SA-19 Personal Violence, Harassment & Assault

The Green River College Personal Violence/Harassment and Sexual Assault Procedure defines and coordinates the efforts of various campus departments in order to provide a caring and effective institutional response to students involved in sexual assaults. This statement serves the purpose of describing the policy but is inadequate for providing a more detailed background for an informed response to this type of incident. For that additional information readers should refer to HR-22 policy for Nondiscrimination and Harassment Policies and Procedures, or Green River
GA-11 Policy on Procedures (1) through (2).

Who May File a Complaint?
Any employee, applicant, student or visitor of the College may file a complaint. Complaints may be submitted in writing or verbally. The College encourages the timely reporting of any incidents of discrimination or harassment. For complainants who wish to submit a written complaint, a formal complaint form is available online. Forms are also available at the following locations on campus: Human Resources, Campus Safety, Student Affairs, or any Dean’s office. Any person submitting a discrimination complaint shall be provided with a written copy of the College’s
anti-discrimination policies and procedures.

Confidentiality and Right to Privacy
Green River College will seek to protect the privacy of the complainant to the full extent possible, consistent with the legal obligation to investigate, take appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action, and comply with the federal and state law, as well as Green River College policies and procedures. Although Green River College will attempt to honor complainants’ requests for confidentiality, it cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Determinations regarding how to handle requests for confidentiality will be made by the appropriate Title IX/EEO Coordinator.

Confidentiality Requests and Sexual Violence Complaints
The appropriate Title IX/EEO Coordinator will inform and ask to obtain consent from the complainant before commencing an investigation into a sexual violence complaint. If a sexual violence complainant asks that his or her name not be revealed to the respondent or that the College not investigate the allegation, the Title IX/EEO Coordinator will inform the complainant that maintaining confidentiality may limit the College’s ability to fully respond to the allegations and that retaliation by the respondent and/or others is prohibited. If the complainant still insists that his or her name not be disclosed or that the College not investigate, the Title IX/EEO Coordinator will determine whether the College can honor the request and at the same time maintain a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of the College community, including the complainant. Factors to be weighed during this determination
may include, but are not limited to:

  • the seriousness of the alleged sexual violence;
  • the age of the complainant;
  • whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
  • whether the respondent has a history of committing acts of sexual violence or violence or has been the subject of other sexual violence complaints;
  • whether the respondent threatened to commit additional acts of sexual violence against the complainant or others; and
  • whether relevant evidence can be obtained through other means (e.g., security cameras, other witnesses, physical evidence).

If the College is unable to honor a complainant’s request for confidentiality, the appropriate Title IX/EEO Coordinator will notify the complainant of the decision and ensure that complainant’s identity is disclosed only to the extent reasonably necessary to effectively conduct and complete the investigation.

If the College decides not to conduct an investigation or take disciplinary action because of a request for confidentiality, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator will evaluate whether other measures are available to limit the effects of the harassment and prevent its recurrence and implement such measures if reasonably feasible.

Investigation Procedure
Upon receiving a discrimination complaint, the College shall commence an impartial investigation. The Title IX/EEO Coordinator shall be responsible for overseeing all investigations. Investigations may be conducted by the Title IX/EEO Coordinator or his or her designee. If the investigation is assigned to someone other than the Title IX/EEO Coordinator, the Title IX/EEO Coordinator shall inform the complainant and respondent(s) of the appointment of an investigator.

Interim Measures
The Title IX/EEO Coordinator may impose interim measures to protect the complainant and/or respondent pending the conclusion of the investigation. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to, imposition of no contact orders, rescheduling classes, temporary work reassignments, referrals for counseling or medical assistance, and imposition
of summary discipline on the respondent consistent with the College’s student conduct code or the College’s employment policies and collective bargaining agreements.  

Complaints shall be thoroughly and impartially investigated. The investigation shall include, but is not limited to, interviewing the complainant and the respondent, relevant witnesses, and reviewing relevant documents. The investigation shall be concluded within a reasonable time, normally sixty days barring exigent circumstances. At the conclusion of the investigation the investigator shall set forth his or her findings and recommendations in writing. If the investigator is a designee, the investigator shall send a copy of the findings and recommendations to the Title IX/EEO Coordinator. The Title IX/EEO Coordinator shall consider the findings and recommendations and determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence, whether a violation of the discrimination and harassment policy occurred, and if so, what steps will be taken to resolve the complaint, remedy the effects on any victim(s), and prevent its recurrence. Possible remedial steps may include, but are not limited to, referral for voluntary training/counseling, development of a remediation plan, limited contact orders, and referral and recommendation for formal disciplinary action. Referrals for disciplinary action will be consistent with the student conduct code or College employment policies and collective bargaining agreements.

Written Notice of Decision
The appropriate Title IX/EEO Coordinator will provide each party and the appropriate corresponding administrator or appointing authority with written notice of the investigative findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint, subject to the following limitations. The complainant shall be informed in writing of the findings and of
actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint, if any, only to the extent that such findings, actions or recommendations directly relate to the complainant, such as a finding that the complaint is or is not meritorious or a recommendation that the accused not contact the complainant. The complainant may be notified generally that the matter has been referred for disciplinary action. The respondent shall be informed in writing of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint and shall be notified of referrals for disciplinary action. Both the complainant and the respondent are entitled to review any final findings, conclusions, and recommendations, subject to any FERPA confidentiality requirements.

Informal Dispute Resolution
Informal dispute resolution processes, like mediation, may be used to resolve complaints, when appropriate. Informal dispute resolution shall not be used to resolve sexual discrimination complaints without written permission from both the complainant and the respondent. If the parties elect to mediate a dispute, either party shall be free to discontinue
mediation at any time. In no event shall mediation be used to resolve complaints involving allegations of sexual violence.

Final Decision/Reconsideration
Either the complainant or the respondent may seek reconsideration of the decision by the appropriate Title IX/EEO Coordinator. Requests for reconsideration shall be submitted in writing to the appropriate Title IX/EEO Coordinator within seven days of receiving the decision. Requests must specify which portion of the decision should be reconsidered and the basis for reconsideration. If no request for reconsideration is received within seven days, the decision becomes final. If a request for reconsideration is received, the Title IX/EEO Coordinator shall respond within 15 business days. The appropriate Title IX/EEO Coordinator shall either deny the request or, if the appropriate Title IX/EEO Coordinator
determines that the request for reconsideration has merit, issue an amended decision. Any amended decision is final and no further reconsideration is available.

The College encourages all individuals to seek assistance from a medical provider and/or law enforcement immediately after an incident of sexual or non-sexual violence. This is the best option to ensure preservation of evidence and to begin a timely investigative and remedial response.

The College encourages all individuals to make a report to the College and to local law enforcement. Reporting options are not mutually exclusive. Both internal and criminal reports may be pursued simultaneously. 

The College has a strong interest in supporting victims and survivors of sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence and encourages all individuals or third party witnesses to report any incident to the College.

Making a report means telling someone in authority what happened – in person, by telephone, in writing or by email. At the time a report is made, a Complainant does not have to decide whether or not to request any particular course of action, nor does a Complainant need to know how to label what happened. Choosing to make a report, and deciding how to proceed after making the report, can be a process that unfolds over time. The College provides support that can assist each individual in making these important decisions and, to the extent legally possible, will respect an
individual’s autonomy in deciding how to proceed. In this process, the College will balance the individual’s interest with its obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of the College community.

Campus Security Authorities (CSA) must, when a crime is reported or observed from a witness, victim, third party, or offender, disclose to Campus Safety for initial investigative requirements and Federal Law requirements under the Jeanne Clery Act.

Any individual who reports sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, or intimate partner violence can be assured that all reports will be investigated and resolved in a fair and impartial manner. A Complainant, a Respondent and all individuals involved can expect to be treated with dignity and respect. In every report under this policy, the College will make an immediate assessment of any risk of harm to the Complainant or to the broader campus community and will
take steps necessary to address those risks. These steps will include interim measures to provide for the safety of the individual and the campus community.

Emergency and External Reporting
The College encourages all individuals to seek assistance from a medical provider and/or law enforcement immediately after an incident of sexual misconduct. This is the best option to ensure preservation of evidence and to begin a timely investigative and remedial response. The College will help any Green River community member to get to a safe place and will provide transportation to the hospital, coordination with law enforcement, and information about on- and off-campus resources and options for resolution.

Campus Reporting Options
The College encourages all individuals to report misconduct to any College employee the Complainant trusts and feels comfortable with. Under Title IX, a college is required to take immediate and corrective action if a “responsible employee” knows or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about sexual or gender-based harassment that creates a hostile environment. A “responsible employee” includes any employee

  1. has the authority to take action to redress the harassment;
  2. has the duty to report to appropriate College officials sexual harassment or any other misconduct by students or employees; or
  3. a student could reasonably believe has the authority or responsibility to take action.

Using this lens, employees with supervisory and leadership responsibilities on campus are considered “responsible employees.” This may include, for example, faculty, coaches, administrators, resident assistants and other student employees with a responsibility for student welfare, including Personal Safety Against Violence Committee members. 

The College requires that all “responsible employees” share a report of misconduct with the Title IX Coordinator or a member of the Title IX team. The Title IX team, under the guidance of the Title IX Coordinator, will conduct an initial assessment of the conduct, the Complainant’s expressed preferences, if any, as to course of action, and the necessity for any interim remedies or accommodations to protect the safety of the Complainant or the community.

All Green River College community members, even those who are not obligated to do so by this policy, are strongly encouraged to report information regarding any incident of sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking or intimate partner violence directly to the Title IX Coordinator. The College cannot take appropriate action unless an incident is
reported to the College.

Anonymous Reporting
Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an act of sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, or intimate partner violence. An individual may report the incident without disclosing his/her name, identifying the Respondent or requesting any action. Depending on the extent of information available about the incident or the
individuals involved however, the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report
may be limited.

The Title IX Coordinator will receive the anonymous report and will determine any appropriate steps, including individual or community remedies as appropriate, and in consultation with the Director of Campus Safety, compliance with all Clery Act obligations.

Reporting Considerations: Timeliness and Location of Incident
Complainants and third-party witnesses are encouraged to report sexual harassment, sexual violence and intimate partner violence as soon as possible in order to maximize the College’s ability to respond promptly and effectively. The College does not, however, limit the time frame for reporting. If the Respondent is not a member of the Green River College community, the College will still seek to meet its Clery and Title IX obligation by taking steps to end the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects, but its ability to take disciplinary action against the Respondent may be limited.

An incident does not have to occur on campus to be reported to the College. Off-campus conduct that is likely to have an effect on the Complainant’s or Respondent’s on-campus life and activities or poses a threat or danger to members of the Green River community may also be addressed under this policy.

The College is mandated by Federal Law to send out a Timely Warning or Immediate Notification if the crime involves a Clery Crime within the Clery Geography, or if there is a threat to the community that has not yet been mitigated.

Coordination with Law Enforcement
The College encourages Complainants to pursue criminal action for incidents of sexual harassment, sexual violence and intimate partner violence that may also be crimes under Washington State law. The College will assist a Complainant in making a criminal report and cooperate with law enforcement agencies if a Complainant decides to pursue the criminal process to the extent permitted by law.

The College’s policy, definitions and burden of proof may differ from Washington criminal law. A Complainant may seek recourse under this policy and/or pursue criminal action. Neither law enforcement’s determination whether or not to prosecute a Respondent, nor the outcome of any criminal prosecution, are determinative of whether a violation of this policy has occurred. Proceedings under this policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus. 

The College provides the complainant with the option of filing a criminal report, but the College is required to conduct a simultaneous investigation, in lieu of any police investigation, for the purposes of Title IX and Clery. These investigations could also coincide with any Title VII investigation for employees.

Statement against Retaliation
It is a violation of College policy to retaliate in any way against an individual because s/he raised allegations of sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, or intimate partner violence. The College recognizes that retaliation can take many forms, may be committed by or against an individual or a group, and that a Complainant, Respondent or third party may commit or be the subject of retaliation.

The College will take immediate and responsive action to any report of retaliation and will pursue disciplinary action as appropriate. An individual reporting sexual harassment or misconduct is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following a report that is made in good faith, even if the report is later not proven.

Bystander Intervention
The College expects all community members to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of sexual misconduct. Taking action may include direct intervention, calling law enforcement, or seeking assistance from a person in authority. Community members who choose to exercise this positive moral obligation will be supported by the College and protected from retaliation.

False Reports
The College will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. A charge of sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, or intimate partner violence may have severe consequences, and the College takes the accuracy of information very seriously. A good-faith complaint that results in a finding of not responsible is not considered a false or fabricated accusation of sexual misconduct. However, when a Complainant or third-party witness is found to have fabricated allegations or given false information with malicious intent or in bad faith, the Complainant may be subject to disciplinary action. It is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct to make an intentionally false report of any
policy violation, and it may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws.

Reports Involving Minors or Suspected Child Abuse
Under Washington law, an individual must make a mandatory report of suspected child abuse and neglect, including sexual assault when that individual, in his/her professional capacity or within the scope of his/her employment, has knowledge of or observes a minor under the age of 18 whom the individual knows or reasonably suspects has been
the victim of child abuse or neglect.

All College employees, whether designated as a mandatory reporter under Washington state law or not, are required to immediately report any suspected child abuse and neglect to the Title IX Coordinator and the Director of Campus Safety. The source of abuse does not need to be known in order to file a report.

The College will report all suspected child abuse and neglect, including sexual assault, to law enforcement and/or to Washington Department of Social and Health Services. The College must act quickly regarding all reasonable suspicions of sexual or physical abuse. It is not the responsibility of any employee, student, or volunteer to investigate suspected child abuse. This is the role of Child Protective Services and law enforcement authorities.

In addition to notifying the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Campus Safety, any individual may make a direct report as follows:

  • If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.
  • If there is no immediate danger, call Child Protective Services (CPS).

Local phone numbers can be located at:

At the request of law enforcement, the College may agree to defer its Title IX fact gathering until after the initial stages of a criminal investigation. The College will nevertheless communicate with the Complainant regarding Title IX rights, procedural options and the implementation of interim measures to assure safety and well-being. The College will promptly resume its Title IX fact gathering as soon as it is informed that law enforcement has completed its initial investigation. 

Interim Measures, Remedies and Accommodations

Upon receipt of a report, the College will impose reasonable and appropriate interim measures designed to eliminate the hostile environment and protect the parties involved. The College will make reasonable efforts to communicate with the parties to ensure that all safety, emotional and physical well-being concerns are being addressed. Interim measures may be imposed regardless of whether formal disciplinary action is sought by the Complainant or the College.

The complainant will receive a written guide containing community and College resources when the report is first taken. S/he will also receive a written notice of rights by the conduct affairs officer.

A Complainant or Respondent may request an Institutional No-Contact Order or other protection, or the College may choose to impose interim measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of all parties, the broader College community and/or the integrity of the process.

All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about failure of another individual to abide by any restrictions imposed by an interim measure. The College will take immediate and responsive action to enforce a previously implemented measure.

Range of Measures
Interim measures will be implemented at the discretion of the College. Potential remedies, which may be applied to the Complainant and/or the Respondent, include, but are not limited to:

  • Access to counseling services and assistance in setting up initial appointment, both on and off campus
  • Imposition of campus No Contact Order
  • Rescheduling of exams and assignments (in conjunction with appropriate faculty)
  • Providing alternative course completion options (with the agreement of the appropriate faculty)
  • Change in class schedule, including the ability to take an “incomplete,” drop a course without penalty or transfer sections (with the agreement of the appropriate faculty)
  • Change in work schedule or job assignment
  • Change in on-campus housing
  • Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and pro-rating a refund in accordance with campus housing policies
  • Assistance from College support staff in completing housing relocation
  • Limit an individual or organization’s access to certain College facilities or activities pending resolution of the matter
  • Voluntary leave of absence
  • Providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities
  • Providing medical services
  • Providing academic support services, such as tutoring
  • Interim suspension or College-imposed leave
  • Any other remedy that can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of this policy

Interim Suspension or Separation
Where the report of sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, or intimate partner violence poses a substantial and immediate threat of harm to the safety or well-being of an individual, members of the campus community, or the performance of normal College functions, the College may place a student or student organization on summary suspension or impose leave for an employee. Pending resolution of the report, the individual or organization may be denied access to campus, campus facilities and/or all other College activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the College determines appropriate. When interim suspension or leave is imposed, the College will make reasonable efforts to complete the investigation and resolution within an expedited time frame.

The full provisions for Summary Suspension for students are contained in the Code of Student Conduct. Provisions for suspension of faculty members are contained in the Faculty Handbook. Staff may be placed on leave at the discretion of the College.

Options for Resolution

Upon receipt of a report, the College’s Title IX Coordinator or designee will conduct an Initial Title IX Assessment. The goal of this assessment is to provide an integrated and coordinated response to reports of sexual harassment or misconduct. The assessment will consider the nature of the report, the safety of the individual and of the campus community, and the Complainant’s expressed preference for resolution. At the conclusion of the assessment, the College may choose to pursue Informal Resolution, a remedies-based approach that does not involve disciplinary
action against a Respondent, or refer the matter for Investigation. Informal dispute resolution shall not be used to resolve sexual misconduct complaints without written permission from both the complainant and the respondent. If the parties elect to mediate a dispute, either party shall be free to discontinue mediation at any time. In no event shall mediation be used to resolve complaints involving allegations of sexual violence.

The goal of the Investigation is to gather all relevant facts and determine if there is sufficient information to refer the report on for disciplinary action using the College’s Formal Resolution procedures.

College personnel will honor requests to keep sexual misconduct complaints confidential to the extent this can be done without unreasonably risking the health, safety, and welfare of the complainant or other members of the College community or compromising the College's duty to investigate and process sexual harassment and sexual violence complaints.

The initial steps for resolution of a complaint against a student, an employee or a faculty member will involve the same stages: an initial assessment, investigation, and either informal or formal resolution. There are specific procedures for resolving complaints against a student, faculty or staff respondent.

The Role of Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator (or designee), facilitates the review, investigation and resolution of reports. College officials who may be a part of such investigation include the Director of Campus Safety. In addition, based on the role of the Complainant and the Respondent, the members of the team could include the Vice President for Instruction, Vice President of Student Affairs and various Deans of Instruction, Student Affairs, and/or Human Resources. Composition of the team will be limited to a small circle of individuals who “need to know” in order to implement procedures under this policy.

Although a report may be made to any College employee, the College seeks to ensure that all reports are referred to the Title IX Coordinator to ensure consistent application of the policy to all individuals and allow the College to respond promptly and equitably to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.

The Title IX Coordinator will oversee the resolution of a report under this policy. Resources are available for both students and employees, whether as Complainants or Respondents, to provide guidance throughout the investigation and resolution of the complaint. Interim Remedies are also available to provide protection and security.

Initial Title IX Assessment
In every report of sexual harassment or misconduct, the College will make an immediate assessment of any risk of harm to individuals or to the campus community and will take steps necessary to address those risks. These steps may include interim protective measures to provide for the safety of the individual and the campus community.

The initial review will proceed to the point where a reasonable assessment of the safety of the individual and of the campus community can be made. Thereafter, the investigation may be initiated depending on a variety of factors, such as the Complainant’s wish to pursue disciplinary action, the risk posed to any individual or the campus community by not proceeding, and the nature of the allegation.

Standard of Evidence
The College utilizes a standard of preponderance of the evidence (i.e. it is more likely than not that sexual assault, harassment or another form of sexual misconduct occurred) when reviewing a complaint.

Disciplinary Sanctions
The specific sanctions available to the adjudicating official or body may differ depending on the circumstances of the matter being addressed. In general, however, sanctions imposed upon students determined to have violated this policy can include a range of sanctions including, but not limited to, warning, censures, education/counseling, disciplinary probations, suspension or dismissal from the College.

When the conduct involves allegations of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, the College will simultaneously provide written notification of the final results of a disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator to both the victim and the alleged perpetrator, regardless of whether the institution concluded that a violation was committed.

Where the Title IX assessment concludes that disciplinary action may be appropriate, the College will initiate an investigation. The College will designate an investigator who has specific training and experience investigating allegations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. The investigator may be an employee of the College or an external investigator engaged to assist the College in its fact gathering. The College will typically use a team of two investigators, which may include the pairing of an external investigator with a College employee. Any investigator
chosen to conduct the investigation must be impartial.

The investigator will conduct the investigation in a manner appropriate in light of the circumstances of the case, which will typically include interviews with the Complainant, the Respondent and any witnesses. The interviews will be supplemented by the gathering of any physical, documentary or other evidence. As part of the investigation, the College will provide an opportunity for the parties to present witnesses and other evidence.

The investigation is designed to provide a fair and reliable gathering of the facts. The investigation will be thorough, impartial and fair, and all individuals will be treated with appropriate sensitivity and respect. The investigation will be conducted in a manner that is respectful of individual privacy concerns.

The College will seek to complete the investigation within 20 (twenty) business days of receiving the complaint, but this time frame may be extended depending on the complexity of the circumstances of each case. At the conclusion of the investigation, the report will be forwarded to the Title IX Officer and the appropriate personnel responsible for initiating Formal Resolution proceedings.

Information gathered during the review or investigation will be used to evaluate the responsibility of the Respondent, provide for the safety of the Complainant and the College campus community, and impose remedies as necessary to address the effects of the conduct cited in the report. Where there is sufficient information set forth that, if proven, would constitute a violation of policy, the College will have the discretion to institute Formal Resolution proceedings against the Respondent. At the conclusion of the investigation, the College will notify all parties that the investigation is complete and provide information about next steps in the process.

Based on the information gathered in the initial Title IX assessment and/or full investigation, the College will take appropriate measures designed to end the misconduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.

The Title IX Coordinator will document each report or request for assistance in resolving a case involving charges of sexual misconduct, whether formal or informal, and will review and retain copies of all reports generated as a result of investigations. These records will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.

Informal Resolution
Informal dispute resolution shall not be used to resolve sexual misconduct complaints without written permission from both the complainant and the respondent. If the parties elect to mediate a dispute, either party shall be free to discontinue mediation at any time. In no event shall mediation be used to resolve complaints involving allegations of sexual violence. Informal resolution is a remedies-based, non-judicial approach designed to eliminate a hostile environment without taking disciplinary action against a Respondent. Where the Title IX assessment concludes that informal resolution may be appropriate, the College will take immediate and corrective action through the imposition of individual and community remedies designed to maximize the Complainant’s access to the educational and extracurricular activities at the College and to eliminate a hostile environment. Examples of protective remedies are provided above in the section titled Interim Measures, Remedies and Accommodations /

Range of Measures
Other potential remedies include targeted or broad-based educational programming or training, direct confrontation of the Respondent and/or indirect action by the Title IX Coordinator or the College. Depending on the form of informal resolution used, it may be possible to maintain anonymity.

The College will not compel a Complainant to engage in mediation, to directly confront the Respondent, or to participate in any particular form of informal resolution. Mediation, even if voluntary, may not be used in cases involving sexual violence or assault. The decision to pursue informal resolution will be made when the College has sufficient information about the nature and scope of the conduct, which may occur at any time. Participation in informal resolution is voluntary, and a Complainant can request to end informal resolution at any time.

The Title IX Coordinator will maintain records of all reports and conduct referred for informal resolution. Informal resolution will typically be completed within thirty (30) business days of the initial report.

Formal Resolution
Disciplinary action against a Respondent may only be taken through Formal Resolution procedures. Because the relationship of students, staff, and faculty to the College differ in nature, the procedures that apply when seeking disciplinary action necessarily differ as well. Each of the procedures, however, is guided by the same principles of fundamental fairness and respect for all parties, which require notice, an equitable opportunity to be heard, and an equitable opportunity to respond to a report under this policy.

The accuser (complainant) and accused (respondent) are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during an institutional disciplinary proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice. Whenever possible, these proceedings dealing with students are coordinated with the Student Code of Conduct, a respondent (or complainant) may elect to have an attorney be their advisor at the
hearing, at his or her own cost, but will be deemed to have waived that right unless, at least four business days before the hearing, written notice of the attorney's identity and participation is filed with the committee chair with a copy to the student conduct officer. Note: Attorneys are welcome, but the College will only consider an adjustment of a hearing date within two business days of the original hearing date. Except as provided otherwise in a collective bargaining
agreement, attorneys may not speak at hearings, but may communicate with their client(s) through written notes.

The specific procedures for Formal Resolution will vary based upon the role of the Respondent:

For a complaint against a student, disciplinary action may be taken by the Vice President of Student Affairs and appropriate Dean of Student Affairs or his/her designee following a finding of responsibility by an Administrator.

For a complaint against an employee, disciplinary action may be taken at the conclusion of the investigation by the Vice President of Human Resources & Legal Affairs.

For a complaint against a faculty member, disciplinary action may be taken at the conclusion of the investigation by the Vice President for Instruction and/or The Vice President of Human Resources pursuant to the procedures in the Faculty Handbook and Faculty Contract.

Time Frame for Resolution
The College seeks to resolve all reports within 60 days of the initial report. All time frames expressed in this policy are meant to be guidelines rather than rigid requirements. Extenuating circumstances may arise that require the extension of time frames, including extension beyond 60 days. Extenuating circumstances may include the complexity and scope of the allegations, the number of witnesses involved, the availability of the parties or witnesses, the effect of a
concurrent criminal investigation, any intervening school break or vacation, or other unforeseen circumstances.

In general, a Complainant and Respondent can expect that the process will proceed according to the time frames provided in this policy. In the event that the investigation and resolution exceed this time frame, the College will notify all parties of the reason(s) for the delay and the expected adjustment in time frames. Best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner by balancing principles of thoroughness and fundamental fairness with promptness.

Steps To Follow For First Responders:

  • Assess the situation with safety as the first priority
    • If in immediate danger, call 911 and then call Campus Safety at ext. 3350 so they can meet and guide the police to the location
  • Contact a support person to be with the victim
  • Discuss medical options: Victim should not wash up, but should be checked for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, possible pregnancy, and have evidence collected at a hospital. For best results, a rape exam should be conducted within 72 hours.
  • Discuss legal and College reporting options
    • Campus Safety, ext. 3350, provides safety and will contact the Auburn Police Department
    • The victim can choose if they want to speak to the Police Officer called
    • The victim can choose to have a King County Sexual Assault Resource Center advocate present during the questioning, and for on-going support, call the 24-Hour Resource Line at 888-998-6423 or 800-825-7273
  • Campus Safety fills out a Sexual Assault Report form.
  • The Vice President of Student Affairs or designee, ext. 3328 is contacted when the Sexual Assault Report form is filed and will meet with the victim to discuss reporting and resource options.

Campus Processes

Victims of sexual assault are strongly encouraged to use the campus Code of Conduct process, sexual harassment complaint process, and the criminal justice system in pursuing action against the alleged offender. Green River College is committed to providing students with an environment conducive to the pursuit of knowledge. Admission to the College carries with it the presumption that students will conduct themselves as responsible members of the community and refrain from actions that would endanger the health, welfare, or safety of others. Conduct constituting a sexual offense, such as rape, sexual or physical assault, or sexual harassment, will not be tolerated. Students who
commit sexual offenses of any form can be prosecuted under Washington State Criminal Code (RCW Chapter 9A) and/or disciplined under the College’s Student Conduct Code (WAC 132J-126).

If the alleged offender is a student, the victim is encouraged to meet with the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee to file a written complaint. A written complaint allows the Vice President of Student Affairs to initiate an investigation. The Vice President of Student Affairs will treat such a complaint with high priority and will conduct a fair and impartial investigation. Both parties will have the opportunity to tell their side of the incident. Both parties may have an advocate present during any interview (pursuant to College procedures already noted above) or
any College proceeding related to the alleged assault.

Publication of Anti-discrimination Policies and Procedures
The policies and procedures regarding complaints of discrimination and harassment shall be published and distributed as determined by the president or president's designee. Any person who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination in violation of College policy will be provided a copy of these policies and procedures.

Limits to Authority
Nothing in this procedure shall prevent the College President or designee from taking immediate disciplinary action in accordance with [Community/Technical] College policies and procedures, and federal, state, and municipal rules and regulations.

Non-Retaliation, Intimidation and Coercion
Retaliation by, for or against any participant (including complainant, respondent, witness, Title IX/EEO Coordinator, or investigator) is expressly prohibited. Retaliatory action of any kind taken against individuals as a result of seeking redress under the applicable procedures or serving as a witness in a subsequent investigation or any resulting disciplinary proceedings is prohibited and is conduct subject to discipline. Any person who thinks he/she has been the victim of retaliation should contact the Title IX/EEO Coordinator immediately.

Criminal Complaints
Discriminatory or harassing conduct may also be, or occur in conjunction with, criminal conduct. Criminal complaints may be filed with the following law enforcement authorities:

Kent Police Department
220 4th Ave S
Kent, WA 98032
Auburn Police Department
340 East Main St, Suite 201
Auburn, WA 98002
Enumclaw Police Department
1705 Wells St
Enumclaw, WA 98022
King County Sheriff
516 Third Ave, Room W-150
Seattle, WA 98104
Pierce County Sheriff
County-City Building, First Floor
930 Tacoma Ave S
Tacoma, WA 98402

The College will proceed with an investigation of harassment and discrimination complaints regardless of whether the underlying conduct is subject to civil or criminal prosecution.

Other Discrimination Complaint Options
Discrimination complaints may also be filed with the following federal and state agencies:
Washington State Human Rights Commission
US Dept of Education Office for Civil Rights 
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 

Specific Authority


Law Implemented

History of Policy or Procedure
Draft: January 7, 2005, May 17, 2008
Adopted: January 6, 2006
Revised: March 12, 2008; February 21, 2013; December 8, 2016; January 8, 2017; February 27, 2019
Reviewed by:
Contact: Mark Brunke, Senior Director of  Human Resources, ext. 3350
President’s Staff Sponsor: Mark Brunke, Senior Director of Human Resources, ext. 3350