Title IX

We Stand For Title IX

ssa-imageNo 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……”

tipsTitle IX Contacts:
Title IX Coordinator    Dean Dyan Lester   Dellinger Hall – DE 225   (276)964-7677
Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Faculty and Staff)     Human Resources    Tazewell Hall – T 341   (276)964-7389

Read the full SWCC Title IX Policy.  View the  Title IX training for students.   View the Title IX training for dual enrollment students

What is Title IX?

Our Mission

Southwest Virginia Community College is committed to building and maintaining a diverse community to reflect human diversity and improve opportunities for all. We celebrate individual differences and diversity. SWCC does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status in its programs, activities, employment, and admission.

Each student and employee at SWCC has the right to engage in an educational/working experience free from discrimination, harassment, exclusion, and retaliation.

The Law

Title IX is a landmark civil rights law. Enacted by Congress, Title IX seeks to reduce or eliminate barriers to educational opportunity caused by sex discrimination in institutions that receive federal funding. When Title IX is mentioned, most people think it only relates to women and athletics but it impacts every level of the educational experience by insuring equal education opportunities to all.  Title IX prohibits sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other forms of sex discrimination.

The spirit of Title IX is to change attitudes, assumptions, behaviors, stereotypes, and misconceptions of the campus community to allow students and employees to work and learn in a positive, safe environment.

Title IX Definitions

Advisor:  An individual who provides the complainant and respondent support, guidance, or advice. Advisors may be present at any meeting or hearing, but may not speak directly on behalf of the complainant or respondent.

Third Party or Bystander: A third party refers to any other participant in the process, other than the complainant or respondent, who makes a report on behalf of someone else. A third party could also include a witness to the incident.

Complainant: A complainant refers to an individual who believes that they have been the subject of a violation of this Policy and files a complaint against a faculty, staff member or student.

Consent: Any sexual activity or sex act committed against one’s will, by the use of force, threat, intimidation, or ruse, or through one’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness is without consent.   Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually-agreed upon sexual activity. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent. Past consent to sexual activities, or a current or previous dating relationship, does not imply ongoing or future consent. Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). An individual cannot consent who is under the age of legal consent. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred.

Mental incapacity means that condition of a person existing at the time which prevents the person from understanding the nature or consequences of the sexual act involved (the who, what, when, where, why, and how) and about which the accused knew or should have known. This includes incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol. Intoxication is not the same as incapacitation.

Physical helplessness means unconsciousness or any other condition existing at the time which otherwise rendered the person physically unable to communicate an unwillingness to act and about which the accused knew or should have known. Physical helplessness may be reached through the use of alcohol or drugs.

 Dating Violence:   Dating violence is violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury committed by a person who is or has been in a close relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the other person. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence is violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury and that is committed by a person against such person’s family or household member, which includes a current or former spouse a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, or who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the person as a spouse or intimate partner.

Respondent: A respondent refers to the individual who has been accused of violating this Policy.

Responsible Employee: A responsible employee is one designated for purposes of initiating notice and investigation of alleged violations of this Policy. A responsible employee also is any employee who a person reasonably believes is a responsible employee. Responsible employees are required to forward all reports of violations of this Policy to the appropriate Title IX Coordinator.

Sex Discrimination: Sex discrimination is the unlawful treatment of another based on the individual’s sex that excludes an individual from participation in, denies the individual the benefits of, or otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, or participation in college program or activity.

Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is defined as the intentional sexual contact with a person against that person’s will by the use of force, threat, or intimidation, or through the use of a person’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness. Sexual assault includes intentionally touching, either directly or through clothing, of the victim’s genitals, breasts, thighs, or buttocks without the person’s consent, as well as forcing someone to touch or fondle another against his or her will.   Sexual battery is a type of sexual assault.

Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to invasion of sexual privacy; prostituting another person; non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex); engaging in voyeurism; exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals, and knowingly transmitting HIV or an STD to another.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment shall be considered to have occurred in the following instances:

Quid Pro Quo: The submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for educational or employment decisions affecting the student or employee either explicitly or implicitly; or

Hostile Environment: Conduct so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it undermines and detracts from an employee’s work performance or a student’s educational experience.

Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct encompasses a range of behavior used to obtain sexual gratification against another’s will or at the expense of another. Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and sexual violence.

Sexual Violence: Sexual violence is any intentional physical sexual abuse committed against a person’s will. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual coersion, and sexual battery.

Stalking: Stalking occurs when someone, on more than one occasion, engages in conduct directed at another person with the intent to place, or knows or reasonably should know that the conduct places that other person in reasonable fear of death, criminal sexual assault, or bodily injury to that other person or to that other person’s family or household member. back to top

First Amendment and Academic Freedom

The main principal of academic freedom is to protect free speech rights of faculty and students inside the classroom (papers, lectures, and classroom discussion) and outside (school forums, debates, public campus meetings). No court has carved out a discrete concept of academic freedom for community colleges (“Academic Freedom and Community College Faculty” Kushibab,) but the spirit of academic freedom is to promote and encourage the robust exchange of ideas among faculty, and between faculty and students. In the case where faculty or students make statements that are interpreted by others as harassing or discriminating the school may take steps to denounce those opinions and ensure that competing views are heard. In order to establish a violation of Title IX, the harassment must deny or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the education process.

SWCC Policies

General Statement

Southwest Virginia Community College is committed to providing an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination based on any status protected by law. This Policy supplements the following general policy statement set forth by the Virginia Community College System: This institution promotes and maintains educational opportunities without regard to race, color, sex, ethnicity, religion, gender, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), disability, national origin, or other non-merit factors.   This Policy also addresses the requirements under the Violence Against Women Re-authorization Act of 2013, (also known as the Campus SaVE Act).

This Policy is not intended to substitute or supersede related criminal or civil law. Individuals should report incidents of sexual and domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to law enforcement authorities. Criminal and civil remedies are available in addition to the potential remedies that the College may provide.


The purpose of this Policy is to establish that the College prohibits discrimination, harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and retaliation and to set forth procedures by which such allegations shall be filed, investigated and resolved.


This Policy applies to all campus community members, including students, faculty, staff and third parties, e.g., contractors and visitors. Conduct that occurs off campus can be the subject of a complaint or report and will be evaluated to determine whether it violates this Policy, e.g. if off-campus harassment has continuing effects that create a hostile environment on campus.back to top

Code of Student Conduct

Southwest Virginia Community College strives for a positive campus culture allowing students to work, grow and convene in a safe and supportive environment. We expect our students to reflect this philosophy and present themselves in a manner which upholds the SWCC mission. An important aspect of education is assisting each student to form behavioral habits that will enable them to be successful in their future endeavors. Conduct that adversely affects the college community’s pursuit of educational objections or behavior that disrupts the learning process will be subject to disciplinary action. Please refer to the student code of conduct and the student code of classroom courtesy in your student handbook.

Violence and Sexual Harassment

Southwest Virginia Community College System does not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form. Sexual misconduct is a flagrant violation of the values and behavioral expectations for a college community and all reported violations shall be investigated. Sexual misconduct may be punishable through civil and criminal proceedings, as well as through college disciplinary processes. An educational institution is a community of trust whose very existence depends on the recognition of each individual’s importance and value. This trust creates the freedom for each individual to live, think, act, and speak without fear of physical harm. Sexual misconduct shatters the bond of trust within a college community.


Any form of retaliation, including intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse action taken or threatened against any complainant or person reporting a complaint alleging a violation of this Policy, or any person cooperating in the investigation of allegations of violations of this Policy, to include testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in an investigation pursuant to this Policy and the resolution procedures is strictly prohibited by this Policy. Action is generally deemed adverse if it would deter a reasonable person in the same circumstances from opposing practices prohibited by this Policy. Retaliation may result in disciplinary or other action independent of the sanctions or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of violations of this Policy.

Confidentiality and Anonymous Reports

Individuals may be concerned about their privacy when they report a possible violation of this Policy. The College has a responsibility to end conduct that violates this Policy, prevent its recurrence, and address its discriminatory effects. For this reason, some College employees may not keep secret any report of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. The College expects employees to treat information they learn concerning incidents of reported violations of this Policy with respect and with as much privacy as possible. College employees must share such information only with those College and law enforcement officials who must be informed of the information pursuant to this Policy.

Responsible employees must report all alleged violations of this Policy to the Title IX Coordinator. Other campus employees have a duty to report sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking for federal statistical reporting purposes (Campus Security Authority (CSA) under the Clery Act). CSAs include student/conduct affairs personnel, campus law enforcement, local police, student activities staff, human resources staff, and advisors to student organizations. Reports received by the College concerning the abuse of a minor must be reported in compliance with state law.

If a complainant wishes to keep the report confidential, it is recommended that he or she reports the alleged conduct to someone with a duty to maintain confidentiality, e.g., mental health counselor or clergy. Employees may contact the Employee Assistance Program. If the complainant requests that the complainant’s identity is not released to anyone else, the College’s ability to investigate and take reasonable action in response to a complaint may be limited. In such cases, the College will evaluate the request(s) that a complaint remain confidential in the context of the College’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non‐discriminatory environment. In order to make such an evaluation, the Title IX Coordinator may conduct a preliminary investigation into the alleged violation of this Policy and may weigh the request(s) against the following factors:

  • The seriousness of the allegation(s);
  • The complainant’s or alleged victim’s age;
  • Whether there have been other similar complaints of against the same respondent;
  • The respondent’s right to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the College as an “education record” under FERPA; and
  • The applicability of any laws mandating disclosure.

Therefore, the College may pursue an investigation even if the complainant requests that no action is taken and the College will not be able to ensure confidentiality in all cases. The College will notify the complainant in writing when it is unable to maintain confidentiality or respect the complainant’s request for no further action.

The College will accept anonymous reports, but it will be limited in its ability to investigate and take reasonable action. The College must have sufficient information to conduct a meaningful and fair investigation. A respondent has a right to know the name of the complainant and information regarding the nature of the allegations in order to defend against the complaint.

The College, when reasonably available and when requested, may arrange for changes in academic, parking, transportation, or work arrangements after an alleged violation of this Policy. When such accommodations are provided, the College will protect the privacy of the complainant to the extent possible while still providing the accommodation.back to top


What to do if you are a victim of abuse


Anyone who has experienced sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence should do the following:

  • Safely find a place away from harm.
  • Call 911 or if on campus, contact campus police/security.
  • Call a friend, a campus advocate, a family member or someone else you trust and ask her or him to stay with you.
  • Go to the nearest medical facility/emergency room.
  • If you suspect that you may have been given a drug, ask the hospital or clinic where you receive medical care to take a urine sample. The urine sample should be preserved as evidence. “Rape drugs,” such as Rohypnol and GHB, are more likely to be detected in urine than in blood.
  • For professional and confidential counseling support, call the Virginia Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-838-8238. Help is available 24 hours a day.
  • You should take steps to preserve any physical evidence because it will be necessary to prove criminal domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or to obtain a protective order.
    • Do not wash your hands, bathe, or douche. Do not urinate, if possible.
    • Do not eat, blow your nose, drink liquids, smoke, or brush your teeth if oral contact took place.
    • Keep the clothing worn when the incident occurred. If you change clothing, place the worn clothing in a paper bag.
    • Do not destroy any physical evidence that may be found in the vicinity of the incident by cleaning or straightening the location of the crime. Do not clean or straighten the location of the crime until law enforcement officials have had an opportunity to collect evidence.
    • Tell someone all the details you remember or write them down as soon as possible.
    • Maintain text messages, pictures, online postings, video and other documentary or electronic evidence that may corroborate your complaint.back to top

Reporting Incidents

Members of the campus community who believe they have been subjected to or have been witness to any of these crimes should immediately report the incident to campus or local police. All emergencies or any incident where someone is in imminent danger should be reported immediately to campus police/security (276)964-7221 or local police by dialing 911.

TIPSWhether or not a report is made to law enforcement, members of the campus community should report alleged violations of this to the Title IX Coordinator or may submit a complaint by using the SWCC TIPS system.

Southwest Virginia Community College Title IX Campus Resources

Title IX Coordinator:  Dean Dyan Lester DE  225 Dellinger Hall, (276)964-7677

Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for employees):  Human Resources, T 341 Tazewell Hall, (276)964-7389

After normal business hours, members of the campus community should report alleged violations or suspicious activity to SWCC’s campus police at (276)964-HELP.

There is no time limit for filing a complaint with the College. However, complainants should report possible violations as soon as possible to maximize the College’s ability to respond effectively. Failure to report promptly could result in the loss of relevant evidence and impair the College’s ability to adequately respond to the allegations.back to top

What to Expect When a Complaint is Filed

Complainant’s Initial Meeting with the Title IX Coordinator. As soon as is practicable, the Title IX Coordinator will contact you to schedule an initial meeting. If you are not the alleged victim, the Title IX Coordinator also will contact the alleged victim as soon as possible to schedule an initial meeting. You may be accompanied by an advisor of your choosing. At this initial meeting with the Title IX Coordinator:

  • You will be provided with a copy of the Title IX policy.
  • You will receive a written explanation of your rights and options related to changes in academic, parking, and working arrangements.
  • You will receive an explanation of the steps involved in an investigation.
  • Your right to confidentiality will be explained.
  • You will determine whether you wish to pursue a resolution (formal or informal) through the College or no resolution of any kind.
  • You will be referred to campus and community resources, as appropriate
  • You will discuss, as appropriate, possible interim measures that may be taken or provided when necessary during the pendency of the investigative and resolution processes.back to top

 False Allegations

Any individual who knowingly files a false complaint under this Policy, who knowingly provides false information to College officials, or who intentionally misleads College officials who are involved in the investigation or resolution of a complaint may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal for students and termination of employment for faculty and staff. An allegation that cannot be proven by a preponderance of the evidence is not necessarily proof of knowingly filing a false complaint.

Support Services

All students and employees will receive information in writing of available counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, and other services available in the community and on campus. Below you will find a list of services in your area.

People Incorporated of Southwest Virginia           Family Crisis Services – Tazewell
Lebanon          276-889-8477                                     276-979-8959
Clintwood       276-928-5800                                     The National Domestic Violence Hotline
800-799-7233/ 800-787-3224 (TTY)

Get Involved

If you would like to take a stand or would like to organize student functions to raise awareness about campus violence, please contact contact the Title IX Coordinator at  276-964-7314.


Local Resources

People Incorporated of Southwest Virginia                  Family Crisis Services
Lebanon        276-889-8477                                              Tazewell  276-988-5583
Clintwood     276-928-5800                                              The National Domestic Violence Hotline
800-799-7233/ 800-787-3224 (TTY)

Clinch Valley Community Action
Serving Tazewell County

Title IX Coordinator: Dean Dyan Lester  Dellinger Hall DE225, 276-964-7677

Watch the video from the White House on the 40th Anniversary of Title IX

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