Discrimination/Sexual Harassment

As prohibited by applicable state and federal laws and regulations, Kankakee Community College does not condone discrimination or sexual harassment by any employee or students. Students suspecting instances of discrimination or sexual harassment should contact the vice president for student affairs, Meredith Purcell (mpurcell@kcc.edu or 815-802-8510), or the Affirmative Action officer, David Cagle (dcagle@kcc.edu or 815-802-8128) to report such events and to be advised as to college policy regarding these issues. Students may file complaints with the aforementioned administrators or directly with the Office for Civil Rights. The vice president for students services or the Affirmative Action officer can provide students with a copy of the college’s “Administrative Procedures for Student Complaints and Grievances of Discrimination and Sexual Harassment.”

In compliance with the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Pub. Law 113-4), KCC will institute and maintain a violence awareness program to inform students and staff about: (a) the definitions and signs of sexual abuse; (b) the college’s policy of maintaining a safe environment; (c) available counseling and student or employee assistance programs; and (d) the penalties that may be imposed on employees and students for sexual abuse violations.

Complainant Rights

You are entitled to remedies that include, but are not limited to:

  • The assurance that you and the alleged perpetrator will not attend the same classes
  • The availability of counseling services
  • Access to sexual assault response team advocates
  • The availability of medical services
  • Academic support services, such as tutoring
  • Arranging for you to re-take a course or withdraw from a class without penalty, including ensuring that changes do not adversely affect your academic record
  • The review of any disciplinary action taken against you (such as if you skipped a class because the alleged perpetrator was enrolled and you wanted to avoid contact) to see if there is a connection between the harassment and the misconduct that may have resulted in you being disciplined
  • The knowledge that you can file a complaint with local law enforcement at any time and that you have the option to be assisted by campus personnel in notifying such authorities

You also have the right:

  • To present your case, which includes the right to adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation of complaints; the right to have an equal opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence; and the right to the same appeal process, for both parties
  • To be notified of the time frame within which your school will conduct a full investigation of the outcome of the complaint and the parties may file an appeal, if applicable
  • To have your complaint decided using a preponderance of the evidence standard (i.e. it's more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred)
  • To be notified in writing of the outcome of the complaint. This includes (a) information about the sanction imposed on the perpetrator when the sanction directly relates to you; and (b) the school can't require you to abide by a non-disclosure agreement, in writing or otherwise, because the Clery Act requires that both parties be informed of the outcome, including sanction information, of any institutional proceeding alleging a sex offense
  • To know that you can end the informal process at any time and begin the formal stage of the complaint process

Confidentiality Concerns

When it comes to confidentiality, we'll be up front with you.

  • We'll take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond in a manner consistent with a student's confidentiality request. And we'll let you know if we can't ensure confidentiality.
  • If a student requests confidentiality and decides not to press charges in a sexual violence case, an anonymous report of the incident must still be made in order to comply with the Clery Act (campus crime reporting).
  • Counselors and advocates—like those working or volunteering in sexual assault centers, victim advocacy offices, women's and health centers, as well as licensed and pastoral counselors—can talk with a survivor in confidence.
  • If the safety of others in the community could be at risk, the good of the whole may need to outweigh one student's confidentiality request.

Protective interim steps may be taken to protect the complainant before the final outcome of the investigation is reached.

You don't have to wait!

You have the option to avoid contact with the alleged perpetrator. We'll talk with you about this right away.

KCC has partnered with KC-CASA to provide confidential advisors to victims who wish to remain anonymous when they report a crime that involves sexual violence. Confidential advisors are available 24/7/365 days a year to provide support, information, referrals, and empathy. Anyone can call for any reason. Callers can say as little or as much as they wish in confidence. Caller ID is not used. Local hospitals also use the hotline to request advocates to support survivors in the emergency room.

If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 911.

24-Hour hotlines:

Kankakee County: 815-932-3322

Iroquois County: 815-432-0420

Inquiries or complaints may be filed online at www.kcc.edu/titleix or addressed to David Cagle, Affirmative Action officer at dcagle@kcc.edu or 815-802-8128; or Meredith Purcell, Title IX coordinator at mpurcell@kcc.edu or 815-802-8510; Kankakee Community College, 100 College Drive, Kankakee, IL 60901-6505; 815-802-8100; TTY users may phone 711. Outside of Illinois, dial 1-800-526-0844.

To learn more about available support, our disciplinary proceedings, reporting protocols, policies and more related to Violence Against Women Act-related incidents, please go to: www.kcc.edu/titleix.

Bystander Intervention Strategies

Bystanders have the power to stop assaults from occurring and to get help for people who have been victimized. KCC wants to create a culture engaged in the prevention of violence, bullying and abuse, with active bystanders who speak up when necessary. As the largest group of people involved in violence, proactive bystanders can help prevent sexual harassment and sexual violence by using these proactive strategies:

  • Believe violence is unacceptable and say it aloud
  • Treat people with respect
  • Speak up when people make statements that blame the victims
  • Talk with male friends about confronting violence against women
  • Encourage female friends to trust their instincts
  • Be a knowledgeable resource for victims
  • Don’t laugh at sexist jokes or comments
  • Look out for friends when you’re out, especially at parties
  • Educate yourself and your friends
  • Use campus resources
  • Attend an awareness event
  • Empower victims to tell their stories

Reactive Bystander Strategies

Bystanders can positively intervene in instances of sexual harassment or sexual violence in the following ways:

  • Get campus police or other authorities involved
  • Tell someone else
  • Get help
  • Ask a friend in a potentially dangerous situation if he/she wants to leave
  • Make sure he/she gets home safely
  • Ask a victim if he/she is okay
  • Provide options and a listening ear
  • Call the campus or local counseling/crisis center for support and options

(Adapted from University of New Hampshire, www.unh.edu/preventioninnovations; and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga http://www.utc.edu/womens-center/transformation-project/.)