1. Advisor: A person selected by the complainant or respondent to represent them at the live Title IX hearing. There is no requirement for this person to be an attorney. If one party presents an Advisor and the other party does not have one, the College must provide an Advisor at no charge to the party. The Advisor must be independent of the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator, Investigator or Hearing Officer and cannot be any other person (s) who may have a perceived or real conflict of interest.
2.Complainant: An individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment or another form of sexual misconduct under the Title IX policy.
3. Consent: Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. For consent to be valid, there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual consented to that specific sexual conduct. Past consent does not imply future consent. Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
4. Decision-Maker: This refers to those who have decision-making and sanctioning authority within the Formal Grievance process.
5. Dating Violence: Committed by a person who is or has been in a sexual relationship of a romantic nature with the complainant. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of Domestic Violence.
6.Domestic Violence: A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by the following:
a By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant.
b. By a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common.
c. By a person who cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner.
d. By a person similarly situated to spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of New Jersey.
e. By any other person against an adult or youth Complainant who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of New Jersey.
7. Evidentiary Standard: Bergen Community College elects to use the Preponderance of Evidence as its evidentiary standard.
8. Formal Complaint: A document filed by the Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment or another form of sexual misconduct against a Respondent and requesting that the College investigate the allegation of sexual harassment.
9. Formal Grievance Process: The formal Grievance Process is a method of formal resolution designated by the College to address conduct that falls within the Title IX policy and complies with the grievance requirements of 34 CFR Part 106.45. All Formal Complaints go through the Formal Grievance Process which consist of a “Live Hearing” unless dismissed, or an informal or alternative resolution is agreed upon by all parties and the Title IX Coordinator.
10. Hearing Officer: Person charged with overseeing the “Live Hearing” resulting from a Title IX investigation and determination of a cause of action. This person must be independent of the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator, Investigator and cannot be any person(s) who may have a real or perceived conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents.
11. Investigator: The person (s) assigned to investigate a Title IX violation at the request of the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator. This person must be independent of the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator and Hearing Officer, and cannot by any other person(s) who may have a real or perceived ‘conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants and respondents.
12. Mandatory Reporter: Is an employee of the College who is obligated by policy to share knowledge, notice, and/or reports of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation with the Title IX Coordinator and/or their supervisor
13. Notice: Notice means that a student, employee or third-party has informed the Title IX Coordinator or other Official with Authority (OWA) of the alleged occurrence of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliatory conduct.
14. Official with Authority (OWA): A BCC employee who is explicitly vested with the responsibility to implement corrective measures for harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliatory conduct. The Official with Authority employee must report to the Title IX Coordinator and/or Deputy Coordinator all relevant details about the alleged sexual misconduct shared by the victim/survivor.
15. Respondent: An individual, or group of individuals such as a student organization, who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute harassment or discrimination based on a protected class; or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.
16. Retaliation: Any adverse action taken against a person participating in a protected activity because of their participation in that protected activity. This includes an individual’s right to participate or refusal to participate in a Title IX grievance process. Retaliation against an individual for alleging a violation of their civil rights, supporting a complainant, or for assisting in providing information relevant to a claim, is a serious violation of the Title IX policy. Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening, coercing, or discriminating against an individual in any way because of the individual’s complaint or participation.
17. Sexual Harassment: Is any unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, or other unwelcome written, verbal, or physical conduct of sexual nature when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with and individual’s academic or work performance or creating an Intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the individual’s employment, education, or participation in a College activity.
18. Title IX Coordinator & Committee: The Title IX Coordinator is Bergen Community College’s official responsible for overseeing the College’s response to sexual misconduct, discrimination, and harassment reports and complaints, and for addressing any patterns or systemic problems identified by such reports and complaints. Title IX Committee members consist of the Deputy Chairs and Investigators for all student, faculty and staff complaints., and anyone involved in the Grievance Process.