Student Sexual Harassment

  1. Does MCC have a policy?
  2. What is the definition of sexual harassment?
  3. What if I witness an incident of sexual harassment?
  4. What if I am a victim of sexual harassment?
  5. What is the complaint procedure?
  6. If you feel you are a victim of sexual harassment.
  1. Does MCC have a policy?

    Yes. It is the policy of McHenry County College, in keeping with efforts to establish an environment in which the dignity and worth of all members of the Community College are respected, that sexual harassment of students and employees at McHenry County College is unacceptable conduct and will not be tolerated.

    Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of either sex against a person of the opposite sex or the same sex, when the behavior falls within the definition outlined in this page.

  2. What is the definition of sexual harassment?

    Sexual harassment of students at McHenry County College is defined as any sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:

    • Submission to such conduct is made, whether explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education;
    • Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions or educational opportunities affecting that individual; or
    • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or educational experience, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

    Verbal Behavior

    • “Humor” or “jokes” about sex or gender-related characteristics.
    • Suggestive comments about a person’s clothing, body or sexual activity.
    • Sexual propositions.
    • Direct or indirect threats linked to sexual propositions or activity.

    Nonverbal Behavior

    • Leering.
    • Whistling.
    • Suggestive or insulting sounds.
    • Obscene gestures.

    Physical Behavior

    • Brushing the body.
    • Touching.
    • Pinching.
    • Coerced sexual activity.
    • Sexual assault.
  3. What if I witness an incident of sexual harassment?
    1. Do what you can to stop the offensive behavior immediately.
    2. Inform the victim of his or her rights and encourage the victim to take action.
    3. Offer whatever support the victim needs.
    4. Report the behavior.
  4. What if I am a victim of sexual harassment?
    1. Try to stop the behavior directly. Tell the offender clearly that the behavior is unwelcome and offensive to you and that you want it stopped immediately.
    2. Get help from others if you find it difficult to confront the offender directly. Staff members in the Counseling Center can help you analyze and handle the situation.
    3. Write down what happened, including time and place, and the names of possible witnesses.
    4. Talk with others who may have been treated similarly. Find out if they would be willing to support you in any action you might take to have the behavior stopped.
    5. Report the problem. No one will force you to take any action you do not want to take.
  5. What is the complaint procedure?
    • Any student who wishes to file a complaint which involves allegations of sexual harassment and/or the application of Title IX, shall be referred to the College’s Title IX Coordinator, Juletta Patrick, Assistant Vice-President of Academic and Student Affairs at (815) 455-8613. Reports will be investigated promptly. Please retain any notes, letters or other written material that relate to the complaint.
    • Any student who believes that he or she has been harassed or discriminated against by any other member of the College community may also contact the MCC Campus Safety/Police Department, B-174, (815) 455-8733 (non-emergency) or 911 (emergency), to initiate a police investigation. The College will conduct its own investigation of any harassment/discrimination complaints independent of any law enforcement investigation; however College and law enforcement investigations into harassment/discrimination may proceed simultaneously.
    • Verbal and written complaints of harassment/discrimination shall be promptly and equitably investigated in pursuant to Article IX. The College will maintain the complainant’s and the accused’s confidentiality to the extent possible. Depending on the totality of the circumstances and the nature of the complaint, the College may disclose information to the extent necessary to investigate the complaint or take corrective action when conduct has occurred. Determinations of violations shall be made based upon the preponderance of evidence.
    • Inquiries concerning sexual harassment and/or the application of Title IX may be referred to the College’s Title IX Coordinator, Juletta Patrick, Assistant Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at (815) 455-8613 or to the Office for Civil Rights at (800) 421-3481.

    Formal complaints should be filed with:
    Juletta Patrick
    Assistant Vice-President of Academic & Student Affairs
    A218
    (815) 455-8613

  6. Most importantly, if you feel you are a victim of sexual harassment:

    Do not blame yourself for being harassed. People do not bring sexual harassment upon themselves or “deserve” to be harassed.

    Do not ignore the harassment, hoping it will go away. This is a common victim reaction, but is not an effective way to deal with a sexual harassment incident.

    Do not keep it to yourself. You are very likely not the only victim, and by speaking up, you may help others as well as yourself.

    Do not delay. Harassment is likely to continue if you delay. MCC policy and procedures strongly urge that a formal complaint be filed with the Student Conduct Officer.