Policies

VI. Reporting a Violation of this Policy

Incidents of discrimination and discriminatory harassment are notoriously underreported on college campuses, often because the complainant does not recognize their experience as a college policy violation, or due to their lack of knowledge of resources. By seeking assistance and reporting conduct covered by this Policy, complainants can initiate fair resolution processes and promote the standards of community and respect that are a part of Central College. The College encourages complainants to talk to somebody about what happened – so they can get the support they need, and so the College can respond appropriately.

A. Confidential Resources

If a complainant would like the details of an incident be kept confidential, they should speak with a campus counselor or the campus chaplain. These resources will maintain confidentiality unless there is present or future, clear and imminent threat to the client or others or when legal requirements demand that confidential information is revealed, e.g. court ordered testimony. In any situation where confidential information must be revealed, it will be done with client-informed consent whenever possible. Campus counselors are available to help students free of charge and can be seen on an emergency basis. Employees have access to counselors free of charge through the Employee Assistance Program (https://www.efr.org/login/). Off-campus victim counselors and rape crisis resources are also confidential resources. On and off-campus, emergency assistance is also available as listed below:


On Campus                 Contact Person                Phone #
Counseling Services   Catherine Fields-Nelson     641-628-5431
Chaplain                      Joel Brummel 641-628-7648

Off-Campus                                                          Phone #
Marion County Mental Health Centers:  

Pine Rest Pella Clinic                                      641-628-9599
Crossroads                                                      641-628-1212
Capstone - Newton                                         641-792-4012
Capstone – Knoxville                                      641-842-4925

Crisis Intervention Services:

24/7 Emergency hotline                                1-800-270-1620
Shelter                                                             641-673-5499

It must be noted that sharing an incident only with a confidential resource does not constitute making an official report. The College may not be able to investigate or follow up unless or until the incident is reported to the Title IX Coordinator or a mandated reporter, or when law enforcement informs the College about a report.


B. Official College Reporting Options

If complainants wish the College to be notified about and/or resolve an incident of harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation, they should report as promptly as possible to the Title IX Coordinator or other College Official With Authority (OWA):

1. Reports to the Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for ensuring compliance with this Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy and all related processes. The Title IX Coordinator has the primary responsibility for coordinating Central College’s efforts related to the intake, investigation, resolution, and implementation of supportive measures to stop, remediate, and prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation prohibited under this Policy. The Title IX Coordinator will not personally investigate any complaints or play any decision-making role with respect to responsibility findings or sanction decisions. The Title IX Coordinator should be considered a resource for all parties involved in the processes. The Title IX Coordinator acts with independence and authority free from bias and conflicts of interest. To raise any concern involving bias or conflict of interest by the Title IX Coordinator, contact Central College President, Mark Putnam (President@central.edu). Central College’s Title IX Coordinator is
Peggy Fitch.

Peggy Fitch, Ph.D.
Title IX Coordinator and Equity Officer,
Emeritus Professor of Psychology
Student Development
Office location: Maytag 211A
Office phone: 641-628-5249
Email: TitleIX@central.edu or fitchp@central.edu
Address: Campus Box 023, Central College, 812 University Ave., Pella, IA 50219

A report to the Title IX Coordinator may be made at any time (including during non-business hours), by using the telephone number or email address, or by mail to the campus box office address, listed for the Title IX Coordinator. Reports may also be made in person during business hours.


2. Reports to College OWAs
An individual who is subjected to conduct covered by this Policy is encouraged to make an official college report directly to the Title IX Coordinator, but may also report to a College Official with Authority to take corrective action, or OWA. At Central College, the OWAs include all personnel who have a supervisory role, and residence life student employees. A report to an OWA is expected to be transferred immediately to the Title IX Coordinator.

3. Reports to Other, Non-Confidential College Employees
At Central College all employees (including student employees) are expected to bring instances of alleged discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, to the attention of the Title IX Coordinator or an OWA, unless the employee is acting as a campus chaplain or campus counselor covered by the confidential reporting options listed elsewhere in this Policy. When a complainant tells a College employee, other than the Title IX Coordinator, about an incident involving conduct covered by this Policy, the individual should not expect confidentiality in that communication. Likewise, any College employee is expected to promptly share with the Title IX Coordinator all known details of a report made to them concerning conduct covered by this Policy. Doing so will allow the Title IX Coordinator to reach out to the complainant to ensure safety, offer supportive measures, and provide options. College employees are not to investigate and are not required to obtain proof of any actual Policy violation. To the extent possible, information reported to any College employee will be shared only with officials with authority responsible for handling the College’s response to the report.


4. Requests for Confidentiality and/or When a Complainant Does Not Wish to Proceed
If a complainant does not want their name to be shared, does not want an investigation to take place, or does not want a formal complaint to be pursued, the request for confidentiality should be made to the Title IX Coordinator, either by the complainant or by a College employee who receives the report. The Title IX Coordinator will weigh the request for confidentiality/no formal action against the College’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students and employees, including the complainant. In conducting this analysis, the Title IX Coordinator will weigh the complainant’s request and preferences against factors such as: the seriousness of the alleged misconduct; the complainants’ age; whether there have been other complaints against the accused that increase the risk of the campus community; whether the alleged incident involved threatened future sexual violence or use of force or a weapon; whether an incident involved multiple respondents; whether an incident involved alcohol, drugs, or any date rape drug; whether the school has other methods for obtaining relevant evidence (i.e., security cameras or physical evidence); and, when the matter is under the scope of Title IX, to what extent non-participation by the Complainant may impact the availability of evidence and the College’s ability to pursue a Formal Grievance Process fairly and effectively.

Based on this assessment, the College may decide not to honor the complainant’s desire for confidentiality, and investigate and adjudicate a violation of this Policy, when doing so is not clearly unreasonable. If so, the Title IX Coordinator may sign a formal complaint to initiate a resolution process. The Title IX Coordinator will not become the Complainant. The Complainant retains all rights of a Complainant under this Policy irrespective of their level of participation. Central will not be able to ensure the complainant’s confidentiality, but will still offer and provide supportive measures.

In cases in which the Complainant requests confidentiality/no formal action and the circumstances allow the College to honor that request, the College will offer informal resolution options (see below), supportive measures, and remedies to the Complainant and the community, but will not otherwise pursue formal action.

If the Complainant elects to take no action, they can change that decision if they decide to pursue a complaint at a later date. Upon making a complaint, a Complainant has the right, and can expect, to have allegations taken seriously by the College, and to have the incidents investigated and properly resolved through these procedures.

C. Anonymous Reporting Option

Individuals can report information relating to alleged violations of this Policy to Central Sees. Knowledge of any crime or suspicious activity that occurred on campus can be reported by completing the on-line form. Click here for Central Sees Website. Information will be kept confidential within the limits of the law. Anonymous reports for violations of this Policy are accepted but pose important limitations to what the College can do to help. The Title IX Coordinator tries to provide at a minimum supportive measures to all Complainants, which is impossible with an anonymous report.

D. Limited Immunity for Reporting

Central College encourages the reporting of misconduct and crimes. Sometimes, Complainants or witnesses are hesitant to report to College officials or participate in resolution processes because they fear they may be in violation of certain policies, such as underage drinking or use of illicit drugs. Respondents may hesitate to be forthcoming during the process for the same reasons. It is in the best interests of the Central community that Complainants choose to report misconduct to College officials, that witnesses come forward to share what they know, and that all parties be forthcoming during the process.

To encourage reporting and participation in the process, Central College maintains a Good Samaritan policy (https://webapps.central.edu/policies/policy/368/), which offers parties and witnesses limited immunity from minor policy violations – such as underage consumption of alcohol or the use of illicit drugs – related to an alleged incident of misconduct. Limited immunity does not apply to more serious allegations such as physical abuse of another or illicit drug distribution.

The severity of the infraction will determine the applicability of the Good Samaritan policy, but whenever possible the College will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal or improper use of drugs and/or alcohol so as not to inhibit the reporting of a violation of this Policy.

E. False Allegations and Evidence

Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations under this Policy, as opposed to allegations which, even if erroneous, are made in good faith, are a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action (https://webapps.central.edu/policies/policy/366/).

Additionally, witnesses and parties knowingly providing false evidence, tampering with or destroying evidence after being directed to preserve such evidence, or deliberately misleading an official conducting an investigation can be subject to discipline under Central College policy.

F. Federal Notification and Statistical Reporting Obligations

Federal law requires Student Safety to publish an annual report of certain crimes that fall within the scope of this Policy that have occurred and their general location (on or off campus or in the surrounding area; no addresses are given). These reports contain statistical information only. All personally identifiable information is kept confidential.

This law, the Clery Act, also requires institutions to issue timely warnings to the campus community about crimes that have already occurred but may continue to pose a serious or ongoing threat to students and employees. Timely warnings are only required for Clery-reportable crimes that occur on Clery-defined geography, although Central reserves the right to issue appropriate warnings regarding other criminal activity that may pose a serious threat as well. The College will make every effort to ensure that a complainant’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger.

G. Law Enforcement

Along with the on-campus reporting options described above, Central College strongly encourages a complainant to make a report to local law enforcement and to speak with a rape crisis or other counselor, on or off campus, to the extent alleged discrimination or harassment constitutes a crime. An officer can be dispatched to campus to meet with the person calling, to assist the complainant in obtaining medical attention and emotional counseling, and to write a formal report of the incident. Although reporting to law enforcement is strongly encouraged, at no time will any individual be forced to make a report to law enforcement as a precondition to using the internal reporting/resolution processes described in this Policy. The Title IX Coordinator, deputy coordinators, counselors, chaplain, and off-campus victim advocates can assist in notifying law enforcement, if a complainant chooses.

Law Enforcement Contacts:
Pella Police Department, 641-628-4921
Marion County Sheriff, 641-828-2220