1.06 Student Code of Conduct and Grievance Procedures

1.06 Student Code of Conduct and Grievance Procedures

Title: Student Code of Conduct and Grievance Procedures 
Number: AP 1.06
Adopted: August 2012
Reviewed: August 2020
Revised: August 2020

Jurisdiction Over Student Conduct
Students at Nicolet College are annually provided an electronic copy of, and access to the Student Code of Conduct.  Students are responsible for reading and agreeing to abide by the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct and the authority of the student conduct process.  The Student Code of Conduct and the student conduct process apply to the conduct of individual students and College-affiliated student organizations.  Said conduct will be measured against the preponderance of evidence standard (more likely than not; see the glossary for more information) to determine if a violation of the Student Code of Conduct has occurred.

Because the Student Code of Conduct is based on shared values, it establishes a set of expectations for the Nicolet College student, no matter where or when their conduct may take place (e.g. Study Abroad).  Therefore, the Student Code of Conduct will apply to behaviors that take place on campus, at College-sponsored events, and may also apply off-campus, when the College determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial College interest.  A substantial College interest is defined to include:

A. Incidents that constitute a criminal offense as defined by Federal or Wisconsin State law.  This includes first time and repeat violations of any local, state, or federal law.

B. Incidents where it appears the student may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of themselves or others.

C. Incidents that significantly infringe upon the rights, property of self or others, or significantly breaches the peace, and/or causes social disruption.

D. Any situation that is harmful to the educational interests of the College.

The Student Code of Conduct may be applied to conduct that takes place during the time a person is enrolled as a student, including all College breaks and between semesters.  Further, the Student Code of Conduct applies to guests and community members; hosts may be held accountable for the misconduct of their guests.  Visitors to and guests of Nicolet College are also protected by the Student Code of Conduct and may initiate grievances for violations of the Student Code of Conduct committed by members of the Nicolet College community against them.

Nicolet College may also extend its jurisdiction to misconduct that occurs prior to, but is not reported until after, graduation of the offending student.  Any such misconduct will not subject the violator to normal conduct proceedings but will subject them to special proceedings with the possible outcome of revocation of a degree.

Explanation of Policies and Definitions
This Student Code of Conduct (Code) and College policies are provided to give students general notice of conduct expectations.  This Code and College policies are not intended to define misconduct comprehensively. 

Inherent Authority
Students are expected to comply with requests from College officials.  Communications from the College to the students will be delivered via the student’s nicoletcollege.edu email address and students are expected to respond without delay to requests, directions, and directives from College officials acting in the performance of their duties. 

Complaints / Reporting / Confidentiality
Any person may file a conduct complaint/report with Nicolet College, orally or in writing about a student, student group, and/or organization suspected of violating this Code or College policy.  Person making such complaints will normally be expected to cooperate with the investigating Conduct Officer. 

  1. Filing of complaints:  Any member of the College community, including guests and visitors, may file a complaint against a student alleging a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.  At the request of any guest, visitor, student, faculty, or staff member, or acting independently, the College may file a complaint against any student according to the standards established by the Student Code of Conduct alleging a violation of the Code.
  2. How to file the complaint

Reports can be made in two different ways:

  1. Confidential: Reports submitted confidentially may not have enough information for the College to formally investigate an incident.  In cases with sufficient information or multiple reports, the College may move forward as the “Complainant” with or without a cooperating witness.  Reports submitted confidentially but without enough information will be used for statistics and tracking purposes only.
  2. Non-Confidential: Reports submitted non-confidentially will be reviewed by conduct personnel to determine if a violation of the Code of Conduct may have taken place.  During this process, the investigating Conduct Officer may ask the individual who submitted the report to provide additional information or details.
  3. Confidentiality: Cases involving discrimination and especially sexual harassment are particularly sensitive and demand special attention to issues of confidentiality.  Dissemination of information relating to the case should be limited to individuals who have a legitimate need to know or who have information relevant to the investigation in order that the privacy of all individuals involved is safeguarded to the extent practicable under the circumstances.

Every effort should be made to protect members of the College community so that they may report incidents, especially incidents involving acts of discrimination and sexual harassment, without fear of reprisal or retaliatory action. Confidentiality will be respected insofar as it does not interfere with the College’s obligation to investigate allegations of misconduct and to take corrective action where appropriate.  College employees and students are encouraged to comply with requests to provide statements during an investigation.  If a College employee or student chooses not to comply with these requests, the investigation and resulting decisions will still proceed without the benefit of their input. 

Applicability of Code/Focus of Investigation

A. This Code does not apply to any admission decision.

B. The focus of the investigation in student conduct proceedings is to determine whether students accused of violating this Code or College policy are “responsible” or “not responsible” as alleged and to assign any applicable sanctions. 

C. Should a student withdraw from the College with a pending conduct complaint, it is the typical practice of the College to pursue investigation and resolution of the campus complaint, regardless of the fact that the student has withdrawn.  If the student is found responsible for violation of the Student Code of Conduct, a hold will be placed on the student, restricting the ability of the student to re-enroll until all sanctions have been satisfied.

Violations of Law
Allegations of violations of federal, state, and local laws are incorporated as offenses under the Student Code of Conduct.  Any offense for which the College has jurisdiction, the College conduct process will usually go forward notwithstanding any criminal charges that may arise from the same incident.  College proceedings will not be subject to challenge because criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced. Double jeopardy does not exist for a student undergoing investigation in a conduct matter and criminal matter stemming from the same incident.

 When a student is accused, arrested, charged, or indicted for a crime committed off-campus, the College may elect to take action for violations of the Student Code of Conduct, under Administrative Policy 1.06, which incorporates violation of local, state, or federal laws as code infractions.

When criminal charges are pending for any felony and/or misdemeanor, the College may be delayed or prevented from conducting its own investigation and from moving forward with a conduct hearing.  In such cases, the College may choose to delay its hearing until it can conduct an internal investigation or obtain from law enforcement sufficient information upon which to proceed.  The College will notify the student of these situations and let them know when the conduct process will begin and all deadlines will be as of that date.

In cases that fall within the protections of Title IX as sex or gender discrimination, delays can be granted but for not longer than 10-14 days to allow for law enforcement evidence gathering. The College process cannot be delayed beyond the above time frame unless all parties agree because the evidence gathering phase by law enforcement extends beyond the timeframe identified above.

Nicolet College may pursue enforcement of its own rules whether or not legal proceedings are underway or in prospect and may use information from law enforcement agencies, news agencies, and the court to assist in determining whether College rules have been violated.

Conduct Expectations
Student members of the Nicolet College community are expected to uphold and abide by the following set of rules:

Abuse of College Technology:  Misuse of College computing facilities, equipment, network, passwords, accounts, or information.  Students who connect their personal computers (or other technologies) to the campus network will be held responsible for any violation of this policy that originates from that device.  Examples of misuse include:

A. Access, use, inspection, or modification of data or functions that are neither allotted nor authorized as a part of the user’s account nor specified as public domain information;

B. Access, use, inspection, or modification of data that refer to computer utilization, computer access authorization, or security;

C. Abuse or improper use of hardware;

D. Installing or executing unauthorized or unlicensed software on any College owned or operated computer resource;

E. Causing disrupting noise, displaying abusive behavior toward other users, or creating other disturbances in any campus computing area;

F. Sending, displaying, printing, or storing obscene, pornographic, fraudulent, harassing, threatening, racist, or discriminatory images, files, or messages through the College’s network;

G. Access and/or use of another user’s account and the data contained in that account;

H. Theft, destruction, or removal of data or College-owned computer resources;

I.  Unauthorized copying, installation, and/or distributing electronic media by any means;

J. Physical or electronic interference with other computer systems users;

K. Dissemination or distribution of a user account password to any other person;

L.  Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, College official, or the normal operations of the College computing system;

M. Any other practice or user activity that constitutes irresponsible behavior, promotes illegal activities, results in the misuse of computer resources, or jeopardized the operation of computer or network systems.

Academic Misconduct:  Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • An act in which a student seeks to claim credit for the work or efforts of another without authorization or citation. 
  • Uses unauthorized materials or fabricated data in any academic exercise.
  • Forges falsifies academic documents or records. 
  • Intentionally impedes or damages the academic work of others.
  • Cheats on examinations, including the unauthorized use of materials or aids, or use of unauthorized additional time. 
  • Violates course rules as contained in the course syllabus or other information provided to the student.
  • Violates program policies and/or regulations established by a program and made available to students.

Aiding and Abetting: Action or inaction by someone in complicity with an offender, which encourages or fails to discourage a known and obvious violation of College policy or local, state, or federal law.

Alcohol Use/Abuse:  Use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages, except as expressly permitted by law and the College’s Alcohol Policy. This includes the consumption by those under the age of 21, providing alcohol to those under the age of 21, possession of a common source container (empty or full), and/or participating in “drinking games” that aid in the mass consumption of alcohol, driving under the influence, and public intoxication by persons of any age at College-controlled locations and at College-sponsored events and activities.  Conduct Officers reserve the right to hold students who acted in the best interest of the health and welfare of another student (i.e., getting medical attention for a student incapacitated by alcohol or other drugs) not responsible in alcohol use cases, even when there is evidence that they may have also been violating the policy.

Animals/Pets: Unauthorized possession of pets, creatures, or animals within College owned or operated buildings or at College sponsored activities.  See Service Animal Policy for additional information.

Destruction of Property: Intentional reckless, negligent, and/or unauthorized destruction or damage to College property or to the property of another.

Discrimination: Any act or failure to act that is based upon an individual or group's actual or perceived status (sex, gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental ability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected status) that is sufficiently severe that it limits or denies the ability to participate in or benefit from the Nicolet College’s educational program or activities.

Disorderly Conduct: Conduct which motivates and/or is intended to provoke lawless action while on campus or at functions sponsored by or participated in by the College. Conduct which is disorderly, indecent, or lewd while on campus or at functions sponsored by or participated in by the College. Failure to comply with the directions of a College official, law enforcement officers, and emergency personnel during the performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.

Disruption of College Operations:  Obstruction of teaching, research, administration, safety and security, College activities, or other authorized activities which occur on campus (e.g. conferences, guest speakers, and meetings).  Failure to comply with the directions of a College official.

Drug Use/Abuse: Under the influence and/or use, possession, in the presence of, or distribution of narcotic, other controlled substances, or the use of general products as intoxicants, as well as drug paraphernalia. Abuse and/or misuse of prescription or over-the-counter medication; allowing someone else to abuse and/or misuse your prescriptions, including “distribution” by allowing someone else access to your prescription, whether or not they have a prescription for the medication themselves.

Fire Safety: Violation of state, local, or campus fire policies, failure to evacuate a College-owned or -managed building during a fire alarm, tampering, improper use, misuse, or abuse of College fire safety equipment, unwarranted dispatch of “first responder” and/or fire emergency services, tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm in a College building, intentionally, recklessly and/or negligently causing a fire which damages College or personal property or which causes injury to any member of the community, intentionally causing or ignoring any condition which creates a substantial fire and/or safety risk upon college properties.

Furnishing False Information: Knowingly furnishing or possessing false, falsified, or forged information such as falsification or misuse of documents, accounts, records, identification, verbal, written, or otherwise communicated statements or financial implements.

Harassment: Any unwelcome conduct based on actual or perceived status including: sex, gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion, sexual orientation or other protected status. Any unwelcome conduct should be reported to campus officials, who will act to remedy and resolve reported incidents on behalf of the victim and community

Obstruction of Freedom of Movement: Obstruction of freedom of movement by community members of visitors.

Published Policies:  Violations of other published College rules or policies not represented in this Code.

Sexual Misconduct: Including sexual harassment, sexual assault, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, and rape.

Stalking: Defined as intentionally or knowingly engaging in a course of conduct directed at or concerning a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious inconvenience or emotional distress, to fear bodily injury or to fear bodily injury to a close relation, to fear death or to fear the death of a close relation, to fear damage or destruction to or tampering with property, or to fear injury to or the death of an animal owned by or in the possession and control of that specific person.

Student Conduct Process Violation:  Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information. Failure to provide, destroying, or hiding information during an investigation. Discouraging an individual’s proper participation in or use of the student conduct system. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a student conduct body prior to, during, and/or after a student conduct proceeding. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the student conduct system. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the student conduct system. Knowingly or negligently violating the terms of any student conduct sanction imposed in accordance with this Code. Retaliation against any witness or reporting individuals. Failing to respect the rights of privacy of any member of the College community (e.g. student conduct hearings and records, and other protected student records).

Theft: Knowingly taking possession of stolen property. Intentional theft or unauthorized taking of College property or the property of another.

Tobacco Use: The use of tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and vaping devices is prohibited on College-controlled locations with the exception of personal vehicles.

Trademark: Misuse or unauthorized use of College or College-affiliated organizational names, images, and logos.

Unauthorized Access: Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of means of access (keys, I.D. cards, permits, etc.) to any College building or service. Misuse of access privileges to College premises or unauthorized entry to or use of buildings or grounds.

Violation of Law:  Actions that violate local, state, tribal, or federal laws.

Violence: Threatening or causing physical harm, actions determined to be of a retaliatory nature, extreme verbal abuse, hazing, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.

Weapons Violation: Unlawful possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals on campus. 

Possible Sanctions

One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed for violations of this code or College policy:

A. Degree Revocation: Students who are expelled post-graduation are subject to having their degree revoked.  They lose the right to claim graduation from Nicolet College or to hold themselves out as graduates.  Notations will be indicated on their transcript accordingly.  Students who are suspended post-graduation are subject to having their diploma and/or degree withheld until the suspension is complete.  These proceedings will only be convened if the offense alleged would have subjected the violator to suspension or expulsion if reported prior to graduation.

B. Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from the College.  A notation will appear on the student’s transcript.  Expelled students may also be barred from the College premises and College sponsored events.

C. Suspension: Separation of the student from the College for a specific time.  A notation of suspension will appear on the student’s transcript.  Formal re-application to the College also may be required following completion of the suspension period.  The meeting of certain requirements may also accompany the suspension, and any readmission can be conditioned on the satisfactory completion and proof of completion of those requirements.

D. Conduct Probation: Conduct probation is a final and formal warning status issued by the College to the student. Further violations of the Code resulting in a finding of “responsible” will result in suspension or expulsion unless mitigating circumstances or information is identified. Additional restrictions or conditions also may be imposed.

E. Conduct Reprimand: The student is warned that further misconduct may result in more severe sanctions. The reprimand will indicate that continuation or repetition of specific conduct may be grounds for other sanctions.

F. Financial Restitution: The student is required to make payment to the College and/or to other persons, groups, or organizations for damage incurred as a result of a violation of this Code or College policies. Damages will include not only direct costs of items involved but also indirect costs of College personnel involved.

G.  Other Sanctions: Other sanctions may be imposed instead of or in addition to those specified in this Code.  Additional or other sanctions include, but are not limited to:

1. Loss of privileges, consistent with the offense committed such as:

  • On-campus dining privileges;
  • Restrictions from representing the College or participating in any extracurricular activity;
  • On-campus site restriction (e.g. class only).

2. The assignment of projects;

3. Orders of limited or no contact;

4. Imposition of fines for parking violations;

5. Confiscation for a specified time of the property or materials used in a violation, or are in violation of College policy;

6. Recommended sanctions for alcohol, drugs, and/or substance violations may include but are not limited to:

  • Warning, reprimand, etc.
  • Substance counseling, referral, etc.
  • Parent/Guardian notification
  • Educational program or project
  • Probation (as listed above)
  • Suspension (as listed above)
  •  Expulsion (as listed above)

7. Statements of Understanding: are signed (or mediated) statements that students will abide by all College rules, and policies or specific practices, with the understanding that violation of any rule, regulation, or agreement will result in further sanctions;

8. Referral to Transitions Counseling, or other outside agency for assessment.

Interim Suspension
The College may suspend a student for an interim period pending conduct proceedings or medical, psychiatric, or psychological evaluation. Such interim suspension becomes effective immediately whenever there is information that the continued presence of a student on College premises or at College sponsored activities poses a substantial threat to self or others, or to the stability and continuity of normal College operations. There may also be circumstances in which it is necessary to invoke an interim suspension in furtherance of an ongoing investigation into a conduct code violation and/or a violation of state law.

 A student suspended on an interim basis will be given the opportunity to appear before the administrator within three business days from the effective date of the interim suspension. An informal conference will be held on the following issues only:

A. The reliability of the information concerning the student’s conduct, including the matter of their identity.

B. The question as to whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the student on College premises or at College sponsored activities poses a substantial threat to himself, herself, others, or to the stability and continuance of College functions. In any complaints covered by Title IX (sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, stalking, etc.), the complainant will be given the opportunity to address the appropriateness of interim suspension as well.

C. Respondent(s) who fail to appear at this informal conference are in violation of the Student Code of Conduct for failure to comply with the instructions of a College official and will be subject to disciplinary sanctions.


Responding to Harassment Based on Sex under Title IX
Introduction
Nicolet College encourages members of the educational community to report sexual harassment.  This procedure only applies to conduct defined sexual harassment under Title IX and applicable federal regulations and that meet Title IX jurisdictional requirements.  Nicolet College will respond to sexual harassment and sexual misconduct that falls outside that definition and outside the jurisdiction of the Title IX federal regulations using State law and applicable College policies and procedures.  In implementing these procedures discussed below, Nicolet College will also provide supportive measures, training, and resources in compliance with State law, unless they are preempted by the Title IX regulations

Title IX Coordinator

Questions concerning Title IX may be referred to Nicolet College’s Title IX Coordinator whose contact information is below

Nicolet College’s Title IX Coordinator is Matthew R. Schur and the Title IX Coordinator’s contact information is:
5364 College Drive – Rhinelander, WI 54501 – Red Oak Center 207C
715.365.4615
mschur@nicoletcollege.edu

The Title IX Coordinator is required to respond to reports of sexual harassment or misconduct.  The Title IX Coordinator will handle information received with the utmost discretion and will share information with others on a need-to-know basis.  For example, the Title IX Coordinator may need to address public safety concerns on campus, comply with State and federal legal requirements, or share information to implement supportive measures.

A report of sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator does not necessarily lead to a full investigation, as discussed more fully below.  However, the Title IX Coordinator will make an assessment to determine if there is a safety risk to the campus.  If the Title IX Coordinator finds there is a continued risk, the Title IX Coordinator will file the formal complaint without the Complainant's consent or cooperation.

Title IX Harassment Complaints, Investigations, and Hearings

These Title IX sexual harassment procedures and the related policy protects students, employees, applicants for employment, and applicants for admission.

Jurisdictional Requirements – Application of Procedures

These procedures apply if the conduct meets the following three jurisdictional requirements:

  • The conduct took place in the United States;
  • The conduct took place in an official Nicolet College “education program or activity.”  This includes locations, events, or circumstances over which Nicolet College exercised substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the harassment occurred, including on-campus and off-campus property and buildings Nicolet College owns or controls or student organizations officially recognized by Nicolet College own or control.
  • The conduct meets the definition of Title IX “sexual harassment.”

Definitions

Advisor:  Throughout the grievance process, both the Complainant and Respondent have a right to an Advisor of their choice.  If a Party does not have an Advisor at the time of the hearing, Nicolet College must provide the Party an Advisor of its choice, free of charge.  Nicolet College may establish restrictions regarding the extent to which the Advisor may participate in the proceedings as long as the restrictions apply equally to both Parties.

Complainant: A Complainant is an individual who alleges he/she/they is the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

Consent: “Consent”, as used in this section, means words or overt actions by a person who is competent to give informed consent indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact. Persons suffering from a mental illness or defect which impairs capacity to appraise personal conduct, and/or a person who is unconscious or for any reason physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act are presumed to be incapable of consent.

Decision-Maker:  The person, or group of people, who will oversee the live hearing and make a determination of responsibility. Nicolet College may choose to have one Decision-Maker determine whether the Respondent is responsible and another Decision-Maker determine the appropriate level of penalty for the conduct. The Decision-Maker cannot be the Title IX Coordinator or the investigator.

Formal Complaint:  A written complaint signed by the Complainant or Title IX Coordinator, alleging sexual harassment and requesting an investigation.  If the Title IX Coordinator signs the formal complaint, he/she/they will not become a Party to the complaint.

Parties:  As used in this procedure, this means the Complainant and Respondent.

Respondent:  A Respondent is an individual reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment under Title IX:  Conduct that satisfies one or more of the following:

  • A Nicolet College employee conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of Nicolet College on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (quid pro quo harassment);
  • Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to Nicolet College’s education program or activity;
  • Sexual assault, including the following:
    • Sex Offenses.  Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
    • Rape (except Statutory Rape).  The carnal knowledge of a person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her/their age or because of his/her/their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.  There is carnal knowledge if there is the slightest penetration of the genital or anal opening of the body of another person.
    • Sodomy.  Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her/their age or because of his/her/their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
    • Sexual Assault with an Object.  To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her/their age or because of his/her/their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.  An "object" or "instrument" is anything the offender uses other than the offender's genitalia, e.g., a finger, bottle, handgun, stick.
    • Fondling.  The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her/their age or because of his/her/their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
    • Sex Offenses, Non-Forcible Unlawful, Non-Forcible Sexual Intercourse.
      • Incest.  Non-Forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
      • Statutory Rape – Non-Forcible.  Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.  There is no force or coercion used in Statutory Rape; the act is not an attack.
    • Dating violence.  Violence against a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.  The existence of a relationship will be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:  the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
    • Domestic Violence.  Violence committed:
      • By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
      • By a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
      • By a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
      • By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Wisconsin or
      • By any other person against an adult or youth victim protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Wisconsin.
    • Stalking.  Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his/her/their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.

Reporting Options

Any individual may report sexual harassment to Nicolet College’s Title IX Coordinator.

Nicolet College strongly encourages prompt reporting of sexual harassment.  Prompt reporting allows for the collection and preservation of evidence, including physical evidence, digital media, and witness statements.  A delay may limit the College’s ability to effectively investigate and respond.

Individuals have the opportunity to decide whether they want to pursue a formal Title IX complaint. Reporting sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator does not automatically initiate an investigation under these procedures.  A report allows the College to provide a wide variety of support and resources to impacted individuals and to prevent the reoccurrence of the conduct.  A Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator filing a formal complaint will initiate an investigation.

If there are parallel criminal and Title IX investigations, Nicolet College will cooperate with the external law enforcement agency and will coordinate to ensure that the Title IX process does not hinder legal process or proceedings.

The College will document reports of sexual harassment in compliance with the Clery Act, a federal law requiring data collection of crime within the campus geography.  Under the Clery Act, the College does not document personal information; the College reports the type of conduct, and the time, date, and location.

Nicolet College Employees and Officials with Authority

Nicolet College Officials with Authority are not confidential resources and are required to report allegations of sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator promptly.  All other employees are encouraged to report allegations to the Title IX Coordinator but are not required to do so.

Officials with Authority are required to report all relevant information they know about sexual harassment including the name of the Respondent, the Complainant, any other witnesses, and the date, time, and location of the alleged incident.

Intake and Processing of Report

Receipt of Report

After receiving a report of sexual harassment, the Title IX Officer will contact the Complainant and reporting party to explain rights under this policy and procedure and invite the Complainant to an in-person meeting.  The Title IX Officer will discuss supportive measures with the Parties.

Timeframe for Reporting

To promote timely and effective review, Nicolet College strongly encourages individuals to report sexual harassment as soon possible because a delay in reporting may affect the ability to collect relevant evidence and may affect remedies the College can offer.

Supportive Measures

Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered free of charge to the Complainant or the Respondent regardless of whether a formal complaint has been filed.  Nicolet College will provide the Complainant and Respondent with supportive measures as appropriate and as reasonably available to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activities.  These measures are designed to protect the safety of all Parties, protect the College’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment.  The College will provide supportive measures on a confidential basis and will only make disclosures to those with a need to know to enable the College to provide the service.  Supportive measures may include counseling, extensions of deadlines, other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the Parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures.

Removal of Respondent Pending Final Determination

Upon receiving a report regarding sexual harassment, the Title IX Coordinator will make an immediate assessment concerning the health and safety of the Complainant and campus community as a whole.  Nicolet College has the right to order emergency removal of a Respondent, or if the Respondent is an employee, place the employee on administrative leave.

Emergency Removal

Nicolet College may remove a non-employee Respondent from the College’s education program or activity on an emergency basis after it conducts an individualized safety and risk analysis and determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment justifies removal.

The College may not use emergency removal to address a Respondent’s threat of obstructing the sexual harassment investigation or destroying relevant evidence.  Emergency removal is only available to address health or safety risks against individuals arising out of sexual harassment allegations, not to address other forms of misconduct that a Respondent might commit pending the processing of a complaint.

The College’s Risk Manager or Director of Security or designee will conduct the individualized safety and risk analysis.

If it is determined that emergency removal is appropriate, he/she/they or designee will provide the person the College is removing from campus on an emergency basis with a notice and opportunity to attend a meeting and challenge the basis of his/her/their removal.  The Risk Manager or Director of Security or designee will determine whether the emergency removal from campus order is warranted after considering information provided by the Respondent challenging the emergency removal.

Administrative Leave

Nicolet College may place a non-student employee Respondent on administrative leave during the pendency of a grievance process described in the formal complaint process below.  The College will follow any relevant policies, procedures, collective bargaining agreements, or State law in placing an employee on administrative leave.

Formal Complaint Grievance Process

Notice to Parties

Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will provide the following notice in writing, to the Parties:

  • Notice of Nicolet College’s Title IX grievance process;
  • Notice of the allegations of alleged sexual harassment with sufficient details known at the time and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview;
  • Statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process;
  • Notice that the Parties may have Advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney;
  • Notice that the Parties may inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint, including the evidence upon which the College does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility, and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a Party or other source; and
  • Inform the Parties of any provision in the College’s code of conduct that prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.

If, in the course of an investigation, the College decides to investigate allegations about the Complainant or Respondent that are not included in the notice provided above, the Title IX Coordinator will provide notice in writing of the additional allegations to the Parties.

Dismissal of Formal Complaint

Nicolet College must investigate the allegations in a formal complaint.  However, the College must dismiss the formal complaint and will not process the complaint under these procedures if any of the following three circumstances exist:

  • If the conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute Title IX sexual harassment as defined in this procedure;
  • If the conduct alleged did not occur in the College’s education program or activity;
  • If the conduct alleged did not occur against a person in the United States.

The College has discretion to dismiss a formal complaint or any allegation under the following circumstances:

  • If at any time during the investigation or hearing:  a Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations;
  • If the Respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the College; or
  • If there are specific circumstances that prevent the College from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility as to the formal complaint or allegations.

If the College dismissed the formal complaint or any allegations, the Title IX Coordinator shall simultaneously provide the Parties with written notice of the dismissal and reason.  The College will also notify the Parties of their right to appeal.

The College may commence proceedings under other policies and procedures after dismissing a formal complaint.

Consolidation of Formal Complaints

Nicolet College may, but is not require to, consolidate formal complaints as to allegations of sexual harassment against more than one Respondent, or by more than one Complainant against one or more Respondents, or by one Party against the other Party, where the allegations of sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances.

Equitable Treatment of the Parties

Nicolet College’s determination of responsibility is a neutral, fact-finding process. The College will treat Complainants and Respondents equitably.  The procedures will apply equally to both Parties.  The College will not discipline a Respondent unless it determines the Respondent was responsible for sexual harassment at the conclusion of the grievance process.

Statement of Presumption of Non-Responsibility

The investigation is a neutral, fact-finding process.  Nicolet College presumes all reports are in good faith.  Further, the College presumes the Respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct.  The College makes its determination regarding responsibility at the conclusion of the grievance process.

Bias or Conflict of Interest

Nicolet College’s Title IX Coordinator, investigator, Decision-Maker, or any person designated by the College to facilitate an informal resolution process, will not have potential actual bias or conflict of interest in the investigatory, hearing, sanctioning, or appeal process or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally.  Actual bias is an articulated prejudice in favor of or against one Party or position; it is not generalized concern about the personal or professional backgrounds, positions, beliefs, or interests of the Decision-Maker in the process.  The College will ensure that the Title IX Coordinator, investigator, Decision-Maker, and facilitator receive training on:

  • The definition of sexual harassment in this procedure;
  • The scope of the College’s education program or activity;
  • How to conduct an investigation;
  • The grievance process including conducting hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes; and
  • How to serve impartially, including avoiding: prejudgment of the facts at issue; conflicts of interest; and bias.

Timeline for Completion

Nicolet College will undertake its grievance process promptly and as swiftly as possible.  The College will complete the investigation and its determination regarding responsibility or the informal resolution process within 180 calendar days.

When appropriate, the Title IX Coordinator may determine that good cause exists to extend the 180-calendar day period to conduct a fair and complete investigation, to accommodate an investigation by law enforcement, to accommodate the unavailability of witnesses or delays by the Parties, to account for College breaks or vacations, or due to the complexity of the investigation.  The College will provide notice of this extension to the Complainant and Respondent in writing and include the reason for the delay and anticipated timing of completion.

A Party may request an extension from the Title IX Coordinator in writing by explaining the reason for the delay and the length of the continuance requested.  The Title IX Coordinator will notify the Parties and document the grant or denial of a request for extension or delay as part of the case recordkeeping.

Role of Advisor

The role of the Advisor is to provide support and assistance in understanding and navigating the investigation process.

The Advisor may not testify in or obstruct an interview or disrupt the process.  The Title IX Coordinator has the right to determine what constitutes appropriate behavior of an Advisor and take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with this procedure.

A Party does not have a right to self-representation at the hearing; an Advisor must conduct any cross-examination.  Nicolet College must provide an Advisor of its choice, free of charge to any Party without an Advisor in order to conduct cross-examination.  If an Advisor fails to appear at the hearing, the College will provide an Advisor to appear on behalf of the non-appearing Advisor.  To limit the number of individuals with confidential information about the issues, each Party may identify one Advisor.

Confidentiality Agreements

To protect the privacy of those involved, the Parties and Advisors are required to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to attending an interview or otherwise participating in the College’s grievance process.  The confidentiality agreement restricts dissemination of any of the evidence subject to inspection and review or use of this evidence for any purpose unrelated to the Title IX grievance process.  The confidentiality agreement will not restrict the ability of either Party to discuss the allegations under investigation.

Use of Privileged Information

Nicolet College’s formal complaint procedure does not require, allow, rely upon, or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally-recognized privilege (e.g., attorney-client privilege, doctor-patient privilege, spousal privilege, etc.), unless the person holding the privilege provides voluntary, written consent to waive the privilege.

Investigations

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible to oversee investigations to ensure timely resolution and compliance with Title IX and this procedure.

Both Parties have the right to have an Advisor present at every meeting described in this section.

Trained investigators

Nicolet College will investigate Title IX formal complaints fairly and objectively.  Individuals serving as investigators under this procedure will have adequate training on what constitutes sexual harassment and how the College’s grievance procedures operate.  The College will also ensure that investigators receive training on issues of relevance to create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence and complies with this procedure.

Gathering Evidence and Burden of Proof

Nicolet College, not the Parties, has the responsibility to gather information and interview witnesses.  When the investigator evaluates the evidence, he/she/they will do so using the preponderance of the evidence standard.  After considering all the evidence gathered, the investigator will decide whether it is more likely than not that reported conduct occurred.

Notice of Investigative Interview

Nicolet College will provide written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all investigative interviews to a Party whose participation is invited or expected, with sufficient time for the Party to prepare to participate.

Evidence Review

Both Parties have an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint, including the evidence upon which the College does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a Party or other source.

Prior to the investigator preparing an investigative report, the College will send to each Party and the Party’s Advisor, if any, the evidence subject to inspection and review in an electronic format or a hard copy.  The Parties will have at least ten days to submit a written response.  The investigator must consider this written response prior to completing the investigative report.

Investigative Report

The results of the investigation of a formal complaint will be set forth in a written report that will include at least all of the following information:

  • A description of the circumstances giving rise to the formal complaint;
  • A description of the procedural steps taken during the investigation, including all individuals contacted and interviewed;
  • A summary of the testimony of each witness the investigator interviewed;
  • An analysis of relevant evidence collected during the investigation, including a list of relevant documents;
  • A specific finding as to whether the allegations occurred using a preponderance of the evidence standard;
  • A table of contents if the report exceeds ten pages; and
  • Any other information deemed appropriate by the College.

The investigator will not make a determination regarding responsibility.

The investigator may redact information not directly related to the allegations or privileged information.  However, the investigator will keep a log of information he/she/they do not produce to the Parties.  The investigator will provide this log only to the Title IX Coordinator.  The Title IX Coordinator will not disclose the log to the Parties but will maintain the log in the Title IX Coordinator’s file, in the event it later becomes relevant.

At least ten days prior to a hearing or other time of determination regarding responsibility, the College will send the investigative report to each Party and their Advisors, if any, the investigative report in an electronic format or a hard copy, for review and written response.  The Parties will have at least ten days to submit a written response.

Hearing

After completing an investigation and prior to completing a determination regarding responsibility, the College will hold a live hearing to provide the Complainant and Respondent an opportunity to respond to the evidence gathered before a Decision-Maker.  Neither Party may choose to waive the right to a live hearing, but the Parties can choose whether to participate in the hearing or answer some or all cross-examination questions.

Notice

If Nicolet College proceeds to a hearing, the College will provide all Parties written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of the hearing with sufficient time for the Party to prepare to participate.

Hearing Format

Nicolet College may provide a live hearing with all Parties physically present in the same geographic location or, at the College’s discretion if either Party requests, the College may provide any or all Parties, witnesses, and other participants the ability to appear at the live hearing virtually, with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other in real time.

Nicolet College will make the information reviewed during the Evidence Review available at the hearing for reference and consultation.  The College will not restrict the ability of either Party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.

The College will create an audio or audiovisual recording, or transcript, of any live hearing and make it available to the Parties for inspection and review.

Decision-Maker

The Decision-Maker will be free from conflict of interest or bias, including bias for or against Complainants or Respondents. In cases where the Complainant or Respondent objects to the Decision-Maker on the basis of a conflict of interest, the Complainant or Respondent may request the Title IX Coordinator select a different Decision-Maker.  The Complainant or Respondent must make this request to the Title IX Coordinator in writing at least five business days prior to the hearing.

The Decision-Maker may ask the Parties and the witnesses questions during the hearing.  The Decision-Maker must objectively evaluate all relevant evidence both inculpatory and exculpatory and must independently reach a determination regarding responsibility without giving deference to the investigative report.  The Decision-Maker must receive training on issues of relevance, how to apply the rape-shield protections for Complainants, and any technology to be used at the hearing.

Presenting Witnesses

Nicolet College will provide the Complainant and Respondent an equal opportunity to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.  Witnesses, like Parties, are not required to participate in the live hearing process.

Only relevant evidence will be admissible during the hearing.  Relevant evidence means evidence, including evidence relevant to the credibility of a Party or witness, having any tendency in reason to prove or disprove any disputed fact material to the allegations under investigation.

Cross-Examination

Nicolet College will permit each Party’s Advisor to ask the other Party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those questions challenging credibility.  The Party’s Advisor must conduct cross-examination directly, orally, and in real time.  A Party may never personally conduct cross-examination.

Advisors may only ask relevant cross-examination and other questions of a Party or witness.  Before a Complainant, Respondent, or witness answers a cross-examination or other question, the Decision-Maker must first determine whether the question is relevant and explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant.  The Decision-Maker need not provide a lengthy or complicated explanation in support of a relevance determination.  If a Party or witness disagrees with a relevance determination, that individual has the choice of either (1) abiding by the Decision-Maker’s determination and answering the question or (2) refusing to answer the question.

If a Party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the Decision-Maker will not rely on any statement of that Party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility.  A Party or witness may also decline to answer a question, and the Decision-Maker cannot rely on any statement on which that Party or witness has declined to answer cross-examination questions.  A Decision-Maker cannot draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a Party’s or witness’s absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.

Determinations of Responsibility

When the Decision-Maker makes a determination of responsibility or non-responsibility, the Decision-Maker will issue a written determination regarding responsibility, no later than 20 business days after the date that the hearing ends.

When making a determination regarding responsibility, a Decision-Maker will objectively evaluate all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.  A Decision-Maker may not make credibility determinations based on an individual’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.  In evaluating the evidence, the Decision-Maker will use the preponderance of the evidence standard.  Thus, after considering all the evidence it has gathered, the College will decide whether it is more likely than not that sexual harassment occurred.

The written determination will include:

  • Identification of the allegations potentially constituting Title IX sexual harassment as defined in these procedures;
  • A description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the formal complaint through the determination, including who conducted the investigation and gave notifications to the Parties.  The determination will also state when, where, and the date the investigator interviewed the Parties and witnesses, conducted site visits, the methods used to gather other evidence.  The procedural section should also discuss the dates and how the Parties were provided the opportunity to review and inspect evidence and the date of any hearings held and who attended the hearing;
  • Findings of fact supporting the determination. In making these findings, the Decision-Maker will focus on analyzing the findings of fact that support the determination of responsibility or non-responsibility;
  • Conclusions regarding the application of the College’s code of conduct to the facts;
  • A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility;
  • A statement of, and rationale for, any disciplinary sanctions the College imposes on the Respondent;
  • A statement of whether the College will provide the Complainant with remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity;
  • Nicolet College need not disclose to the Respondent remedies that do not affect him/her/them as part of the written determination.  The College can inform the Respondent that it will provide remedies to the Complainant.  However, the College will inform the Complainant of the sanctions against the Respondent;
  • The College’s procedures and permissible bases for the Complainant and Respondent to appeal.

The College will provide the written determination to the Parties simultaneously.  The determination regarding responsibility becomes final either on the date that the College provides the Parties with the written determination of the result of the appeal, if the Parties file an appeal, or if the Parties do not file an appeal, the date on which an appeal would no longer be timely.

Disciplinary Sanctions and Remedies

Nicolet College must have completed the grievance procedures (investigation, hearing, and any appeal, if applicable) before the imposing disciplinary sanctions or any other actions that are not supportive measures against a Respondent.  If the Decision-Maker determines the Respondent was responsible for conduct that constitutes sexual harassment, the College will take disciplinary action against the Respondent and any other remedial action it determines to be appropriate.  The action will be prompt, effective, and commensurate with the severity of the offense.

Remedies for the Complainant might include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing an escort to ensure that the Complainant can move safely between classes and activities;
  • Ensuring that the Complainant and Respondent do not attend the same classes or work in the same work area;
  • Providing counseling services or a referral to counseling services;
  • Providing academic support services, such as tutoring;
  • Arranging for a Complainant, if a student, to re-take a course or withdraw from a class without penalty, including ensuring that any changes do not adversely affect the Complainant’s academic record; and
  • Reviewing any disciplinary actions taken against the Complainant to see if there is a causal connection between the harassment and the misconduct that may have resulted in the Complainant’s discipline.

Possible disciplinary sanctions for student Respondents include written or verbal reprimand, required training or counseling, non-academic probation, suspension, and expulsion.  Possible disciplinary sanctions for employee Respondents include written or verbal reprimand, required training or counseling, reduction in pay, demotion, suspension, or termination.

Appeal of Dismissal of a Formal Complaint or of the Determination of Responsibility

A Complainant or Respondent may appeal the College’s determination regarding responsibility or the dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegations.  A Complainant or Respondent must submit a written appeal within 10 days from the date of the notice of determination regarding responsibility or from the date of the College’s notice of dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegations.

Grounds for Appeal

In filing an appeal of the College’s determination regarding responsibility or the College’s dismissal of a formal complaint, the Party must state the grounds for appeal and a statement of facts supporting those grounds.  The grounds for appeal are as follows:

  • A procedural irregularity affected the outcome;
  • New evidence was not reasonably available at the time the College’s determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, and this new evidence could affect the outcome; or
  • The College’s Title IX Coordinator, investigator, or Decision-Maker had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome.

Appeal Procedure

If the Complainant or Respondent submit an appeal to the College, the College will:

  • Notify the other Party in writing within 5 days of receiving a Party’s appeal;
  • Allow the non-appealing Parties at least 10 days from the date of receipt of the appeal to submit a written statement in support of, or challenging, the outcome;

The appeal Decision-Maker will issue a written decision on whether to grant or deny the appeal, and the rationale for the decision, 45 business days after the Decision-Maker on appeal receives the response to the appeal or the last day to provide a response.  The College will provide the written decision simultaneously to both Parties.

The Decision-Maker on appeal may extend or otherwise modify the deadlines provided above.  Either Party may seek an extension by submitting a written request to the appeal Decision-Maker explaining the need for the extension and the proposed length of the extension.  The Decision-Maker will respond to the request within 48 hours in writing and will inform the Parties simultaneously whether the extension is granted.

Informal resolution

If the College determines that a formal complaint is appropriate for informal resolution, it may provide the Parties with the opportunity to participate in an informal resolution process, including mediation, at any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility.

The College will provide the Complainant and Respondent written disclosure of the allegations, the requirements of the informal resolution process including the circumstances under which it precludes the Parties from resuming a formal complaint arising from the same allegations, and any consequences resulting from participating in the informal resolution process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared.

The College must obtain the Parties’ voluntary, written consent to the informal resolution process.  If the Parties reach an agreement, the College does not have to complete a full investigation and adjudication of a report of sexual harassment.  At any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any Party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process with respect to the formal complaint.

The informal resolution process is not available to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.

Retaliation Prohibited

Nicolet College prohibits any intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual who made a report or complaint of sexual harassment, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in a Title IX investigation, proceeding, or hearing.  Individuals who experience retaliation may file a complaint using the formal complaint process described above.

Dissemination of Policy and Procedures

Nicolet College will provide its policy and procedures related to Title IX on its website and in each handbook or catalog provided to applicants for admission and employment, students, and employees.

When hired, employees are required to sign acknowledging that they have received the policy and procedures.  The College will place the signed acknowledgment of receipt in each employee’s personnel file.

Training

Nicolet College will provide training to Title IX Coordinators, investigators, Decision-Makers, and any individual who facilitates an informal resolution process, on the definition of sexual harassment, the scope of the College’s education program or activities, how to conduct an investigation and grievance process including hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes, as applicable, and how to serve impartially, including avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias.  Any materials used to train the College’s Title IX Coordinator, investigators, Decision-Makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process, will not rely on sex stereotypes and must promote impartial investigations and adjudications of formal complaints of sexual harassment.

File Retention

Nicolet College will retain on file for a period of at least seven years after closing the case copies of:

  • The original report or complaint;
  • Any actions taken in response to the complaint, including supportive measures;
  • The investigative report including all evidence gathered and any responses from the Parties;
  • The College’s determination regarding responsibility;
  • Audio or audiovisual recording or transcript from a hearing;
  • Records of any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Respondent;
  • Records of any remedies provided to the Complainant;
  • Any appeal and the result;
  • Any informal resolution and the result; and
  • All materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, Decision-Makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process.  The College will make these training materials publicly available on its website.

Nicolet College will make these documents available to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights upon request.

Victim’s Bill Of Rights
In accordance with Violence Against Women Act Pub. Law 113-4 and the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended 20 USC 1092 (The Jeanne Clery Act) Nicolet College has adopted the following Victim’s Bill of Rights.

All Nicolet College community members have the right to:

A. Make a report to local law enforcement and/or state police; have disclosures of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault treated seriously.

B. Make a decision about whether or not to disclose a crime or violation and participate in the judicial or conduct process and/or criminal justice process free from pressure by the institution.

C. Participate in a process that is fair, impartial, and provides adequate notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard.

D. Be treated with dignity and to receive from the institution courteous, fair, and respectful health care and counseling services, where available.

E. Be free from any suggestion that the reporting individual is at fault when these crimes and violations are committed, or should have acted in a different manner to avoid such crimes or violations.

F. Describe the incident to as few institution representatives as practicable and not be required description of the incident.

G. Be protected from retaliation by the institution, any student, the accused and/or the respondent, and/or their friends, family and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the institution.

H. Have access to at least one level of appeal of a determination.

I.  Be accompanied by an advisor of choice who may assist and advise a reporting individual, accused, or respondent throughout the judicial or conduct process, including during all meetings and hearings related to such process. 

J.  Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice, or judicial or conduct process of the institution.

Student Conduct and Administrative Hearing Process
Complaints of a violation of College policy and the Student Code of Conduct may be referred to a Student Conduct or Administrative Hearing.  Conduct Officers will hear each case and measure an individual’s level of responsibility via the preponderance of the evidence.  This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not the amount of evidence.   The Conduct Officers for an Administrative Hearing will be the Director of Business Intelligence, Director of Risk, Compliance, and Security, or an assigned appropriate designee.  A Respondent may bring written statements and information, as well as material witnesses. Failure to appear at the assigned time without reasonable notice will result in the matter being heard without the benefit of the Respondent’s testimony.

Notice of a student conduct or administrative hearing is emailed to the student with a scheduled hearing at least three business days after the notification is sent.  Hearings will be closed to the public except for the respondent, witnesses, and the respondent’s advisor of choice.  A respondent’s advisor of choice has the role of supporting the student, but is not an active member of the hearing.  This means they are able to be present and talk to the respondent directly, but will not be offered the floor to speak to the hearing office or hearing body.  The notice of hearing will include the reason for the meeting, including the date and location of the incident, if applicable, as well as potential charges the student may be facing.  The list of potential charges may be expanded during the meeting, if deemed appropriate by the hearing officer. 

At the initial hearing the student will be provided a copy of the incident report and have the opportunity to review the report prior to answering questions related to the matter.  The student may at any time accept responsibility for the charges in question. 

After the hearing concludes, the hearing officer will determine if the student is being held responsible for any policy violations within 5 business days and send an outcome letter to the student via the student’s Nicolet College email address.  In cases involving sexual misconduct, the outcome letter will be sent to both the complainant and the respondent.

If the student is found responsible for a policy violation, the outcome letter will state any associated sanctions and applicable due dates.  These dates must be abided by to avoid further policy violations, such as failure to comply with or complete sanctions.

Students have the right to appeal decisions made by the hearing officer, as outlined in the Appeal Process section below.

Appeal Process
A student wishing to appeal a decision made by a hearing officer, has five business days from the date of the outcome letter to do so.  To file an appeal, a student needs to complete the Student Conduct Appeal form found through MyNicolet.

Students have the right to appeal the decision of the hearing officer (being found responsible for a policy violation), the sanction associated with the decision, and/or a due process violation.  Students may also appeal the decision of a hearing if new evidence is available that was previously unavailable.  In cases of sexual misconduct, the complainant will be notified of the filing of an appeal.

After filing the appeal form, the student will receive a response within three business days as to whether or not the appeal will be heard or if the decision of the hearing officer will stand.

If a hearing is granted, the student will receive an Appeal Hearing Notification via their Nicolet College email.  The Appeal Hearing will occur at least three business days after the notification is sent.  In cases of sexual misconduct, the complainant will be notified of the date of the Appeal Hearing.

After the hearing concludes, the appeal officer will determine if the decision and/or sanction from the initial conduct hearing stands within 5 business days and send an outcome letter to the student via the student’s Nicolet College email address.  In cases involving sexual misconduct, the outcome letter will be sent to both the complainant and the respondent.

A student who is still dissatisfied with the outcome or believes that there is a due process violation will be directed to follow the student grievance process. 

Appeals Concerning Matters of Sexual Misconduct
Either party may submit a written request for an appeal to the Director of Business Intelligence.  In the request, the party must identify the specific grounds upon which the appeal is based and must provide all of the details the appealing party wants considered in support of the appeal.  The Director of Business Intelligence will convene an appeal within five (5) business days of receiving the appeal request.

Where an appeal is requested by the Respondent, the Complainant will be provided with a copy of the Respondent’s appeal and invited to respond.  Where an appeal is requested by the Complainant, the Respondent will be provided with a copy of the Complainant’s appeal and invited to respond.  However, in either case, the Appeals Officer will review the appeal statement to determine whether the information contained therein is relevant and material to the determination of the appeal and, in general, the Appeals Officer may redact information that is irrelevant, more prejudicial to a party or witness than probative, an unwarranted invasion of an individual’s privacy, or immaterial.  The Appeals Officer may also redact statements of personal opinions rather than direct observations or reasonable inferences from the facts, and statements as to general reputation for any character trait, including honesty.

Within three (3) days of an appeal being filed, the Appeals Officer will schedule a meeting for consideration and disposition of the appeal. The Appeals Officer will be given access to the investigation materials that were made available to the initial Conduct Officer.  In considering the appeal, the Appeals Officer may request additional information.  Normally, the parties will not appear before the Appeals Officer, though they may be summoned at the discretion of the Appeals Officer.

The Appeals Officer may:

A.   Uphold the original decision;

B.   Remand the matter back to the original hearing body.  The Appeals Officer may (but is not required to) take this action when there is a procedural irregularity that could be corrected in a review of the presentation of previously unavailable relevant information that could significantly impact the result of the original hearing body’s determination;

C.   Remand the matter to the original Conduct Officer with a recommendation that the penalty be modified, together with an explanation of why the original penalty is deemed inappropriate; or

D.   Remand the matter to an ad hoc review panel composed of authorized individuals not previously involved in the matter.  This will be done only in extraordinary cases when, in the consideration opinion of the Appeals Officer, the matter would be best addressed by a newly-constituted body.

Any determination made following a remand of a matter is subject to the Appeals Officer utilizing this same process.  In that case, the Appeals Officer may then issue a final determination on the matter.

If there is a conflict of interest, a new Conduct Officer will be appointed as the Appeals Officer.  The assigned Appeals Officer concerned of a conflict of interest will provide the Director of Business Intelligence with written notice of their decision, including grounds for the decision, within no fewer than 48 hours of the schedule appeal.

A record of the appeal will consist of the letter of appeal; any written statements from the parties, and the written decision that acceptable grounds for any appeal were not asserted (if that is the case), and the outcome of the appeal.  This record will be appended to the written record of the original decision and will be kept with it as part of the case file maintained by the Director of Risk, Compliance, and Security.

Decisions of the Appeals Officers are final.  A student who is still dissatisfied with the outcome or believes that there is a due process violation will be directed to follow the student grievance process. 
 

Access to Information and Records

A.  All information pertaining to investigations and hearing proceedings may be shared only with College employees who have a legitimate educational interest in the information.

B. Students who wish to review and examine their files in the Student Conduct Office may do so in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.  Students must submit a request at least 24 hours in advance.

C. Any student who harms him/herself or others, resulting in a medical or emergency, should expect that their parents or whoever is listed on the College’s emergency notification form may be contacted without permission from the students.

D. Complainants(s) of any crime of violence will be given written simultaneous notice of the outcome and any sanctions resulting from the complaint they filed.

E. Parental Notification: The College believes that parental involvement can be vital to student success.  Therefore, Nicolet College may speak to parents or guardians to discuss impending or completed conduct actions, to the extent permitted by law:

1. Notification may be made to parents of any student who is a dependent, regardless of age.

2. Notification may be made to the parents/guardians of students who have violated polices that are “crimes of violence”.

3. Notification may be made to parents/guardians of students who are under age 21 when those students have committed violations of the College’s Alcohol and Drug Policies.

4. Notification may be made to parents/guardians whenever their student faces an emergency health and/or safety risk.

In the enforcement of this code, the College’s student conduct system functions in an administrative manner. The College's administrative process promotes fundamental fairness but does not follow the traditional common law adversarial method of a court of law, nor should the College’s student judicial process be considered an extension of a court of law.

Grievance Procedure for Nicolet College Students
When students disagrees with how something was handled by an employee of the institution, they are encouraged to first speak with that employee to try to rectify the situation.  There are times that the situation might not be resolved and in those circumstances, students have the right, using the Grievance Procedure for Nicolet College Students, to:

A.  Contest a policy or practice of the College or College employee that is considered improper or unfair, or;

B.  Contest situations where there has been deviation from or misapplication of a policy or practice unrelated to discrimination. 

For the purposes of this procedure, days are defined as Monday through Friday when the College is open for business.  Weekends, holidays, and the days when the College is closed are excluded.

The following link will open a window that leads to the Grievance Form: https://publicdocs.maxient.com/reportingform.php?NicoletCollege&layout_id=2

Grievance Procedure
For all Grievance Procedures, Nicolet College, in accordance with Federal requirement  34 CFR Ch. VI 602.16 (a)(1)(ix), will create a record of the student’s grievance and add it to a log of student grievances.  The log will be maintained and updated through the remainder of the process.

Students choosing to file a grievance will have a Nicolet College employee familiar with the process assigned to them as a navigator to help them understand and work through the process. 

1. If a student has not been able to informally resolve an issue with the appropriate College employee, the student must initiate this grievance procedure within ten (10) days of the action causing the complaint. 

2. Upon receipt of the Grievance, the College employee’s supervisor will respond to the student within three (3) days of the student initiating the complaint procedure notifying the student of next steps or any information they need to assist them in the decision making process. 

3. Within 10 days of the notification of receipt, the supervisor will make a decision and sent it to the student via their College email address.  

4. The student has the right to file an appeal to the supervisor’s decision and must do so within 10 days of the date the email was sent to the student.

            Students have the right to appeal on the following grounds:

  1. They may appeal the sanction (if there was one)
  2. They may appeal the decision of the supervisor.
  3. They may appeal if there was an instance of a due process violation.

5. The institution will respond within three days to notify the student if the appeal will move forward for one of the above reasons.

6. If the appeal is moving forward, the Executive Vice President or designee will respond with their decision within 10 days to the student’s College email address.

7. Students may appeal a second time within 10 days of the date the email from the first appeal was sent to the student.  Students may appeal for the same reasons that are listed in step four (4). 

8. Within three days, a hearing committee will meet to hear the appeal of the student. 

9. Within ten days of the committee meeting, the committee will make a recommendation to the President on the grounds of the appeal.

10.The President will make their decision and send notification of the decision to the student within three days of the committee making a recommendation.

Timeline Requirements
If the College fails to give a written answer within the designated time frame, the student may immediately proceed to the next step. Failure by the student to meet applicable deadlines may be the basis for dismissal of any grievance. If it is impossible to comply with the time limits specified because of extenuating circumstances, these time limits may be extended by mutual consent in writing.

Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Complaint Process
If a student believes there has been misinterpretation or misapplication of Nicolet policy or procedure, and that such misinterpretation or misapplication falls into one of the three categories listed below, they may file a complaint with the Wisconsin Technical College System office.

Students who attend a college that is part of the WTCS can file complaints at the state level in three categories defined by the United States Department of Education:

A. Complaints that allege violations of Wisconsin consumer protection laws, including but not limited to false advertising;

B.  Complaints that allege violations of Wisconsin laws related to the licensure of postsecondary institutions; or

C.  Complaints relating to the quality of education or other State or accreditation requirements.

A student who reasonably believes that a violation has occurred in one or more of these categories may file a written complaint.  Complaints must be signed by the student and submitted on the official Student Complaint Form, available at: http://www.wtcsystem.edu/wtcsexternal/cmspages/getdocumentfile.aspx?nodeguid=58628a9f-1b88-419c-9b4f-7277417ccb76

Complaints must be filed within one year from the date of the alleged violation or the last recorded date of attendance, whichever is later.  The WTCS will review complaints only after students attempt to resolve the matter through applicable College appeals or complaint processes.

By signing and submitting a complaint form, the student consents to disclosure by Nicolet College or the WTCS of any protected or confidential information that may be needed to review, investigate, and/or resolve the complaint; this includes referring complaints to another organization with jurisdiction and authority over the issue.  The student also agrees to provide requested information and/or respond to questions about the complaint; failure to provide requested information or respond to questions about the complaint may result in the WTCS dismissing the complaint.

Notice: Under the Wisconsin Public Records Law, Ch. 19, Wis. Stats., any record or document that is part of the complaint review may be subject to disclosure upon request by a member of the public upon conclusion of WTCS action on the complaint, unless specifically exempt under law.

Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Complaint Process
Students, faculty, staff and members of the public may submit a complaint about an HLC-accredited institution directly to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).  The complaint process is designed to identify substantive problems with an institution’s ability to meet the Criteria for Accreditation.  To file a complaint with HLC, or for questions concerning HLC’s Complaint Process, interested parties are encouraged to visit http://www.hlcommission.org/Student-Resources/complaints.html.

HLC’s process for reviewing and responding to a complaint is as follows:

1.    HLC will acknowledge a compliant within 30 working days of receipt.

2.    A compliant will be forwarded to an intuition for a response only if HLC determines the complaint represents substantive problems with the institution’s ability to meet the Criteria.

3.    The intuition has 30 days to respond to the complaint.

4.    HLC may take up to another 30 days to review an intuitional response to a complaint.

5.    HLC will notify the complainant whether the matter has been closed or if additional actions will be required.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) Grievances
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) allows institutions to provide online distance learning to students who reside in other states without having to obtain the state’s authorization.  Institutions must abide by the SARA Terms and Conditions and obtain approval each year to remain a part of SARA.  Part of SARA’s requirements include the creation of a complaint process in accordance with Wis. Stats. Ch. 39.85, et al. This state law provides that any current or former student who is enrolled in an online distance education program with an institution that has been approved to offer distance education programs pursuant to the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) may file a complaint against the institution.  This complaint process shall only apply to the distance education activity of the institution which is conducted across state lines.  No other complaints shall be considered by the Distance Learning Authorization Board (DLAB).  However, other resolution options may be available to the complainant as noted below.

For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of this agreement, or of laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Policies and Standards (SARA Policies and Standards) are being violated by a person, institution, state, agency or other organization or entity operating under the terms of SARA.  If you believe you have a complaint or dispute that fits under the terms of SARA, please complete the online form and submit it within the time frames provided.  There are also FAQs to assist you in answering any questions you may have about the DLAB Complaint Process.

The DLAB has jurisdiction to consider only complaints or disputes that include the following criteria and factors:

A. The institution participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement through the approval of the State of Wisconsin Distance Learning Authorization Board (DLAB) to offer distance education programs out of state; and

B. The complainant has exhausted all internal complaint or grievance options available at the institution and no acceptable outcome was reached; and

C. The complaint relates to an issue, dispute or incident involving the distance education program being offered by the institution which occurred within two (2) calendar years from the date of the alleged violation(s); and

D. One or more of the allegations relate to the complaint:

1. The institution’s distance education program does not meet the state authorization requirements in Section 3 (Institutions and Participation) of the SARA Policy and Standards; or

2. The institution violated Section 4 (Consumer Protection) of the SARA Policy and Standards;            or

3. The institution’s distance education program does not meet any other standards established            by the institution’s accrediting agency or SARA.

 The DLAB has no statutory or lawful authority or responsibility to respond to complaints related to course grades, academic sanctions or discipline/conduct matters in regard to any institution within the State of Wisconsin.

Definitions

A. “Conduct Hearing” means a procedure for resolving complaints conducted by an appointed Nicolet College Conduct Officer.

B. “Code” means the Nicolet College Student Code of Conduct.

C. “Distribution” means sharing, the sale, exchanging, gifting, or giving.

D. “Organization” means a number of persons who are associated with each other and have complied with College requirements for registration as an organization.

E. “Group” means a number of persons who are associated with each other and who have not complied with College requirements for registration as an organization.

F. “College” means Nicolet College.

G. “Recklessness and/or Negligence” means conduct which one should reasonably be expected to know could create a substantial risk or harm to persons or property or would be likely to interfere with normal College operations.

H. “Preponderance of the Evidence” The federally mandated standard of evidence used to determine whether a violation of the Code has been committed. Under the preponderance of the evidence standard, a violation will be determined to have occurred if, based upon the evidence presented, College authorities conclude that it is more likely than not that the violation was committed. The “Preponderance of the Evidence” standard may also be noted or referred to as “More Likely than Not”.

I. “Hearsay Information” is information of a statement other than information stated by a material witness while testifying at the hearing and that is offered to support either the complainant or respondent’s case.

J. “Student” means any person who is currently enrolled and actively engaged in a post-secondary credit course, adult apprenticeship, and/or adult basic education with Nicolet College.

K. “Accused Student” means any student formally accused of violating any policy of the College.

L. “College Premises” means buildings or grounds owned, leased, operated, controlled, or directly supervised by the College.

M. “College Policies” means:

1. Any and all rules and policies set forth by Nicolet College, or any publication regularly distributed to students.

2. Policies, rules, and values regulating student conduct published by Nicolet College.

N. “Sexual Activity” means:

1. Intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts or object, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts or object; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.

2. Intercourse, meaning vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, by a penis, object, tongue or finger, or oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact).

O. “Hazing” means any method of initiation into a student organization/group or any pastime or amusement which threatens, intimidates, causes, or is likely to cause bodily, physical, or emotional harm or injury to any student, employee, or guest of the College as part of a new member process, initiation affiliation or similar activities with respect to the group/organization, regardless of the physical cooperation with or submission to the activities by the victim. Hazing does not refer to customary athletic events or similar contests of competitions.

P.  “Weapon” means any object or substance designed or used to inflict a wound, cause injury, or incapacitate, including but not limited to firearms and ammunition, bows and arrows, BB/pellet/air soft guns, paint guns, or any device capable of projecting an object that is capable of causing serious physical injury or death, knives with blades exceeding 2.5 inches in length.

Q.“College Official” means any employee of the College to whom authority has been delegated by an authorized individual.

R.“Vice President” means the Vice President for Student Affairs or Vice President of Academic Affairs.

S. “Administrator” means the Administrator responsible for Student Conduct (also referred to as the Conduct Officer).

T. “President” means the President of Nicolet College.

U.“Designee” means an administrator assigned by authorized personnel with the granting authority who is responsible for a student conduct matter.

V. “Presiding Officer” means the Presiding Officer of Conduct Hearing.

W. “College Student Conduct System” refers to the system outlined in this Student Code of Conduct.

X. “Advisor” means an individual who offers moral support to the student.  Within the Conduct Hearing process, both the Complainant and the Respondent are entitled at any meeting or other proceeding which is a part of the investigation and at which the Complainant or the Respondent are present to be accompanied by an Advisor of their choice – including an attorney at law.  Such Advisor may be present but may not participate in the meeting or proceeding in any other manner and may not serve as an advocate or spokesperson.

Y. “Procedural Opportunity” means the accused student(s) will have notice of an alleged violation at or before an informal, non-adversarial meeting with the Administrator or designee to respond to any matters pertaining to the complaint filed against them.