In November 2018, the U.S. Department of Education issued a proposal to amend the regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The proposed regulations focused on sexual harassment (including sexual assault) and were intended to replace prior guidance issued by the Federal Government. The Federal Title IX Rules have now been released and may be viewed via the: Department of Education website.
Blake Austin 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 is committed to supporting victims and survivors of sexual misconduct and encourages all individuals or third party witnesses to report any incident to the College.
Making a report means telling a designated Campus Resource (see information below) what happened — in person, by telephone, in writing or by electronic communication. 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 the College will consider the Complainant’s wishes 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.
Any individual who reports sexual misconduct 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.
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 Blake Austin College 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.
Sexual Assault/Crisis Hotline:
24 hours a day, confidential reporting and assistance
2000 L Street North West Suite 406, Washington DC 20036 OR
866-4UR-SAFE (866) 487-7233
The College encourages all individuals to report misconduct to:
Elizabeth Blake, Director of Academics – Main Campus
Title IX Coordinator
Available on weekdays during regular office hours; 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
Compliance@BlakeAustinCollege.edu; (707) 455-0557
All Blake Austin College community members are strongly encouraged to report information regarding any incident of sexual misconduct directly to the Title IX Officer or a member of the Title IX team. 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 misconduct. An individual may report the incident without disclosing their 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 Anonymous Reporting Form can be found here. The Title IX Officer/Coordinator(s) 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.
Timeliness and Location of Incident: Complainants and third-party witnesses are encouraged to report sexual misconduct 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 Blake Austin College community, the College will still seek to meet its Title IX obligation by taking steps to end the misconduct, 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 a substantial effect on the Complainant’s on-campus life and activities or poses a threat or danger to members of the Blake Austin College community may also be addressed under this policy.
Amnesty for Alcohol or Other Drug Use: The College community encourages the reporting of prohibited conduct under this policy. It is in the best interest of this community that as many Complainants as possible choose to report to college officials, and that witnesses come forward to share what they know. To encourage reporting, an individual who reports sexual misconduct, either as a Complainant or a third- party witness, will not be subject to disciplinary action by the College for their own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The College may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs.
Coordination with Law Enforcement: Blake Austin College encourages Complainants to pursue criminal action for incidents of sexual misconduct that may also be crimes under California 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 California 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.
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.
Statement against Retaliation: It is a violation of Blake Austin College policy to retaliate in any way against an individual because that individual raised allegations of sexual misconduct. 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 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.
The College will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. The College takes the accuracy of information very seriously as a charge of sexual misconduct may have severe consequences. 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.