Initiating a Report

Anyone may make a report of allegations of Sexual Harassment, including students, employees, parents or any individual who is directly involved in, observes or reasonably believes that Sexual Harassment may have occurred. A report is not the same as a formal complaint (see below).

The University encourages complainants and witnesses to report any violations of this policy to a designated University official with authority to implement corrective action (as identified in the chart below).

Reports of allegations of Sexual Harassment become actual knowledge when they are received by a designated University official. Reports to a designated University official are what give the University the opportunity to begin an initial assessment process, however a report does not yet trigger the University's Title IX assessment response process. It is at the time a Formal Complaint is submitted to the Title IX office and signed by the complainant that the assessment process is triggered.

Reports also provide the University with an opportunity to ensure that appropriate supportive measures and resources are provided for the complainant and the respondent even if no informal or formal resolution process are requested. At the same time, before a complainant reveals information (name of the respondent, details, etc.), they should understand that only professional counselors, pastors and chaplains (hired or appointed by the University for a specific job description to provide counseling and pastoral care) are required to retain confidentiality and not trigger a report to a designated Title IX Official.

Employees Duty to Report

With the exception of professional counselors and chaplains (hired or appointed by the University to provide counseling and pastoral care) all other faculty and staff are required to report allegations of Sexual Harassment to a designated Title IX University official.

In K–12 schools, as well as for minors at the University level, all faculty and staff, as well as counselors and pastors, are mandatory reporters in cases involving minors. Mandated reporters must immediately report known or suspected mental or physical abuse or neglect of a child made known to them in their professional or official capacity directly to Michigan’s Department of Human Services by calling 855-444-3911 (24/7 toll free number). You must submit a written report to the Department of Human Services within 72 hours of the initial verbal report. Faculty and staff are not required to report information regarding Sexual Harassment in circumstances where a survivor speaks out at a public event or when the individual participates in an approved human subject research protocol.

Designated University Officials With Authority to Implement Corrective Disciplinary Action

Title IX Compliance Official Team
Title IX Coordinator, Frances Faehner,
vice president for Campus & Student Life (269-471-2679),, Campus Center, Student Life
Title IX Senior Deputy Coordinator, Alyssa Palmer
Title IX Senior Deputy Coordinator, Ethan Jones
Title IX Lead Investigator, Benjamin Panigot
Title IX Investigator, Patricia Fitting

Reports or inquiries regarding Sexual Harassment (which include sexual assault, quid pro quo harassment, hostile environment harassment, relationship violence, stalking and sexual exploitation) should be made online or in-person to the Title IX Coordinator or to one or more of the designated University officials in the chart below:

Reporter Reporting Should Report To-
Student, faculty or staff Alleged by a student toward another student Title IX Senior Deputy Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator for Students, Alyssa Palmer, associate dean for Campus & Student Life, 269-471-6684,, Campus Center, Student Life
Student, faculty or staff Alleged by a student toward a faculty or staff member Title IX Senior Deputy Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator for Students, Alyssa Palmer, associate dean for Campus & Student Life, 269-471-6684,, Campus Center, Student Life
Student, faculty or staff Alleged by a faculty or staff member toward a student Title IX Senior Deputy Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator for Students, Alyssa Palmer, associate dean for Campus & Student Life, 269-471-6684,, Campus Center, Student Life or Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Ethan Jones, 269-471-6515,, Administration Building
Student, faculty or staff Alleged by a faculty or staff toward another faculty or staff Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Ethan Jones, 269-471-6515,, Administration Building
Student, faculty or staff Alleged by a student, faculty or staff toward a student, faculty or staff Title IX Investigator, Ben Panigot, director of Campus Safety, 269-471-3321,, Office of Campus Safety

Title IX Process Pool

The formal resolution process utilizes a pool of additional Title IX team members that are trained to carry out a variety of skill sets including:

  • To act as an advisor/support person to one of the parties
  • To serve as a Decision-maker
  • To serve as an Appeal Decision-maker

Local Law Enforcement

Sexual Harassment may also be criminal. In keeping with the goal to stop the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects, the University encourages the complainant to seriously consider reporting the allegation(s) to local law enforcement. Upon a request from the complainant, the University will assist in making the connection between a complainant and an appropriate law enforcement agency. In Berrien Springs, the local police department can be reached at 269-471-2813. In an emergency, call 911. The complainant, generally, also has the right to decline to make a formal report to law enforcement and campus authorities.

Supportive Interim Measures

As reasonably available, the University will offer to parties impacted by Sexual Harassment, interim supportive measures it deems appropriate.

  • Supportive Measures—These are non-disciplinary, non-punitive measures offered without fee or charge and designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party but and while protecting the safety of all parties.
  • A Title IX official will conduct an individualized assessment and will review requests from both the complainant and respondent to determine appropriate supportive measures whether or not a Formal Complaint is filed.
  • Requests are not “guaranteed,” but the University will carefully consider any such requests.
  • Supportive interim measures may include, but are not limited to:
    • Implementing communication limitations, “No Contact” orders or other mutual restrictions
    • Implementing no trespass directives
    • Referral to community-based service providers (such as counseling, healthcare, etc.) (costs apply)
    • Referral of students to campus resources for counseling, Counseling & Testing Center or Academic Live online counseling (at no cost to students)
    • Referral of faculty and staff to EAP (Employee Assistance Program) or Academic Live online counseling (at no cost to employees)
    • Referral of students to disability services as well as to International Student Services for visa and immigration services
    • Academic support and other course-related adjustments
    • Referral to Campus Safety for safety planning
    • Modification of work or class schedules
    • Change in work, committee or housing locations
    • Change related to co-curricular activities
    • Change in reporting relationship
    • Consideration of leave requests
    • Any other action deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator
  • Interim measures are for a provisional period of time.
  • No Contact Order—A party who feels he/she is the target of threats, harassment, intimidation or other similar behaviors which pose a concern to his/her safety or wellbeing may request a No Contact Order (NCO), which will be made mutual. The goal of the mutual NCO is to restrict contact between the parties without requiring either party to forgo educational activities.
    • A mutual No Contact Order, once issued, generally directs each party to refrain from all forms of contact with the other party via any method including, but not limited to, phone calls, text messages, emails, social media, in-person, or through a third party. The specific terms may vary case by case.
    • Individuals requesting a NCO are likewise not permitted to contact the other party.
    • No Contact Orders are issued, and will remain in effect, at the discretion of Campus & Student Life for students and Human Resources for faculty and staff. A NCO will typically remain in effect until the requesting party asks for it to be removed or until the University deems it no longer necessary.
    • If the University determines that the reported behavior does not warrant the issuance of a NCO, the reporting individual will be referred to other forms of resolution. The University may put a NCO in place even if parties do not request one, if circumstances warrant it.
    • No Contact Orders do not become part of an individual’s conduct record. However, failure to abide by a NCO may result in disciplinary action for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, “Working Policy” or “Employee Handbook” and will become part of an individual’s conduct record.
    • Requests for a NCO or reports of violations should be directed to the director of Human Resources (faculty/staff) and to the Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for students) during regular business hours and to Campus Safety (269-471-3321) on weekends or after hours.

Remedial Measures

When the University is unable to proceed with the investigative resolution process, such as the lack of information in the report or a request by the complainant that an investigation not move forward, the University may take other remedial measures as appropriate to remedy the effects of the alleged Sexual Harassment and/or prevent its recurrence.

  • Remedial measures may also be implemented when it is determined that inappropriate conduct occurred, but that the conduct did not rise to the level of a Title IX policy violation.
  • Remedial measures may include and are not limited to:
    • Providing education or training
    • Increasing security in a designated space
    • Changing policy or procedure, and
    • Conducting University climate checks

Interim Emergency Removal Provision

  • An individual can be removed from the education programs or activities (including an interim campus ban) prior to the determination and outcome of a formal complaint but only after an individualized safety and risk assessment determines that the individual poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations.
  • The individual will be given notice as well as an opportunity to challenge the action immediately following the removal.
  • Employee respondents can be placed on administrative leaves during the investigative period.
  • These interim actions do not assume the respondent will be found responsible for the alleged Sexual Harassment.


  • Retaliation is prohibited by University policy and law.
  • Retaliation is any adverse action taken against a person who makes an allegation, files a report, serves as a witness, or participates in an investigation.
  • Adverse actions may include name-calling, taunting, intimidating, harassing or other threatening behavior.
  • Retaliation against an individual for (a) reporting an allegation of a violation of Title IX, (b) supporting a party bringing a complaint, (c) assisting in providing information, and (d) participating or refusing to participate in a proceeding relevant to a Title IX allegation, and is a serious violation of University policy as well as this Sexual Harassment policy and any offender will be subject to disciplinary action.
  • An allegation of retaliation should be reported to a Title IX Coordinator or official.
  • If a report of retaliation relates to an active Title IX case that has not yet gone to a resolution, the investigative processes can be combined into the current case investigative processes. Retaliation may be substantiated even without a finding of responsibility for the alleged misconduct.

Amnesty, Bystander Engagement and Good Faith Reports

The welfare of every member of our community is of paramount importance. The University wants to facilitate a safe and caring campus climate for all good faith reports of sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking and discrimination based on sex. The University believes that bystanders can play a key role in the prevention of Sexual Harassment. Thus, the University encourages members of our community to take responsibility by reporting allegations and participating in University processes.

Although the University cannot provide anonymity for witnesses, in an effort to remove fears and obstacles to reporting and participating in the process, the University does not apply disciplinary action to student complainant or student witnesses of Sexual Harassment who, in the process of making a good-faith report, voluntarily report their own violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct (such as being in proximity to alcohol, alcohol consumption, curfew violations, etc.) related to the specific reported incident. To foster healing and growth, those making good faith reports may be asked to engage in educational opportunities.

False Report

The University also prohibits members of the community from knowingly filing a false report or making misrepresentations of Sexual Harassment. However, a report made in good faith is not considered false merely because there is insufficient evidence to support the allegation. Acts of knowingly filing false reports are, by themselves, cause for corrective disciplinary action. Complainants may also be held personally responsible for any intentional false communication that is defined by the courts as defamatory, provided the respondent pursues legal action.

Formal and Informal Resolution ⇒