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Vernon College strives to foster a safe and healthy learning culture.  Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 is an all-encompassing federal law that prohibits discrimination based on the gender of students and employees of educational institutions which receive federal financial assistance.  Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Title IX states that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”

Vernon College’s Sexual Assault Policy and Procedures prohibits sexual misconduct, which includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, stalking, dating and domestic violence.  Additionally, the College prohibits retaliation against any individual who brings a good faith complaint under the policy, participates in the resolution process, or assists as a bystander to prevent sexual misconduct of any kind.

Sexual misconduct, which includes: sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, stalking, dating and domestic violence; is an affront to human dignity and fundamentally at odds with the values of Vernon College. The Vernon College community has a responsibility to maintain an environment free from harassment, assault, and exploitation. Vernon College is committed to taking all appropriate steps to eliminate all prohibited conduct, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.

Vernon College is committed to fostering a climate free from sexual misconduct through clear and effective policy, a coordinated education and prevention plan for employees, a coordinated education and prevention plan for students, as well as fair and equitable procedures for resolutions of complaints from employees and resolutions of complaints from students.

If you have experienced sexual assault please consider your safety and medical needs first. Vernon College also encourages you to report assaults.

All reported or suspected occurrences will be promptly and thoroughly investigated. Immediate disciplinary action, when deemed necessary, will be taken which may include written warning, suspension, transfer and/or termination.

VC will not permit or condone any acts of retaliation against anyone for filing harassment complaints or cooperating in the investigation of the same.

Victims of sexual assault or persons who have information regarding a sexual assault are encouraged to report the incident immediately. In instances where sexual assault is alleged, the victim is strongly encouraged to report the incident. The campus personnel responsible to report incidents are the President, Vice-Presidents, Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources, Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services, Deans, Directors, Coordinators, Division Chairs, Athletic Director, Athletic Trainer and the Vernon College Police. 

By contacting one of these offices, the victim will be given specific information as to how to proceed to file formal charges against the accused. Victims will be treated with sensitivity, compassion, patience, and respect by Vernon College staff. Vernon College staff will be available to receive reports of sexual assault, assist the victim in securing medical attention, participate in evidence preservation or collection, conduct investigations, and inform the victim of legal and administrative options both on and off campus.

Any person may request assistance from Vernon College personnel in notifying law enforcement authorities of a sexual assault. Vernon College officials will provide the victim with assistance in notifying the proper authorities of a sexual assault. Law Enforcement Agencies and medical personnel have extensive training in handling sexual assaults, therefore they are encouraged by Vernon College to use their own professional judgement with regard to individual circumstances.

Vernon College has a good working relationship with area law enforcement agencies. Vernon College will assist area law enforcement agencies as needed to investigate crimes. The following law enforcement agencies can be involved during sexual assault investigations:

  • Wilbarger County Sheriff’s Office
  • Vernon Police Department
  • Wichita County Sheriff’s Office
  • Wichita Falls Police Department

The procedures for on-campus disciplinary action would be the same as those outlined in the Vernon College Student Handbook or Vernon College Employee Handbook. The Vernon College Student Handbook includes procedures for disciplinary sanctions used with Vernon College Students. The Vernon College Employee Handbook contains procedures for disciplinary actions applied to Vernon College employees. 

The Vice-President of Student Services or Dean of Student Services will review information received regarding incidents involving sexual offenses for alleged violations of the Vernon College Student Handbook. The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities of due process under disciplinary sanctions outlined in the Vernon College Student Handbook and the Vernon College Employee Handbook.

When appropriate, academic or living arrangements may be modified as a direct result of an allegation of sexual assault. This action may be taken when requested by the victim or the accused. These arrangements will be coordinated through the Vice-President of Student Services and the Vice-President of Instruction. 

The Vernon College Student Handbook can be found at: https://www.vernoncollege.edu/student-services-handbooks-manuals

The Vernon College Employee Handbook can be found at: https://www.vernoncollege.edu/policy-manuals-and-handbook

The rights of both the accused and the complainant shall be protected, and the confidentiality of all proceedings, meetings, reports, or investigations will be maintained to the fullest extent possible. The rights of the individual filing the grievance to pursue legal remedies through criminal or civil courts will not be infringed by the use of Vernon College disciplinary or grievance procedures. Similarly, Vernon College disciplinary or grievance procedures will not be prejudiced by the initiation of such action.

Vernon College Student Services maintains and publishes annually crime statistics as required by the Jeanne Cleary Act. These are made available to all employees, students, faculty and prospective students. An individual may view these statistics at: http://www.vernoncollege.edu/sex-crimes-prevention-act

Complainant – the student or employee who initiates a complaint of sexual misconduct with the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources. Complainants are not limited to those employees or students who have personally experienced the alleged act of sexual misconduct, but also those employees or students who may have either received notice of or witnessed the incident.

Respondent – The Respondent is the student, employee or outside third party named in a complaint of sexual misconduct, initiated pursuant to this policy, as having engaged in sexual misconduct against a College employee or student.

Harassment - includes but is not limited to unwelcome slurs, jokes, verbal, graphic or physical conduct relating to an individual’s race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability. The term “harassment” may also include conduct of employees, supervisors, vendors, faculty and/or students who engage in verbally or physically harassing behavior which has the potential for humiliating or embarrassing an employee of VC.

Sexual Harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where:

  • Submission to such conduct is an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment;
  • Employment decisions are based on an employee’s submission to or rejection of such conduct; or,
  • Such conduct interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile or offensive working environment.

(In accordance with the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act, the terms dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking are defined as follows):

Dating Violence – violence, including sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, committed by an individual who is currently in, or who was in the past in, a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. The relationship’s existence is to be determined based on the statement of the individual who makes the report and with consideration of the length and type of the relationship and the frequency of interaction between the partners. The definition does not include acts defined as domestic violence.

Domestic Violence -a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by the victim’s current or former spouse or intimate partner; by an individual who shares a child with the victim; by an individual who currently is cohabitating or who has cohabitated in the past, with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; by an individual who is similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the law of the jurisdiction where the crime occurred; or by any other individual against an adult or child who is protected from those acts by the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction where the crime occurred.

Sexual Assault – an offense meeting the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape.

Stalking -engaging in a course of conduct targeting a particular person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or that of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress, defined as significant mental suffering or anguish that may require professional treatment or counseling. A course of conduct is two or more acts, including acts in which the perpetrator directly, indirectly, or through another person, and by any method, action, device or means, follows, monitors, surveils, threatens, observes, or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person’s property.

Retaliation – A party engages in retaliatory action when he or she engages in revenge or reprisal in response to a complaint of sexual misconduct. Retaliation occurs when the Respondent personally engages in an act of reprisal or allows other to engage in acts of reprisal on their behalf. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, threats of harm or injury against the Complainant and, or witnesses; implementation of employment actions meant or designed to harm an employee Complainant or employee witnesses or discourage them from complaining or testifying; adverse grading of student Complainants or student witnesses; or attempts to influence the testimony of witnesses by trying to discuss allegations with the witnesses during the pendency of an investigation and appeal.

Vernon College encourages all student and employees to immediately report incidents of sexual misconduct. Designated Student Services professionals, Campus Police, and the Title IX Coordinator are available as resources.

Vernon College Title IX Coordinator
Haven David
Director of Human Resources
4400 College Drive
Osborne Administration Building
Vernon, Texas 76384
940-552-6291
hdavid@vernoncollege.edu

 

Vernon College Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Kristin Harris
Dean of Student Services
4400 College Drive
Osborne Administrative Building
Vernon, Texas 76384
940-552-6291
kharris@vernoncollege.edu

Student Success Specialist

Student Services Offices on Vernon Campus and Century City Center

Campus Police on Vernon Campus and Century City Center

There are many resources in the community to help individuals who believe they have been sexually assaulted. Start somewhere--it doesn't matter where. You choose; but we strongly encourage you to seek medical attention first!

Seek Medical Attention and Preserve Evidence

Medical care can help:

  • Treat any injuries you may have
  • Take precautions to treat sexually transmitted infections or to prevent pregnancy.
  • Collect and preserve evidence in case you decide to proceed with the option of legal action.
    • Note: Evidence is best collected within the first 72 hours of the assault. It is important that you do not shower, eat, drink or change your clothes before evidence is collected. Doing so may destroy important physical evidence that could be used if you decide to prosecute the assailant.
    • If you suspect that you may have been drugged, request that the hospital take a urine sample for drug toxicology testing to be done by your law enforcement agency's crime lab. A special test must be conducted to detect rohypnol or other "date rape" drugs in a urine sample.

Local Medical Facilities for Vernon College:

  • Wilbarger General Hospital (Vernon, Texas) – 940-552-9351
    • 920 Hillcrest Drive, Vernon, Texas 76384
  • United Regional Health Care System (Wichita Falls, Texas) - 940-764-7000
    • 1600 11th Street, Wichita Falls, Texas 76301
  • Kell West Regional Hospital (Wichita Falls, Texas) – 940-692-5888
    • 5420 Kell Blvd., Wichita Falls, Texas 76310

 

Contact a trained, experienced, confidential student success specialist

or a Vernon College staff member who can refer you to emotional help

  • Rape Crisis Hotline – 1-800-656-4673 The National Sexual Assault Hotline run by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
  • Vernon College Student Success Specialists –
  • Vernon Campus – Student Services 940-552-6291 ext 2203 and 2253
  • Century City Center – Student Services 940-696-8752 ext 3209, 3202 and 3352
  • Vernon College Dean of Student Services – 940-552-6291 ext 2312 or 3304
  • Vernon College Director of Human Resources – 940-552-6291 ext 2328

Contact Law Enforcement

  • Vernon College Police Department -
    • Vernon Campus Osborne Administration Building 940-552-6291 ext 2272
    • Century City Center Wichita Falls 940-696-8752 ext 3207
  • Vernon, Texas Police Department – 911 or 940-553-3311
  • Wilbarger County Sherriff’s Department – 940-552-6205
  • Wichita Falls, Texas Police Department – 911 or 940-761-7792
  • Wichita County Sherriff’s Department – 911 or 940-766-8170

Assistance is available from Vernon College and local law enforcement 24 hours a day, year-round.

Vernon College will escort any Vernon College community member to a safe place, provide transportation to the hospital, assist in coordination with local law enforcement (including filing a crime report or seeking a protective order), and provide information about Vernon College complaint processes.

The Time Period After A Sexual Assault Can Be Very Confusing

  • You do not have to deal with this alone.
  • There are no right or wrong answers.
  • Remember: it is not your fault.
  • As soon as you have a quiet moment where you feel safe, try to write down everything that you remember happening, with as much detail as possible. This will help in the healing process, identifying the assailant, and in any legal action that may be taken.
  • All decisions about how to proceed belong to you--you have the resources to help you!

Reports may be made anonymously or in person, by email, phone or mail to:

Vernon College Title IX Coordinator
Haven David
Director of Human Resources
4400 College Drive
Osborne Administration Building
Vernon, Texas 76384
940-552-6291
hdavid@vernoncollege.edu

 

Vernon College Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Kristin Harris
Dean of Student Services
4400 College Drive
Osborne Administrative Building
Vernon, Texas 76384
940-552-6291
kharris@vernoncollege.edu

Processes

Vernon College will investigate complaints of sexual misconduct initiated by College employees and students, as provided herein, pursuant to the following procedures:

Preliminary Considerations

Informal Consultation and Counseling: The Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or the Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services, on an informal basis, may receive initial inquiries, reports and requests for consultation and counseling. Assistance will be available whether or not a formal complaint is contemplated or even possible. It is the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Deputy Coordinator to respond to all such inquiries, reports and requests as promptly as possible and in a manner appropriate to the particular circumstances. An employee or student making an inquiry or seeking assistance need not have personally experienced the incident of sexual misconduct, witnesses or other parties who receive notice that an incident of sexual misconduct has occurred can also access assistance or make an inquiry or complaint through the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Deputy Coordinator.

Students and employees are advised that the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources may determine that it is necessary to initiate an investigation and take action to address incidents of sexual misconduct based solely on information obtained through an inquiry or informal counseling, even in the absence of a formal complaint.

Confidentiality: The College understands the confidential and private nature of reports of sexual misconduct. Upon receiving notice of an incident, or a complaint, the College will take all steps necessary to protect the privacy of the parties, but may, at some point, be required to disclose matters to certain College employees, outside parties or agencies. This section describes for students and employees, the extent to which confidentiality can be maintained.

Responsible College Employees: For the purposes of this policy, the College classifies the President, Vice-Presidents, Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services, Deans, Directors, Coordinators, Division Chairs, Athletic Director, Athletic Trainer, and members of Campus Police as “responsible employees.” Any of these College employees who receive or become aware of an incident of sexual misconduct occurring to a College student or employee are considered to have received notice on behalf of the College and are required to report such information to the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services. As such, the incidents will be investigated and properly resolved through complaint and appeal procedures delineated herein. Once an investigation is commenced, however, the information will be tightly controlled and only people with a need to know will be told, and information will be shared only as necessary with investigators, adjudicatory decision makers, witnesses and the accused individual (Respondent).

In cases where a Complainant specifically requests that his or her name not be disclosed to the Respondent, or that the College not investigate or seek action against the alleged Respondent, the school will honor the request after discussion with the Complainant and a determination that a safe environment can still be provided for all students, including the Complainant. In these cases, the College will take steps such as increased monitoring and supervision, additional security at the locations or activities where the alleged sexual misconduct occurred. Additional training and disbursement of educational materials to students and employees as needed. Specific steps will be taken to protect the student or employee, including but not limited to, on campus escorts, revised work or classroom schedules, counseling services or referral to counseling services.

Confidential Counseling and Medical Providers: Students and employees who wish to maintain incidents as confidential should speak with off-campus private mental health therapists and counselors, private attorneys, physicians, and members of the clergy.
These individuals cannot be required or compelled to disclose confidential information provided to them by students or employees who have been subjected to sexual misconduct. 

Service Providers: Students and employees who seek assistance through domestic violence shelters, sexual assault crisis agencies and similar services, whose functions are to support and protect survivors and actively promote the creation of safe environments, can expect information to be kept confidential under most circumstances.
Pursuant to federal and state law, information regarding incidents of sexual misconduct will be kept confidential except for use in a criminal investigation or proceeding in response to a lawfully issued subpoena. However, these service providers are especially adept and trained to protect survivors even in the event that certain information must be provided as part of a criminal investigation.

Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations: Federal law requires that certain campus officials report incidents of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking solely for federal statistical reporting purposes. However, all personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be forwarded to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and the general location where it occurred for publication in the Campus Security Report.

Federal Timely Warning Reporting Obligations: Employees and students who have been subjected to acts of sexual misconduct should also be aware that federal law requires College administrators issue immediate timely warnings for incidents that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. Under these circumstances, the Complainant’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, but the campus community will still be provided with enough information so that individuals can make safety decisions in light of the immediate danger posed.

 Initiating a Formal Complaint of Sexual Misconduct: Complainants should contact the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services, as soon as possible following the alleged incident of sexual misconduct, or the date on which the Complainant first knew or reasonably should have known of such act.1 All such complaints may be submitted on the form provided by the College or in a personal memorandum or letter. However, the complaint need not be put in writing, it is enough for the Complainant to meet with the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services who can draft a complaint for the Complainant’s review and approval.
1 Complainants who may have been unconscious during an act of sexual misconduct may not learn about the incident until days, weeks or months after the incident occurred. Under these circumstances, Complainants should not hesitate to make a complaint upon learning of the incident.

Elements of a Complaint: The written complaint shall contain:

  1. a) The name, local and permanent address(es), and telephone number(s) of the Complainant.
    b) A statement of facts explaining what happened and what the Complainant believes constituted the act(s) of sexual misconduct in sufficient detail to give each Respondent reasonable notice of what is claimed against him/her. The statement should include the date, approximate time and place where the alleged acts of unlawful sexual misconduct occurred. If the acts occurred on more than one date, the statement should also include the last date on which the acts occurred as well as detailed information about the prior acts.
    c) The names of any potential witnesses should be provided.
    d) The name(s), and address(es) and telephone number(s) (if known) of the Respondent(s), i.e., the person(s) claimed to have committed the act(s) sexual misconduct.
    e) Identification of the title and/or status of the person(s) charged whether student, administration, faculty, or staff.

a) Upon receipt of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services, will provide an initialed, signed, date-stamped copy of the complaint to the Complainant. The complaint, together with a statement, shall be documented in a complaint file.
b) The Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services, or their designee, shall begin a review and investigation of the complaint within 3 working days from the filing of the complaint. Steps will be taken immediately to insure the safety and wellbeing of a Complainant where necessary.
c) Within 3 working days after the date of filing of the complaint, the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services will provide notice that a complaint has been filed, as well as an explanation of the nature of the complaint to the Respondent(s). Alternatively, such notice of the complaint may be given by email or personal delivery,
provided such delivery is made by the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services, and that proper proof of such delivery, including the date, time and place where such delivery occurred is documented.
d) The Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services shall review all relevant information and interview pertinent witnesses. Both the Complainant and the Respondent(s) shall be entitled to submit oral, recorded, and transcribed statements or other relevant and material evidence to the written record compiled by the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services. Evidence and/or testimony regarding the Complainant’s sexual history with anyone except the Respondent will not be considered.
e) Vernon College reserves the right to protect individual or community safety and to act as needed on an interim manner pending the resolution of a complaint. This may include but is not limited to the interim suspension of a Respondent, the alteration of a Respondent’s or Complainant’s course schedule or work schedule, the alteration of a Respondent’s or Complainant’s work assignment, on-campus escort services by Campus Safety as deemed appropriate or the establishment of no contact/stay away orders.
f) No later than 30 working days, from the acceptance of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services shall prepare a summary of findings and recommendation(s), and, where necessary, for further action to be taken with regard to the Respondent. In assessing and resolving the complaint, the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services shall utilize clear and convincing evidence standard of review, i.e., the evidence is highly and substantially more likely to be true than untrue that sexual misconduct occurred.
g) If the Respondent is an employee of the College, the President shall be provided with the summary of findings and recommendations for further action to be taken by the supervisor(s) of the Respondent. If the Respondent is the President, the findings and recommendations of the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees for review and action. Where findings are made against the Respondent, sanctions, up to and including termination, shall be assessed by the supervisor or, where applicable, the Board of Trustees at this stage no later than 10 working days of receipt of the summary of findings.
h) If the Respondent is a student of the College, the Vice-President of Student Services shall be provided with the summary of findings and recommendations. Where findings are made against the student, the Vice-President of Student Services may take such disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion, against the student as deemed appropriate. Any determination as to the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken with regard to a student Respondent shall be made within 10 working days of the Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services completion of the summary of findings.
i) No later than 5 working days following the determination of appropriate disciplinary action to be taken, a letter shall be issued by the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services to the Complainant and the Respondent(s) advising them of the findings of the investigation and the disciplinary action to be taken by the College, if necessary. The letters shall be personally delivered or mailed to the last known address of the Complainant and Respondent. For the purposes of establishing receipt by mail, receipt will be assumed to have occurred within 3 working days of the date the letter was mailed.
j) Recommended disciplinary actions shall be executed within one working day of a Respondent’s failure to file a timely notice of appeal as established by this policy.
k) In the case of appealing student Respondents whose recommended sanction is expulsion, no final action of expulsion shall be executed until completion of the appeal process where the original recommendation is affirmed. Employee Respondents whose contracts have not yet expired and are appealing an adverse finding, where dismissal is the recommended sanction, shall not be dismissed until after completion of the appeal process where the original recommendation is affirmed. In those cases, where employee Respondents are at will or have contracts that are non-renewed and expire during the pendency of the appeal process, these employee Respondents will not be retained pending the outcome of the appeal, but may seek to be reinstated where an original adverse finding is reversed. Any such reinstatement will be in the discretion of the College.

Appeals: The Complainant or Respondent may appeal the findings of a complaint
of sexual misconduct, including, where applicable, the determined disciplinary action
or sanction.

a) Within five (5) working days of receiving such notice of findings and, where applicable, disciplinary action, the Complainant or Respondent may appeal the supervisor’s and/or Vice-President of Student Services’ decision. The appeal shall be in writing and provided to the President of Vernon College, notifying the President of the Complainant’s or Respondent’s request for a hearing. In those cases where the Respondent is the President, or an employee directly supervised by the President, the Board of Trustees decision as to the President, or the President’s decision and adoption of findings as to that employee Respondent, shall be appealed to the Board of Trustees in writing, notifying the Board of Trustees of the Complainant’s or Respondent’s request for a hearing. The request to the Board of Trustees may be delivered to the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources for effectuation of service.
b) Where the President receives the notice, the President will give prompt notice to the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources that the Complainant or Respondent has taken an appeal to the President. Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources shall promptly forward to the President the complete record of the matter, including the investigative file, findings, and recommendations.
c) Where the decision is appealed to the Board of Trustees, the Board of Trustees will give prompt notice to the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources that the Complainant or Respondent has taken an appeal to the Board of Trustees. The Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources shall promptly forward to the Board of Trustees the complete record of the matter, including the investigative file, findings, and recommendations.
d) Within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal, the President or the Board of Trustees shall appoint an independent arbitrator, licensed to practice law within the State of Texas, to review the case and conduct such hearing as specified herein. The investigative file, findings, recommendations and notices of appeal shall be forwarded to the independent arbitrator.
e) The hearing shall be held within fifteen (15) working days after appointment of the independent arbitrator, unless the parties mutually agree to a delay for good cause. Notice of the appointment, and the date, time and location of the hearing shall be provided to the Complainant and Respondent by the independent arbitrator.
f) Documents and identity of witnesses to be relied upon by the Complainant and Respondent(s), during the hearing, shall be provided to the independent arbitrator no later than 10 working days prior to the hearing. The independent arbitrator will forward the documents and list of witnesses of each respective party to the other party on the same day of receipt.
g) The Complainant and Respondent may each be represented by a person designated in writing to act for them. Notice, at least five (5) working days in advance of the hearing, shall be given by each party intending to be represented, including the name of the representative, to the independent arbitrator in writing.
h) The hearing shall be conducted privately. Only the independent arbitrator, Complainant, Respondent, their representatives and a testifying witness may be present. Witnesses shall be excluded from the hearing until it is their turn to present evidence. In the event witnesses, the Complainant and, or the Respondent feel uncomfortable being physically present in the room, accommodation shall be provided by allowing the party or witness to participate by video conferencing.
i) The independent arbitrator shall control the conduct of the hearing, the general order of which shall be as follows: 

  1. The Complainant or Respondent appealing the matter shall present such proof by documents and witness testimony that the appealing Complainant or Respondent desires to offer to challenge the findings and, or disciplinary action determined by the College through the investigatory process.
  2. Upon such offer of proof, the non-appealing Complainant or Respondent, or their representative, may cross-examine any witnesses presented by the appealing party.
  3. Once the Complainant or Respondent who appealed the matter has presented his or her witnesses and documentary evidence, the non-appealing Complainant or Respondent may then rebut the appealing party’s arguments, documents and testimony through the presentation of witnesses and documentation of their own.
  4. Upon such offer of proof on rebuttal, the appealing Complainant or Respondent, or their representative, may cross-examine any witnesses presented by the non-appealing Complainant or Respondent. 
  5. In the case where either the Complainant or Respondent is providing testimony, only the independent arbitrator may cross-examine and ask additional questions. The representatives for the Complainant or Respondent may provide the independent arbitrator with areas of knowledge or questions they believe relevant to the disposition of the matter.
  6. At any time during the examination or cross-examination of any witness, the independent arbitrator may ask his or her own questions in order to obtain additional information he or she believes is relevant to disposition of the case.
  7. In those cases where the parties have failed to identify the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services as a witness, the independent arbitrator may ask that the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services provide testimony regarding their investigation and findings.
  8. Questioning or evidence about the Complainant’s sexual history with anyone except the Respondent shall not be permitted.
  9. Closing arguments may be made by each party or their representatives.

j) A transcription of the hearing shall be made.
k) The independent arbitrator shall render a decision within ten calendar (10) days after completion of the hearing and deliver a copy to the Complainant, Respondent and either the President or Board of Trustees who appointed him or her as independent arbitrator. In rendering his or her decision, the independent arbitrator shall utilize a preponderance of the evidence standard of review, i.e., it shall be determined whether it is more likely than not that sexual misconduct occurred. The independent arbitrator shall deliver the decision by U.S. Mail and receipt will be assumed to have occurred three working days
after the date the decision was mailed.
l) Within 3 working days of receipt of the independent arbitrator’s decision, the Complainant or Respondent may appeal the matter to the Board of Trustees who will schedule the matter for presentation at the next scheduled Board of Trustees meeting. The Board of Trustees shall be provided the record on appeal by the independent arbitrator. The presentations shall be heard in closed session and only the Board of Trustees, their attorney, and the Complainant and the Respondent, as well as their attorneys or representatives shall be present.
m) The Board of Trustees shall issue its decision no later than 5 working days after presentation of the appeal. The Board’s decision shall be final.

Timely Notice of Appeal: If at any time during the appeal process the Complainant or Respondent fails to provide timely notice of appeal; the decision of the supervisor, the Vice-President of Student Services, or the Board of Trustees shall be final.

Other Policies Not Applicable: Unless expressly referenced in this policy, the requirements of any other policy or provision relating to rights or procedures for filing and hearing of a grievance or an appeal, or specifying a time within which a grievance or appeal must be filed or heard, are overruled as inapplicable to sexual misconduct complaints.

Extension of Time Limits: During the pendency of the investigation and appeal process, any party may request an extension of time limits stated herein to deal with emergent exigencies. A request for an extension of time limits shall submitted to and approved by the College President during the investigation stage, or the independent arbitrator during the appeal stage. If the President is the Respondent, any such request must be made to the Board of Trustees. All parties must be advised of any approved request by the party granting the request. 

Filing Externally: The Complainant is free to access assistance through appropriate state or federal agencies at any point during a complaint, investigation or appeal process. The Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services will provide general information on state and federal guidelines and laws, as well as names and addresses of such agencies who can assist with such matters as filing criminal charges and obtaining protective orders.

Freedom from Reprisal or Retaliation: Complaints involve sensitive student and personnel matters. All parties involved in a complaint shall take the process seriously and respect the rights of privacy of the Complainant, the Respondent, the reviewer(s), and any witnesses or parties engaged in the complaint process. There will be no retaliation, interference, or harassment toward any party to a complaint. Should a Complainant, Respondent or witness experience any reprisal or retaliation during the pendency of a complaint pursuant to this section, the party should immediately report the retaliatory action to the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Human Resources or Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Dean of Student Services. The complaint will be investigated and action will be taken pursuant to the complaint, investigation and appeal procedures in the Vernon College Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct.

 In addition to assisting students and employees with complaints, the College continues to take steps aimed at reducing or eliminating sexual misconduct by offering or making available the following resources and educational program to students and employees: 

  1. SAVE Act training for students and employees
  2. Title IX and Sexual Harassment training
  3. Dating Violence and Bystander Training
  4. Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention information

Students and employees may also obtain written information on the topics listed
above, as well as published crime statistics. Students have the opportunity for on-campus confidential counseling, and referral for treatment to off-campus
community-based counseling services.



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Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 6 p.m. // Friday - 8:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
  • Vernon Campus
    4400 College Drive
    Vernon, TX 76384
    940.552.6291
  • Century City Center
    4105 Maplewood
    Wichita Falls, TX 76308
    940.696.8752
  • Skills Training Center
    2813 Central Expressway East
    Wichita Falls, TX 76302
    940.766.3369
  • Seymour Learning Center
    200 Stadium Dr
    Seymour, TX 76380
    940.889.3133