responsibilities, Title IX Coordinators or deputies may have additional responsibilities such as:

  • Meet with complainants or persons who request information
  • Investigate Title IX complaints
  • Evaluate student requests for confidentiality in the context of the campus responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students
  • Provide training to students, faculty, and staff
  • Coordinate services with local advocacy and service providers
  • Coordinate with campus security and local law enforcement

Can I request that my report remain confidential?
Kapi‘olani CC encourages survivors of sexual violence to talk to somebody about what happened – so you can get the support you need, and so the College can respond appropriately. Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a survivor’s confidentiality.

  • Certain employees on campus (and off campus) can offer confidentiality — providing support, advice and options without any obligation to tell anyone unless a student requests that they do so, or if there is an imminent threat of health or safety.
  • As required by federal law, most College employees who become aware of an incident of sexual misconduct must notify the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is charged with investigating and responding to allegations of sexual misconduct. Kapi‘olani CC will seek to maintain your privacy at all times during the process but confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

This policy is intended to make students 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 victim of sexual violence. The College encourages victims to talk to someone identified in one or more of these groups.

Does Title IX force survivors to share their experience with the Institution or pressure a student to pursue disciplinary action?
The student always retains control over who to talk to and what level of information to share. Kapi‘olani CC will never force a complainant-victim to share the details of their experience, but when a report of sexual misconduct is shared with the Title IX Coordinator, we have a legal duty to follow up on the report to determine the appropriate response under Title IX.

When a report is initiated, the Title IX Investigator will conduct an initial assessment regarding, among other things, the nature of the report, the safety of the individual and of the broader campus community, and the complainant’s expressed preference for resolution. Students are not pressured to pursue a specific action. In planning any response, the wishes of the reporting student are given full consideration. Nevertheless, Kapi‘olani CC may need to pursue a certain path despite the wishes of the student, but usually only if there is a broader safety risk for the community.

Title IX has a strict prohibition against retaliation, and KCC will take steps to prevent retaliation and will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.

Is the only avenue I have for recourse a disciplinary process?
Not necessarily. Following the Title IX assessment, Kapi‘olani CC may seek a remedies-based resolution that does not involve disciplinary action against a respondent. A remedies-based resolution may include interim protective measures, such as a no-contact order and academic accommodations. It may also include targeted or broad-based educational training. In some cases, a remedies-based resolution is not appropriate based on the facts and circumstances of the misconduct (for example, conduct that presents an ongoing threat to an individual or to the broader community).

Does Title IX always start a criminal/legal process?
No. Starting a criminal/legal process is separate and different from Kapi‘olani CC’s Title IX process, however a criminal and institutional process can be initiated at the same time. The option to report an incident to the police and/or pursue criminal charges is always available and Kapi‘olani CC can help access those resources.

Will the Title IX Team be sensitive to the needs of victims/survivors?
Title IX staff intentionally work to create a compassionate, sensitive environment to address issues; offer an unbiased and transparent fact gathering system; and connect all community members with appropriate support and resources.

Are all employees at Kapi‘olani CC required to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Team?
Title IX requires most employees to report, but not all. Some employees have legally-recognized confidentiality protections and will not share information without the consent of the complainant. There are on-campus confidential resources. Students can also access community resources for confidential assistance.

Does Title IX also require students to report incidents involving their peers?
While most employees are responsible for reporting Title IX incidents, students are not. Students with concerns about a friend are encouraged to consult with a confidential resource about how to best support their friend.

Is there a time limit for making a report?
There is no time limit for making a report. Kapi‘olani CC encourages reporting an incident as soon as possible in order to maximize our ability to respond promptly and effectively. Kapi‘olani CC does not, however, limit the time frame for reporting. If the respondent is no longer a student or employee, the College may not be able to take action against the respondent, but it will still seek to meet its Title IX obligation by taking steps to end the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects, when appropriate.

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