Commitment to Community Standards

A spirit of hospitality

Goshen College is dedicated to fostering a spirit of hospitality on our campus, including all students, faculty and staff and college guests, as part of maintaining a healthy living and learning community. We welcome all students as God’s creation regardless of color, gender, religion, ethnicity or nationality, sexual orientation and social or economic class. In order for a diverse community to thrive, we must recognize our differences and seek understanding and integrity in our relationships. Students and faculty at Goshen College are expected to support an environment of mutual respect and accountability, to care for the personal dignity of others and to have integrity in their conduct and communication.

The spirit of respect and hospitality at Goshen College reflects our character as a Mennonite-Anabaptist liberal arts community of scholarship, teaching, learning and service. We believe that the expression of hospitality is best understood in the life and character of Jesus Christ, who welcomed the Gentile and the Jew, women and men, the poor and the wealthy, the slave and the free, the sick and the healthy. The Mennonite Church promotes a community founded on love and justice in which all persons possess inherent dignity as children of God. Our search for truth and our understanding of complex modern challenges is informed and transformed by the life and teachings of Jesus and the tradition of Anabaptist Christians to be accountable to each other in the context of the church.

Expectations: Individual Commitments Within Community Life

Invitation to Christian community

Goshen College is committed to encouraging students in intellectual, social, moral and spiritual growth. Students are invited to engage in a dynamic and life-giving community here and to mature as individuals through respectful relationships in the classroom, the local community, in the broader Christian church and in among other cultures. All are expected to demonstrate sensitivity for others’ convictions, perspectives and struggles. Within the context of a Christ-centered community, we seek to become:

  • Christ centered,
  • passionate learners,
  • global citizens,
  • servant leaders, and
  • compassionate peacemakers.

Expectations

Members of the Goshen College community are expected to demonstrate individual responsibility by showing consideration for the beliefs and feelings of others; abiding by federal, state and local laws; and demonstrating exemplary conduct. When a student’s behavior has direct implications for others and/or the well-being of the campus community, there is cause for community involvement, regardless of where the situation occurs (e.g. home or abroad.)

Academic honesty

As an academic community that expects integrity, we seek for truth and knowledge by requiring intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching, research and service.  As an academic community of integrity, we uphold personal accountability and take action against wrongdoing. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not all inclusive of, the following: plagiarism, cheating on assignments or exams, falsification of data, sabotaging the work of another and aiding in academic dishonesty of another.  The Academic Dean’s Office holds students accountable for their academic work.

Alcohol

Goshen College is an alcohol free campus.  The use of alcohol is illegal for minors as defined by state and federal law, and alcohol also may create dependencies, invite an unhealthy escapism, waste money, abuse health and take lives.   Abuse of alcohol can also lead to offensive behavior impacting others.   Alcoholic beverages are prohibited from the campus and all college-related functions.  Students are expected to be responsible for themselves and their peers regarding the use and presence of alcohol.

Drugs and Illegal Drugs

Goshen College is a drug free campus.  The possession, distribution or use of any illegal drugs, including synthetic substances (i.e. K2, “Spice,” etc…) is prohibited.  Drug paraphernalia (e.g. bongs, wrappers, etc.) is also prohibited.  In accordance with state law, use of prescribed medications outside the supervision of medical professionals is also prohibited.  The misuse of any drugs may create dependencies, invite unhealthy escapism, waste money, abuse health and take lives.  Misuse can also lead to behavior negatively impacting others.  Students are asked to be responsible for themselves and their peers regarding the possession and use of illegal drugs, prescription medications and paraphernalia.  Student found in violation of this expectation may be asked to submit to random searches and drug testing.  Searches and testing will be determined by reasonable suspicion based on behavioral observations or information from others regarding use or possession determined at the sole discretion of appropriate Goshen College officials.

Firearms-fireworks

The possession or use of firearms, including pellet, bb or air guns is prohibited on campus. Fireworks are also a safety concern and are not permitted.

Fire & safety equipment

Tampering with any fire and safety equipment on campus is unacceptable. It is also both a federal and state offense.

Fraud & theft

Students are expected to respect the identity and property of others. Examples of fraud or theft include, but are not all inclusive of, the following: dishonesty on time cards, theft of and other misuse of personal or college property, and identity theft.

Honesty

Students are expected to cooperate with integrity and honesty during an investigation.

Racial Prejudice

Racial prejudice is a set of attitudes or beliefs that hold particular racial or ethnic groups superior to others, often resulting in justification of discriminatory treatment or other acts of racial prejudice. Racial prejudice denies the humanity of others and denies the truth that all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God.

Goshen College creates a social and academic environment where students develop awareness of issues of race, sensitivity to minority populations and intercultural understanding. The campus reflects God’s world: multicultural, multiracial and multiethnic. We believe attitudes and actions of racial prejudice do not demonstrate the love of Christ, and violate the inclusive intention of the mission of Goshen College.

As an institution of the Mennonite Church, Goshen College believes that racial prejudice is contrary and inconsistent with the life and teachings of Christ. Therefore, we will resist the pervasive racial prejudice of our society by identifying and confronting its evidence.

Sexuality

Sexuality is an integral part of our personalities, reflecting who we are as individuals.  To care for another person includes honoring and respecting that person as a sexual being. Sexuality cannot be separated from the other dimensions of our lives.  It is our understanding that sexual intercourse is to take place within the covenant of marriage.

Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to discrimination, coercion, exploitation and abuse.  These destructive behaviors are detrimental to both relationships and to individual self-esteem; these also violate the caring nature of our community. Goshen College is firmly opposed to sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.

The goal of accountability in these matters, as in all others, will be for well-being, reconciliation, repentance, forgiveness and redemption. Our counseling and health-service personnel are available to students wishing to discuss issues regarding sexuality or sexual behavior. These conversations will be held in strict confidence.

Tobacco use

The use of tobacco and nicotine products imposes a serious and unnecessary burden upon the health of the user and community. It also constitutes a fire hazard in some cases. Use of tobacco and paraphernalia (e.g. pipes, hookahs, electronic cigarettes, etc.) in any form is prohibited on campus or at any off-campus official college activity and strongly discouraged elsewhere.

Violence or threats of violence

An act or threat of violence against another individual, whether verbal or physical, is unacceptable.

Vandalism

Any vandalism on campus will be considered offensive behavior. Responsibility for restitution will be expected.

Serious Intent

While it is difficult to determine a framework of community standards that completely matches the ideals of each individual, clear expression of commonly held expectations is vital to productive, positive life and work together in a diverse campus setting. Every Goshen College student is expected to show serious intent to live according to these standards.

Values inform our work

As a community of higher education, Goshen College seeks to center its campus life on the Core Values.  Christ-centered, passionate learners, servant leaders, compassionate peacemakers, and global citizens are what we seek to become and emulate in our relationships with each other (goshen.edu/aboutgc/values.php).  Similarly, values and principles inform program, policy and relationships within Student Life.

Five Ethical Principles in Student Life

Student development theory reflects the typical developmental tasks commonly engaged by young adults during the point in their lives when most students decide to pursue higher education.  Most are making decisions and investing in relationships that will impact them for years to come.  Student development theory provides a framework for empowering students in these life tasks.

The five ethical principles that inform our work as student life professionals are 1) Autonomy, 2) Prevent Harm, 3) Do Good 4) Justice 5) Fidelity.   In the goal of autonomy, we recognize the need for students to become increasingly independent. With a clearer sense of self, students develop an increased sense of confidence and self-direction.  Students must answer the question, “What does it mean to become independent and responsible?  Secondly, within this increased sense of autonomy, we must prevent harm. Safety policies (e.g. Community Standards) are designed to prevent harm to individuals and groups; safety plans (e.g. fire drills) are in place to respond to harmful situations should they occur.  However, avoiding harm is not an end in itself; we want to provide the opportunity to do good. Student Life promotes positive modeling, direction and leadership opportunities.  Student groups, clubs, and events provide opportunities for students to contribute to a life-giving campus life.  Interacting within a campus context, we treat each other with equity.  Student Life professionals value justice; recognizing that individuals are different, we retain objectivity in our perception of each other.  We also understand that trust is critical for developing relationships.  Fidelity is reflected in our commitment to confidentiality, professionalism and knowledge of our abilities and limitations.  To be most meaningful, trust and confidentiality is embraced by both faculty and students when engaging sensitive issues.

Process for Responding to Violation of Standards

As a means to achieve restorative outcomes, primary principles of restorative justice must be understood.  They include the following:

  • Clarity and agreement among all parties regarding the facts in a given incident.
  • Clarity and understanding regarding the roles and responsibilities of individuals and Goshen College in a given incident if deemed appropriate.
  • Willingness by involved to accept responsibility for their actions.
  • Communication by those involved regarding desired steps to make right the wrongs experienced.
  • Willingness by those involved to respond and work to make right the wrong experienced.
  • Agreement on restorative steps and outcomes between all involved.
  • Honored confidentiality throughout the process.

Violations against Community Standards are indicators of offenses against people, relationships and the community. A witness to the violation should confront the violator or violators and together work out a resolution in keeping with the standards. If the violators refuse to work out an agreement, then a member of the Residence Life Team will be brought into the discussion. One of these persons will process the allegation to determine the facts and present them before the appropriate response team. The Resident Assistant and Resident Leader play an important role in confronting, listening to and supporting those involved in standards violations. RAs & RLs serve to repair the relationship and integrate those involved and the community as much as possible.

It is hoped that students will self-manage and resolve conflicts on an individual level.  Student Life professionals are available to empower students to deal cooperatively and constructively with conflicts, disputes and offenses.

For those incidences that are not resolved individually, or there is a lack of responsibility for the violation, the situation moves to a more formal process.  Students involved in a first time violation of a community standard will meet with a Residence Life Director to reach a common understanding and attempt to reach a restorative outcome and disciplinary response. All standards violations are processed on a case-by-case basis. The incident report will be moved to the Standards Response Team if a Residence Life Director is unable to reach a common understanding with the student, the facts of the incident are unclear, or the student involved is on disciplinary probation

Response to Academic Dishonesty

First Offense
Faculty members will report incidents of academic dishonesty to the designated associate dean. The associate dean will maintain a record of all first offenses. The faculty member has the right to determine the outcome of a first offense. Responses range from requesting that a student redo an assignment or exam to failure of the course, depending on the severity of the offense.

Second Offense
If more than one incident of academic dishonesty occurs the designated associate dean will convene the academic response team. This body will include two teaching faculty members and two students. The academic response team will determine the appropriate response for repeated violations of academic integrity. Responses could include suspension from the college for one or more semesters or dismissal from the college. The professor who reported the incident will continue to have the right to determine the academic outcome.

Student Academic Grievance Policy

Students of Goshen College who believe that policy has not been followed with respect to academic matters may initiate the academic grievance procedure. Academic matters are those concerned with instructional activities, grading procedures or other incidents related to academic affairs.  This policy does not address issues regarding student employment or sexual harassment.  It deals with academic grievances only.  Students should be aware that clear evidence is needed to contest a grade.  Belief that a subject or exam was too difficult is not grounds for a complaint.  A student must have evidence that specific policy was violated or that he or she was treated in a prejudicial or capricious manner.  This policy does not limit Goshen College’s right to change rules, policies, or practices.

Informal Resolution

  • If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of this meeting, the student may contact, within five (5) business days, the Department Chair in which the alleged violation of the student’s right has occurred to appeal the outcome.  If the faculty member is the Department Chair, the student may proceed to the designated Associate Academic Dean.  (Step 6)
  • The student must present a written appeal to the Department Chair.  The Department Chair and student will meet within five (5) business days after the student’s written appeal has been received by the Department Chair.  The Department Chair will respond in writing to the student’s written appeal within five (5) business days after the meeting.  This response will go to both the student and the faculty member.
  • If the outcome of this meeting is not satisfactory to the student, he/she may appeal to the designated Associate Academic Dean within five (5) business days after receiving the Department Chair’s response in writing.  All written documentation up to this point will be sent to the Associate Academic Dean.
  • Within five (5) business days of receiving the documentation, the Associate Academic Dean will meet with the student and the faculty member to attempt to arrive at a mutually satisfactory settlement of the disagreement.  If the dispute is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student may initiate an academic grievance hearing in writing to the Associate Academic Dean.
  • Within five (5) business days of receiving a written request for an academic grievance hearing, the Associate Academic Dean will lead an Academic Response Team composed of three neutral faculty members and one student.  The Associate Academic Dean will appoint one faculty member from the teaching faculty at large and one faculty member each from lists of three faculty submitted by the student and the faculty member who is involved in the grievance, none of whom shall be members of the academic department of the faculty member who is being disputed.  The student will be appointed by the Student Senate.
  • The Academic Response Team will review written statements and information supplied by the student and faculty member.  Both the student and the faculty member have the right to make a personal appearance before the Academic Response Team.  The team may make such further investigation as is deemed appropriate and may seek assistance or information from other personnel.  All discussions and submitted written documents will be treated as strictly confidential.
  • After this review, the Academic Response Team will make a decision regarding the complaint within (5) business days.  This is considered to be the final step in the academic grievance procedure.  The Academic Response Team will issue their decision to the grievant, the faculty member and the department chair in writing that will include the relevant findings of fact, conclusions and reasons for the decision.

This policy seeks to provide a fair and expeditious process that allows for both informal and formal resolution of conflicts.  Students must initiate the grievance process by the 10th business day after the conclusion of fall and spring semesters or May terms.

Community Standards Categorical System

The following categories provide a framework of understanding around the violations of the Community Standards.  Factors such as safety, impact on others, and personal responsibility within community, influence the category and in turn the response team that meets with the student.  The categories assist in defining and clarifying the risks as well as possible consequences for certain behaviors.  The framework grew out of a process informed by focus group discussions and data from Student Satisfaction Inventory.

Category 1 - Student(s) meet with an Assistant Director of Residence Life.

  • Violation of quiet hours
  • Violation of open house hours
  • Fire hazards (candles, lighters, tampering with equipment)
  • Smoking or tobacco use in residence halls

Possible responses/combination of responses of a Category 1 violation include:

  • Written Response
  • Fines ($25-$100)
  • Community service (up to 4 – 8 hours

Category 2 -  Student(s) typically meet with an Assistant Director of Residence Life.  Students who have a previous standards violation will meet with the Director of Residence Life or the Standards Response Team

  • Any repeated Category-1 violation
  • Possession, use or misuse of prescription medication or illegal drugs
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Possession or use of alcohol on campus
  • Returning to campus while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  • Unintentional vandalism (e.g. unauthorized roof access, etc.)
  • Disorderly conduct while under the influence
  • Fraud or theft
  • Dishonesty during an investigation
  • Racism, Harassment, Discriminatio

Possible responses/combination of responses of a Category 2 violation include:

  • Written response
  • Brief Alcohol Screening
  • Millennial Classrooms Alcohol Education Online Education Course.
  • Group discussion with members of housing unit
  • Fines ($65–$250)
  • Community service (8-36 hours)
  • Unannounced searches and drug testing
  • Reflection Paper or Research Composition
  • Counseling Sessions
  • Financial Restitution
  • Referral for addictions evaluation. Cost of evaluation and follow-through is the student’s responsibility
  • Research project related to chemical use/abuse
  • In instances of alcohol and or misuse or use of prescription medication and illegal drugs, parents are notified if student is less than 21 years of age according to the Parental Notification Policy
  • Disciplinary probation (withdrawal from participation of co-curricular and leadership positions for next semester

Category 3 –  Student(s) meet with the Director of Residence Life or the Standards Response Team pending on the incident and student’s prior history with the standards.

  • Repeated behaviors from Category 1 or 2
  • Providing alcohol to minors
  • Reducing or distributing synthetic, prescription or illegal drugs
  • Arrest by the police
  • Firearms, weapons
  • Intoxication or altered state with other violations
  • Racism, Expressions of Hate
  • Vandalism, intentional; misuse of college property
  • Violence or threats of violence
  • Threat of fire
  • ITS code violations
  • Felony Charges

Possible responses/combination of responses of a Category 3 violation include:

  • Reflection Paper or Research Composition
  • Fines ($65-$300)
  • Disciplinary probation (withdrawing from leadership and co-curricular positions for remainder of current and up to next 2 consecutive semesters.)
  • Financial Restitution
  • Parental notification
  • Faculty adviser involvement
  • Community service (8-40 hours)
  • Referral for addictions evaluation. Cost of evaluation and follow-through is the responsibility of the violator
  • Unannounced searches and drug testing
  • Counseling or special projects
  • Student not able to register for a new term of classes until resolution in both civil and institutional process
  • Suspension (up to one, two or three semesters)
  • Dismissal

**Students facing felony charges may not re-enroll for classes at the outset of a new term.  Students facing felony charges may be allowed to complete an existing term pending the nature and timing of the charges.  Students who face felony charges may re-enroll only after the legal and institutional standards response processes have been completed.  Enrollment may be dependent on the outcome of those processes.

Drug Testing Policy

Drug testing is managed through the Wellness and Health Center and Athletic Training Office in partnership with the South Bend Medical Foundation.  All legal “chain of custody” expectations for testing are defined and in place through carefully followed procedures.  Drug testing can be implemented by way of outcomes to community Standard violations, through the Athletic Department Random Testing Process in accordance with NAIA drug education and testing protocols as a result of reasonable suspicion determined at the sole discretion of appropriate Goshen College officials.

Drug Search Policy

Goshen College reserves the right to conduct random drug searches of personal possessions both in rooms and vehicles on campus property based on outcomes related to Standards violations or reasonable suspicion based on behavioral observations or information from others regarding use or possession determined at the sole discretion of appropriate Goshen College officials.  Searches will be conducted in the presence of the student and may include canine detection services when deemed appropriate.

Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking

As explained in The Goshen College Mission Statement and the Commitment to Community Standards, Goshen College is a Christian institution in which “we begin with a vital concern for the welfare of all community members.” In line with these values, which express our commitment to a quality of campus life for every member of our community, Goshen College affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities in education and employment.

Toward this commitment, and in recognition of the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013,  the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE), and the Indiana Civil Rights Law, Goshen College strives to provide an environment free of inappropriate treatment of individuals because of sex or sexual orientation, national origin, and gender identity. This policy applies to students, teaching and administrative faculty, staff, and all others, including visitors, vendors, guests, prospective students, and members of the public.

Outside contractors, vendors, and others who do business with the College or enter College premises are expected to comply with this policy and ensure that their agents comply with this policy; the College will take appropriate action if they fail to do so. The College, for example, may suspend or terminate a contract if the contractor fails to correct a sexual misconduct problem that appropriate college officials have brought to its attention. Furthermore, the College, if it determines that a contractor has failed to take appropriate action or has shown a tolerance for any activity which in the belief of the College constitutes sexual misconduct, may bar the contractor from holding future contracts with the College.

Goshen College Procedures for Addressing Complaints of  “Sexual Misconduct”

Sexual misconduct is a term that includes sexual harassment, sexual assault (or “battery”), domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

This provides a complaint procedure for any member of the Goshen College community to make a complaint of sexual misconduct and describes the process by which the College will respond to the complaint, including referral of individuals to appropriate resources, impartial investigation, determination of whether the complaint is substantiated, and imposition of consequences when appropriate.

In addition to the procedure provided in this document, Goshen College will take steps to prevent sexual misconduct by:

  1. Integrating into Goshen College’s curriculum, staff training, and community programming initiatives designed to promote gender equality and prevent sexual misconduct, and to promote awareness and prevention of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
  2. Conducting climate reviews to explore issues, events, and attitudes relating to gender equality and sexual misconduct at Goshen College and;
  3. Conducting annual training of officials conducting investigations of reported sexual misconduct to ensure the protection of the victim’s safety and the promotion of accountability.

Statement of Policy

Goshen College does not condone and will not tolerate inappropriate conduct toward any individual based on the individual’s sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or gender identity.

Such sexual misconduct includes but is not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This encompasses misconduct that does not reach the level of actionable sexual harassment, misconduct that is sufficiently severe and pervasive that it rises to the level of sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct that involves criminal penalties.

Examples of Sexual Misconduct

Examples of sexual misconduct include, among other actions:

  • Unwelcome comments and conduct of a sexual nature or that are demeaning to women or men as a group (for example, offensive or vulgar jokes, name-calling, comments about one’s body or sex life, stereotyping based on a person’s sex, touching, leering, ogling, patting, pinching, indecent exposure, physical gestures, or displaying sexually explicit photographs or objects);
  • Unwelcome demands or requests for sexual favors or social or sexual encounters;
  • Suggestions that submission to or rejection of sexual conduct will affect decisions regarding such matters as employment, work assignment or status, academic standing, grades, receipt of financial aid, or letters of recommendation, or receipt of a Goshen College benefit or service;
  • The use of submission to or rejection of sexual conduct as the basis for making, influencing, or affecting decisions that have an impact upon the terms and conditions of education, employment, or receipt of any other Goshen College benefit or service; and
  • Non-consensual sexual contact.

Given the nature of this type of conduct and the serious effects such conduct can have, Goshen College treats alleged violations of this Policy seriously and expects all individuals to treat alleged violations in the same responsible manner.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct

(1)        Reporting Sexual Misconduct by a Student:

If someone experiences sexual misconduct from a student, he or she, is to report this to one of the following members of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team:

  • Deb Brubaker, Professor of Music
  • Glenn Gilbert, Utilities Manager; Sustainability Coordinator
  • Jeanne Liechty, Associate Professor of Social Work
  • Launa Rohrer, Associate Dean of Students
  • Jody Saylor, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Jason Samuel, Assistant Professor of Communication
  • Joe Springer, Curator: Mennonite Historical Library

(2) Reporting possible Sexual Misconduct by an employee, outside contractor, or visitor:

a) Students shall report alleged sexual misconduct by a faculty member, staff member, outside contractor, or visitor to one of the members of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team. The following procedures shall apply according to the status of the person accused of sexual misconduct:

  • Employee–The Director of Human Resources shall be informed of the report if an employee is accused, or the Vice President for Finance will be informed if the HR Director is the person accused. The Vice President for Finance, direct supervisor and the Vice President responsible for the employee’s department will be notified. The investigation will be led by the Director of Human Resources, assisted by a member of the sexual misconduct response team. The Director of HR shall report the findings and recommended action to the employee’s supervisor and appropriate Vice President, who will make the final decision. The SSMRT shall be informed by the team member participating in the investigation about the alleged incident and outcome.
  • Campus visitor or outside contractor—the Vice President for Student Life shall be informed of the report if a campus visitor or outside contractor is accused, and shall inform the Vice President for Finance of the alleged misconduct. The VP for Student Life shall lead the investigation, assisted by a member of the Student Sexual Misconduct Response Team. The Vice President for Student Life shall report the findings and recommended action to the VP for Finance who is responsible for approving the final decision. The SSMRT shall be informed by the team member participating in the investigation about the alleged incident and outcome. If a student is the complainant or respondent in any of these scenarios, the guidelines of the Student Expectations: Goshen College Response to Reports of Sexual Misconduct for the investigation will be followed.

If a student is the complainant or respondent in any of these scenarios, the guidelines of the Student Expectations: Goshen College Response to Reports of Sexual Misconduct for the investigation will be followed.

b) Employees

  • Employees shall report alleged sexual misconduct by another employee, outside contractor, or visitor to the Director of Human Resources, or the Vice President for Finance if the Director of HR is the person accused. The Director of HR or designee will conduct an investigation, and recommendations on disciplinary action or sanctions, if any, of an employee will be forwarded for review and approval by the supervisor and appropriate Vice President of the employee. The Vice President for Finance is responsible to review and approve any recommended actions against a campus visitor or independent contractor.
  • If an an employee is the respondent and believes the disciplinary action taken did not properly follow stated college policy or procedure, he/she may use the Grievance Policy to have the process steps or application of the decision reviewed.
  • If an employee alleges a student has committed sexual misconduct, he/she shall report it to the Director of Human Resources or designee, who shall share the report with the Student Sexual Misconduct Response Team. The investigation will be conducted by the SSMRT, following the same guidelines listed in the responsibilities section below.The final decision will be shared with the employee and the Director of Human Resources.

Goshen College will promptly and equitably address any complaints of sexual misconduct by:

  1. advising the person reporting the alleged inappropriate conduct (“the complainant”) about the importance of preserving evidence;
  2. advising the complainant about available College and community resources, including health care services, counseling and other mental health services, and law enforcement authorities;
  3. assisting the complainant in accessing college and community resources, including campus and local law enforcement authorities, when such assistance is requested;
  4. making reasonable changes in living, working or academic arrangements as appropriate; and
  5. carrying out a prompt and thorough investigation conducted by the Sexual Misconduct Response Team.

Responsibilities of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team

The response Team has the following responsibilities:

  1. To receive all complaints regarding sexual misconduct;
  2. To assure that each complainant and respondent is provided information regarding appropriate health, counseling, spiritual, and other resources and to assist the complainant and respondent in accessing those resources, if requested;
  3. To assure that each complainant receives information on how to contact campus and local law enforcement authorities, if appropriate, and to assist the complainant in contacting law enforcement authorities, if requested;
  4. To assure that arrangements are made for appropriate changes to the academic, employment, or living circumstances of complainants and respondents pending investigation of a complaint of sexual misconduct, if appropriate;
  5. To investigate reports of sexual misconduct in a prompt and equitable manner and ensure that the proceedings provide a prompt and equitable solution;
  6. To determine whether or not a complaint is substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence;
  7. To issue any appropriate consequences, including disciplinary action, and to inform the complainant and respondent of those consequences.
  8. To treat all complaints and confidential to the extent consistent with conducting a thorough investigation;
  9. To take or recommend disciplinary or other corrective action where appropriate; and
  10. To simultaneously advise both the complainant and the person about whose conduct the complaint is made (“the respondent”) of the outcome of the investigation, when Goshen College will accept an appeal of the results, any change to the result that occurs before it becomes final (if it is being appealed), when the result will become final, and any disclosures of the results.

No other individual or entity may engage in an investigation of a complaint of sexual misconduct on behalf of Goshen College.  The Response Team will keep confidential reports of sexual misconduct and information obtained in the investigations to the extent consistent with completing a thorough investigation.

The Response Team will receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.

Student Expectations:  Goshen College Response to Reports of Sexual Misconduct

Community Resources

  • Goshen General Hospital Emergency Department
  • Campus Wellness and Health Center: 574-535-7474
  •  National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE

Retaliation

Threats, other forms of intimidation, and retaliation against a complainant or any other party involved in implementing the college sexual misconduct policy are violations of the policy and may be grounds for disciplinary action. No officer, employee, or agent of Goshen College may retaliate, threaten, coerce, or otherwise discriminate against any individual for exercising their rights or responsibilities under this policy.

Supervisor/Supervisee and Faculty/Student Interactions

If there is a sexual or romantic relationship between a supervisor and someone he or she supervises or a faculty member and a student over whom she or he has authority, the supervisor or faculty member has the obligation to report the relationship to the administration immediately.

Goshen College discourages sexual or romantic relationships between individuals who have unequal power in educational and employment contexts at the College. Accordingly, faculty members (and others who make or affect decisions affecting student academic, career, or living circumstances) are prohibited from engaging in sexual or romantic interactions with students, whether consensual or otherwise. Goshen College likewise discourages supervisors from engaging in such relationships with those they supervise.

This guideline is based on Goshen College’s desire to protect students, to maintain equal opportunity in employment, and to preserve its professional and educational community. Because of the power differential that exists between students and faculty members (or others who make decisions regarding student conditions) and between supervisors and supervisees, even consensual romantic and/or sexual interactions between the two present a high risk of interference with the healthy Christian environment Goshen College seeks to maintain.

Disciplinary Actions

Sanctions for sexual misconduct may take different forms.  In those situations where it is determined, following a thorough investigation, that a violation of this policy has occurred, appropriate action will be taken.  Consequences may include but are not limited to the following:

  • verbal reprimands
  • written reprimands and warnings
  • monitoring or restriction of campus access, benefits, or services
  • mandatory counseling and/or training
  • suspension
  • separation from the college
  • protective measure for the victim

In those instances where a violation is found, documentation of the violation and the disciplinary action will be placed in the respondent’s official Goshen College file.

Cases heard and decisions made by the Sexual Misconduct Response Team are shared with the Vice President of Student Life. Any decision made by the Sexual Misconduct Response Team can be appealed to the Vice President for Student Life in writing within 72 hours of communication from the Sexual Misconduct Response Team.  The appeal ruling is final.

Intentionally Dishonest Complaints of Sexual Misconduct

Lack of corroborating evidence should not discourage complainants from reporting sexual misconduct to Goshen College.  However, charges found to have been intentionally dishonest or made maliciously without regard for truth may be subject to disciplinary action.

References and Recommendation for Further Reading

1. Elsa K. Cole, ed., Sexual Harassment on Campus: A Legal Compendium, 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: National Association of College and University Attorneys, 1990.

2. Michele A. Paludi and Richard B. Barickman, Academic and Workplace Sexual Harassment: A Resource Manual. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991. July 1998.

3. U.S. Department of Education, Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance: Harassment of Students by School Employees, Other Students, Or Third Parties, 2001.

POLICY AND PROCEDURES ON RACIAL MISCONDUCT, RACIAL HARASSMENT & DISCRIMINATION

Statement of Policy

To fulfill our commitment to provide equal opportunity in education and employment, Goshen College provides an environment that supports racial harmony and cross cultural communication.

Goshen College does not condone and will not tolerate inappropriate conduct toward any individual based on a person’s skin color, ethnicity, or national origin.

This policy ensures the understanding that racial misconduct is unacceptable and prohibited. All members of the campus community are encouraged to reflect upon the issue of racial misconduct as it directly affects the lives and conducts of others.

Such racial misconduct includes but is not limited to inappropriate racial comments, slurs, jokes, pictures, objects, threats, physical assaults, intimidation, unequal application of policies, and unequal or biased grading. This encompasses offensiveness and misconduct that does not reach the level of racial discrimination, and misconduct that is sufficiently severe and pervasive that it rises to the level of racial harassment or discrimination.

Talking Points on the Policy Statement

  • As explained in the Goshen College Mission Statement and the Commitment to Community Standards, Goshen College is a Christian institution dedicated to fostering a spirit of hospitality recognizing all persons as children of God.  In line with this understanding, which expresses our commitment to a quality campus life for every member of our community, Goshen College affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities in education and employment.
  • Goshen College is intentional in creating an educational community that values the racial/ethnic diversity of all its community members.
  • Toward this commitment, and in compliance with applicable laws, Goshen College strives to provide an environment free of inappropriate treatment of individuals because of race, ethnicity, or national origin. This policy applies to students, teaching and administrative faculty, staff, and all others, including visitors, vendors, guests, prospective students, and members of the public.
  • Conduct on the part of any member of the college community that inappropriately introduces race or ethnicity into a teaching, learning or working relationship will not be tolerated. As is the case in all other community standards responses processes, the care of each individual involved is at the forefront of the review and response process.
  • Outside contractors, vendors, and others who do business with the College or enter College premises are expected to comply with this policy and ensure that their agents comply with this policy; the College will take appropriate action if they fail to do so. The College, for example, may suspend or terminate a contract if the contractor fails to correct a racial misconduct problem that appropriate college officials have brought to its attention. Furthermore, the College, if it determines that a contractor has failed to take appropriate action or has shown a tolerance for any activity which in the belief of the College constitutes racial misconduct, may bar the contractor from holding future contracts with the College.

Examples of Racial Misconduct

  • unwelcome comments and conduct with racial connotation(s) or subject matter that are demeaning to an ethnic group or people of a particular skin color or group
  • offensive and vulgar jokes, name-calling, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, stereotyping based on a person’s skin color, ethnicity, or national origin, physical gestures or enactments, or displaying racially discriminatory photographs or objects;
  • unwelcome requests or demands for favorable treatment due to one’s skin color, ethnicity, or national origin;
  • Suggestions or express/implied communications that race will affect decisions regarding such matters as employment, work assignment or status, academic standing, grades, receipt of financial aid, or letters of recommendation, or receipt of a Goshen College benefit or service;
  • the actual use of race, ethnicity, or national origin to affect decisions regarding such matters as employment, work assignment or status, academic standing, grades, receipt of financial aid, or letters of recommendation, or receipt of a Goshen College benefit or service;
  • physical assaults or threats and intimidation
  • denial or obstruction of access to services
  • unequal application of college policies
  • any other racial misconduct that substantially or unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance.

Goshen College Procedures for Addressing Complaints of Racial Misconduct, Including Racial Harassment and Discrimination

This provides a complaint procedure for any member of the Goshen College community to make a complaint of racial misconduct and describes the process by which the College will respond to the complaint, including referral of individuals to appropriate resources, impartial investigation, determination of whether the complaint is substantiated, and imposition of consequences when appropriate.

In addition to the procedure provided in this document, Goshen College will take steps to prevent racial misconduct by:

  • Integrating into Goshen College’s curriculum, staff training, and community programming initiatives designed to promote racial equality and prevent racial misconduct, and
  • Explore issues, events, and attitudes relating to racial equality and racial misconduct at Goshen College.
  • The Goshen College Center for Intercultural and International Education, Campus Wellness Center, and Campus Ministries are points of support. Communication with these staff will not lead to formal institutional response unless the student requests such action.

Reporting Racial Misconduct

1)     Reporting Racial Misconduct by a student

If someone experiences racial misconduct from a student, complaints for formal institutional action need to be directed to the Racial Misconduct Response Team (“Response Team”).  Response Team members include:

  • Richard Aguirre, Director of Public Relations, 535-7371
  • Skip Barnett, Associate Professor of English, International Student Advisor 535-7872
  • Carlos Gutierrez, Assistant Professor of Business, 535-7877
  • Regina Shands Stoltzfus, Assistant Professor of PJCS, 535-7760
  • Mandy Yoder, Administrative Assistant to VP Enrollment, 535-7532
  • Rebecca Hernandez, Associate Dean for Intercultural Development and Education, 535-7775

Other resources for support include:

  • For more information about GC’s Commitment to Community Standards, contact Bill Born, Vice President for Student Life. Ph: (574) 535-7543 or e-mail: billjb@goshen.edu.

(2) Reporting possible Racial Misconduct by an employee, outside contractor, or visitor:

a) Students shall report alleged racial misconduct by a faculty member, staff member, outside contractor, or visitor to one of the members of the Response Team. The following procedures shall apply according to the status of the person accused of racial misconduct:

  • Employee–The Director of Human Resources shall be informed of the report if an employee is accused, or the Vice President for Finance will be informed if the HR Director is the person accused.  The Vice President for Finance, direct supervisor and the Vice President responsible for the employee’s department will be notified. The investigation will be led by the Director of Human Resources, assisted by a member of the Response Team. The Director of HR shall report the findings and recommended action to the employee’s supervisor and appropriate Vice President, who will make the final decision.
  • Campus visitor or outside contractor—the Vice President for Student Life shall be informed of the report if a campus visitor or outside contractor is accused, and shall inform the Vice President for Finance of the alleged misconduct.

b) Employees

  • Employees shall report alleged racial misconduct by another employee, outside contractor, or visitor to the Director of Human Resources, or the Vice President for Finance if the Director of HR is the person accused.  Reports will be managed as outlined in the Employee Handbook.  The Director of HR or designee will conduct an investigation, and recommendations on disciplinary action or sanctions, if any, of an employee will be forwarded for review and approval by the supervisor and appropriate Vice President of the employee. The Vice President for Finance is responsible to review and approve any recommended actions against a campus visitor or independent contractor.  If an employee is the respondent and believes the disciplinary action taken did not properly follow stated college policy or procedure, he/she may use the Grievance Policy to have the process steps or application of the decision reviewed.
  • If an employee alleges a student has committed racial misconduct, he/she shall report it to the Director of Human Resources or designee who will conduct an investigation and decide whether disciplinary action is appropriate.

 Goshen College will promptly and equitably address any complaints of racial misconduct by:

  1. advising the person reporting the alleged inappropriate conduct (“the complainant”) about available College and community resources;
  2. assisting the complainant in accessing college and community resources, including campus and local law enforcement authorities, when such assistance is requested;
  3. making reasonable changes in living, working, or academic arrangements as appropriate;
  4. carrying out a prompt and thorough investigation;
  5. treating all complaints as confidential to the extent consistent with conducting a thorough investigation;
  6. taking disciplinary or other corrective action where appropriate; and
  7. advising both the complainant and the person about whose conduct the complaint is made (“the respondent”) of the outcome of the investigation.

Responsibilities of the Racial Misconduct Response Team

The Response Team has the following responsibilities:

  1. To receive all complaints regarding racial misconduct by a student;
  2. To assure that each complainant and respondent is provided information regarding campus resources and to assist the complainant and respondent in accessing those resources, if requested;
  3. To assure that each complainant receives information on how to contact campus and local law enforcement authorities, if appropriate, and to assist the complainant in contacting law enforcement authorities, if requested;
  4. To assure that arrangements are made for appropriate changes to the academic, employment, or living circumstances of complainants and respondents pending investigation of a complaint of racial misconduct, if appropriate;
  5. To investigate reports of racial misconduct in a prompt and equitable manner;
  6. To determine whether or not a complaint is substantiated; and
  7. To issue any appropriate consequences, including disciplinary action, and to inform the complainant and respondent of those consequences.

No other individual or entity may engage in an investigation of a complaint of racial misconduct by a student on behalf of Goshen College.  The Response Team will keep confidential reports of racial misconduct and information obtained in the investigations to the extent consistent with completing a thorough investigation.

 Retaliation

Threats, other forms of intimidation, and retaliation against a complainant or any other party involved in implementing the college racial misconduct policy are violations of the policy and may be grounds for disciplinary action.

Disciplinary Actions

Sanctions for racial misconduct may take different forms depending on the severity of the offense.  In those situations where it is determined, following a thorough investigation, that a violation of this policy has occurred, appropriate action will be taken.  Consequences may include but are not limited to the following:

  • verbal reprimands
  • written reprimands and warnings
  • monitoring or restriction of campus access, benefits, or services
  • mandatory counseling and/or training
  • suspension
  • separation from the college

In those instances where a violation is found, documentation of the violation and the disciplinary action will be placed in the respondent’s official Goshen College file.

Cases involving students heard and decisions made by the Response Team are shared with the Vice President of Student Life. Any decision made by the Response Team can be appealed to the Vice President for Student Life in writing within 72 hours of communication from the Response Team.  The appeal ruling is final.

Intentionally Dishonest Complaints of Racial Misconduct

Lack of corroborating evidence should not discourage complainants from reporting racial misconduct to Goshen College.  However, charges found to have been intentionally dishonest or made maliciously without regard for truth may be subject to disciplinary action.