Human ResourcesCareer opportunities and resources
A Message from the President
Hello, SVC Community —
As part of our focus on excellence, Skagit Valley College is committed to providing a safe and inclusive learning and working environment for our faculty, staff, and students. This cannot occur unless all of us, regardless of our role at the College, make an intentional effort to understand how harassment, discrimination, and sexual assault affect the wellbeing of our college community.
Skagit Valley College’s Guiding Principles of Respect, Integrity, Open and Honest Communication, Collaboration, and Compassion provide an important framework for how we must care for one another. So, as you continue on your journey at SVC, I ask you to think about how you can make a positive impact on the lives of others at SVC, not only by abiding by the laws governing us, but also how you can apply our Guiding Principles to your work with students, faculty, and staff members.
Again, thank you for helping to create a working and learning environment at SVC that reflects our commitment to excellence.
Dr. Christopher Villa
Title IX Details
What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 promotes equal educational opportunities by protecting students, faculty, staff, and other members of the college community from sex or gender-based discrimination, harassment, or assault in areas such as:
- Financial Assistance;
More specifically, Title IX states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…” (U.S. Department of Justice. (2015, August 06). Title IX of The Education Amendments of 1972. Retrieved January 21, 2016, from http://www.justice.gov/crt/title-ix-education-amendments-1972). The complete statute can be viewed on the Department of Justice Title IX website.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (or VAWA, for short) reinstitutes legal mandates from the previous Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and institutes additional protections for persons experiencing or who have experienced past sex or gender-related violence.
Jeanne Clery Act
The Jeanne Clery Act for Security On-Campus mandates institutions of higher education to publicly disclose an annual crime statistics report, provide support to victims and survivors of relationship and sexual violence, and make known their policies and procedures related to responding to crimes on campus.
Policies and Procedures
In addition to the laws governing institutions like Skagit Valley College, SVC takes steps to prevent and address instances of discrimination and harassment by implementing various policies and procedures related to the remediation of these crimes.
Skagit Valley College Non-Discrimination Statement
This statement reinforces SVC’s commitment to providing a safe and inclusive learning and working environment for everyone. View the statement online.
Skagit Valley College Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedures
This document reviews not only the policies guiding employee and student behaviors on-campus related to Title IX and VAWA, but also outlines procedures for resolution when the institution is notified of such crimes.
This policy is currently under review and includes the following two procedural documents found in the OPPM 3070 that take precedence under Title IX.
- Title IX Grievance Procedures
- Non-Title IX Investigation Procedures
- Supplemental Title IX Employee Disciplinary Hearing Procedure
Operational Policies & Procedures
Skagit Valley College Code of Student Conduct
For instances of harassment and/or discrimination that occur between students, the SVC Code of Student Conduct is enforced, as defined by Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Chapter 132D-150. View the Code of Student Conduct online.
Departmental and Program Policies
Various academic and co-curricular programs associated with Skagit Valley College will advertise and impose their own policies that may be implemented in addition to the institution-wide policies and procedures defined above. Department and program authority will be granted in accordance with state and federal law.
Title IX: Definitions
Title IX protects students, faculty, staff, and community members at Skagit Valley College against discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex or gender. This includes issues related to access to programs, treatment in performance reviews and grading, subjection to inequitable environments, or targeted verbal or physical attacks.
Below are some important definitions retrieved from the Skagit Valley College Harassment and Discrimination Policy:
Advocate: Individuals who assist members of the SVC community with concerns about their rights and the policies and procedures of Skagit Valley College. Advocates will:
- Provide information on college policies and Title IX obligations
- Provide resources about counseling and medical resources both on campus and in the community
- Upon request, assist complainant with filing a complaint
- Upon request, assist respondent with reviewing college policies and procedures
- Act as a neutral/impartial resource for student/staff
- Upon request, serve as advocate during investigation
Business Day: A week-day, excluding weekends and college holidays.
Calendar Day: Days on the calendar including weekends and holidays.
Campus: (1) Any building or property owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the institution’s educational purpose, including residence halls; and (2) Any building or property that is within or reasonably contiguous to the area identified in paragraph (1) of this definition, that is owned by the institution but controlled by another person, is frequently used by students, and supports institutional purposes (such as food or other retail vendor).
Complainant: employee(s), student(s), applicants, or visitors(s) of Skagit Valley College who alleges that she or he has been subjected to discrimination or harassment due to his or her membership in a protected class.
Complaint: a description of facts that allege violation of the College’s policy against discrimination or harassment.
Conflict of Interest: If an advocate, designee or investigating authority has an actual or perceived conflict of interest, that individual may excuse themselves from the process. Once excused, that member will not have access to records/evidence pertaining to the case.
Consent: knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Each party has the responsibility to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
A person cannot consent if he or she is unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engaged in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct.
Intoxication is not a defense against allegations that an individual has engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct.
Discrimination: Unfavorable treatment of a person based on that person’s membership or perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment is a form of discrimination.
Harassment: a form of discrimination consisting of physical or verbal conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual because of their membership in a protected class or perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe and/or pervasive and so objectively offensive that it has the effect of altering the terms or conditions of employment or substantially limiting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational, social programs and/or student housing. Petty slights, annoyances, offensive utterances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) typically do not qualify as harassment.
Examples of conduct that could rise to the level of discriminatory harassment include but are not limited to the following:
A. Epithets, slurs, “jokes,” mockery or other offensive or derogatory conduct focused upon an individual’s membership in a protected category.
B. Verbal or physical threats of violence directed toward an individual based upon their membership in a protected class.
C. Making, posting, displaying, e-mailing, or otherwise circulating demeaning or offensive pictures, cartoons, graffiti, notes or other materials that relate to race, ethnic origin, gender or any other protected class.
Hate Crime: A crime reported to local police agencies or to a campus security authority that manifests evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias against the victim. For the purpose of this section, the categories of bias include the victim’s actual or perceived race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, and disability.
Investigation: The Title IX Officer may appoint a designee to investigate the complaint. The Officer shall inform the complainant and respondent of the appointment. The College representative shall conduct an investigation based upon the submitted complaint from the complainant or prepared by the Officer.
Protected Class: persons who are protected under state or federal civil rights laws, including laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status or use of a trained guide dog or service animal.
Reporter: employee(s), student(s), applicants or visitor(s) of Skagit Valley College who are aware of discriminatory practices or sexual misconduct.
Retaliation: Retaliation occurs when an adverse action is either threatened or taken against an individual for engaging in protected activity. An adverse action is an action which might dissuade a reasonable person from making or supporting a complaint. Retaliation may include adverse actions taken against a person close to the complainant.
Resolution: the means by which the complaint is finally addressed. This may be accomplished through informal or formal processes, including counseling, resource referral, protective measures, reasonable changes to academic and housing situations, mediating, mediation, or the formal imposition of discipline. No complainant will be required to have face to face interaction with an alleged perpetrator in any informal resolution or mediation. Mediation will not be used in cases of sexual violence.
Respondent: person or persons who are members of the campus community who allegedly discriminated against or harassed another person or persons.
Sexual Misconduct: A range of behaviors including sexual harassment, sexual coercion or exploitation, sexual assault, sexual violence, domestic/dating violence, and gender-based stalking.
Sexual Harassment: a form of discrimination consisting of unwelcome, gender-based verbal, written, electronic and/or physical conduct. Sexual harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s gender. There are two types of sexual harassment.
a. Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe and/or pervasive and so objectively offensive that it has the effect of altering the terms or conditions of employment or substantially limiting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational, social programs and/or student housing.
b. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment occurs when an individual in a position of real or perceived authority, conditions the receipt of a benefit upon granting of sexual favors.
Examples of conduct that may qualify as sexual harassment include:
- Persistent comments or questions of a sexual nature.
- A supervisor who gives an employee a raise in exchange for submitting to sexual advances.
- An instructor who promises a student a better grade in exchange for sexual favors.
- Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes
- Unwelcome touching, patting, hugging, kissing, or brushing against an individual’s body.
- Remarks of sexual nature about an individual’s clothing, body, or speculations about previous sexual experience.
- Persistent, unwanted attempts to change a professional relationship to an amorous relationship.
- Direct or indirect propositions for sexual activity.
- Unwelcomed letters, emails, texts, telephone calls, or other communications referring to or depicting sexual activities.
Sexual Violence: is a type of sexual discrimination and harassment. Nonconsensual sexual intercourse, nonconsensual sexual contact, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are all types of sexual violence.
A. Nonconsensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
B. Nonconsensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with breasts, groin, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
C. Domestic violence includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.
D. Dating violence means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
E. Stalking means intentional and repeated harassment or following of another person, which places that person in reasonable fear that the perpetrator intends to injure, intimidate or harass that person. Stalking also includes instances where the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know that the person is frightened, intimidated or harassed, even if the perpetrator lacks such intent.
Reporting an Incident to a Campus Official
You can file a report of any incident of discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, or other crimes in any of the following ways:
- File a Title IX report online.
- For all other reporting options, visit the Incident Reporting webpage.
- Contact Skagit Valley College’s Title IX Coordinator:
3. Contact Campus Security:
Mount Vernon Campus:
Gary Knutzen Cardinal Student Center
2405 East College Way
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Reporting to Police
When reporting a crime at Skagit Valley College, it is important to note that the process on-campus is different from the process undertaken by local law enforcement. When a report is made that involves criminal acts, Skagit Valley College faculty and staff will invite the reporting party to file a police report. In instances in which the crime being reported presents a severe and/or ongoing threat to the Skagit Valley College community, law enforcement may be notified.
For questions about local law enforcement’s process for handing crime reports, or to file a report, please contact the law enforcement office closest to you.
If you ever feel immediately threatened or in-danger, contact 9-1-1.
For unincorporated areas or areas outside of city limits:
What Happens to a Report?
What Happens When a Report is Filed?
1. Skagit Valley College is notified: When any Skagit Valley College employee is notified of a violation of Title IX or the Violence Against Women Act, be it verbally, in writing, through a third-party report, or by directly witnessing the event, Skagit Valley College will respond to ensure the ongoing safety of the Skagit Valley College community and to support those affected by the incident. Exceptions are made when the reports are made to professional counselors in the Skagit Valley College Counseling Center or to a designated Advocate. In these cases, students will have the option to file a formal report with SVC or local authorities. Anytime health or safety is at-risk or ongoing threats to the college community exist, all SVC employees are required to report to the appropriate campus authorities.
2. The report is filed: When a report is made regarding sex or gender-based discrimination or harassment, the Skagit Valley College Title IX Coordinator will review the information in the report and offer resources to those directly involved in the incident. Depending on the desire of the affected person(s), the Title IX Coordinator may assign an investigator to conduct an impartial investigation of the incident. Depending on the details in the report, interim actions might be taken to protect the safety and security of the college community while the investigation takes place.
3. The report is investigated: The investigator will review the report filed and call-in everyone involved, including the complainant(s), respondent(s), and any witnesses. Additional reviews of existing policies, practices, and procedures may assist the investigator in determining whether or not harassing, discriminatory, or violence behavior was demonstrated.
4. A decision of responsibility is made: The investigator, in coordination with the Title IX Coordinator or designee, will review the existing evidence and determine whether or not responsibility can be assessed. In order to determine responsibility, there must be at least 50.001% more evidence showing that one thing occurred over another. This is called the burden of proof. Both the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) are notified of the outcome of the case.
5. An appeal hearing may occur: If the complainant(s) or respondent(s) is not fully satisfied with the decision reached by the investigator, the case can be reviewed and appealed.
6. Safety and educational outcomes are enforced: After the decision is reached and, if applicable, after the appeal hearing is finalized, determined educational and safety-related sanctions (or consequences) will be enforced in the interest of protecting persons involved in the case as well as the broader Skagit Valley College community.
Skagit Valley College Resources
Advocates: Advocates are persons at SVC designated to provide resources, assistance, and support to students who have witnessed or experienced discrimination, harassment, or sexual violence.
Mount Vernon Counseling and Advising Center
Lewis Hall, 2405 East College Way, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Whidbey Island Student Services/Counseling
Old Main, 1900 SE Pioneer Way, Whidbey Island 98277
Title IX Coordinator or Designee
Discussing Title IX incidents with the Title IX Coordinator or Designee provides the framework for Skagit Valley College to respond appropriately to gender-based harassment and/or discrimination. All employees of Skagit Valley College are considered mandated reporters for all incidents categorized under the Jeanne Clery Act and Title IX. All reports will be shared with the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is the lead administrator for all Title IX reports at Skagit Valley College. Contact the Title IX Coordinator if you have any questions about the reporting or investigation processes or with questions about Skagit Valley College policies and procedures related to Title IX.
Designees: The Title IX Designees may serve as a back-up to the Title IX Coordinator and provide the same functions and resources as the Title IX Coordinator.
Victim and Survivor Advocacy
Community advocates provide some counseling services, resources, and assistance for persons who have experienced gender-based harassment and/or discrimination, particularly with relation to sexual and relationship violence. The following are local, regional, and national organizations committed to serve victims and survivors of sex or gender-based discrimination or harassment:
Skagit Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services (SDVSAS)
Local 24-hour Hotline: 1.888.336.9591
Washington State 24-hour Hotline: 1.800.62-6025
National 24-hour Hotline: 1.800-799.SAFE
Email: [email protected]
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Fleet & Family Support Center (for military service persons, Veterans, and dependents)
Address: 3675 W Lexington St, Oak Harbor, WA 98278-0000
Protection from discrimination and harassment against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and other gender and sexual orientation communities are covered under Title IX and VAWA. The following regional and national organizations provide information, resources, and support to members of these communities experiencing discrimination:
Housing, Financial Assistance, and Basic Needs
Basic needs assistance programs provide individual and family support to persons experiencing financial hardship. Services such as housing assistance, food assistance, transportation, legal advocacy, health services, and other needs are offered to eligible persons through the following local agencies:
Safety and Security
Safety at Skagit Valley College
SVC provides security services to promote safety on-campus. Students and employees experiencing immediate harassing, threatening, or discriminatory behaviors are encouraged to report these concerns to Campus Security, who are trained to provide support and protection and who have the ability to contact local authorities, if need be.
Mount Vernon Campus:
Gary Knutzen Cardinal Center
Skagit Valley College encourages witnesses of harassment or discrimination to speak-up and let others know that these kinds of behaviors are unacceptable. In instances of immediately occurring violence, SVC employees and students are asked to call 9-1-1 immediately and to help get the victim or survivor away from the situation without putting their own safety at-risk.
If you know someone who is being abused, discriminated against, harassed, or any way been a victim of a crime, please refer them to contact SVC Campus Security or the Title IX Coordinator. Here are some other ways that you can help make SVC a safe and welcoming environment:
- Serve a as a role model for respectful, caring behaviors;
- Educate others on the meaning of consent and advocate for those who are survivors of sexual violence;
- Speak-up against hateful language and report violent behaviors;
- Befriend others from different backgrounds and experiences and allow yourself to learn from those new friends;
- Engage in conversations with friends about current legislation and current events so that you can understand the issues from multiple perspectives.
Protection from Retaliation
Reporting harassment or discrimination is always a scary prospect, but employees and students should know that choosing to notify the Skagit Valley College of a crime, whether it occurs on-or-off-campus, creates a scenario in which SVC can implement certain protections on-campus from retaliation. Some of these protections include orders of no-contact, enforcement of legal protection orders, Campus Security escorts to-and-from classes, assistance in filing reports with local law enforcement, etc.. Retaliation against a complainant is a crime and will be treated as such.
SVC also enforces a state-mandated whistleblower policy, which protects individuals who report institutional misconduct and discrimination.
Annual Security Report
Skagit Valley College, as mandated by the Jeanne Clery Act, posts statistics of crimes that occur on-campus owned, leased, or operated properties. This is known as an Annual Security Report. This report includes all crimes listed under Title IX and VAWA.
SVC’s Annual Security Report can be viewed online. It is important to note that this report lists the number of crimes reported to SVC officials.
The 2020 Title IX Regulations mandate the public sharing of materials used to train school and college Title IX team members. Skagit Valley College’s Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator, investigators, decision makers, and persons who facilitate informal resolutions complete training through the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA). The training materials are available on ATIXA’s website: https://atixa.org/2020-regulations-requirement-posting-of-training-materials/.
Title IX Coordinator
Disability and Reasonable Accommodation Assistance
The Reasonable Accommodation policy, OPPM 3040 can be found at: https://www.skagit.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/3000-section-human-resources.pdf.
All disability complaints come to the Title IX Office for review and investigation.
Safety and Security
Mount Vernon Campus
Gary Knutzen Cardinal Center