Reporting Sexual Misconduct/Harassment

Reporting Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation

Please also refer to the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Unlawful Harassment, and Retaliation and the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct within the handbook.

In this section, the person reporting the conduct is referred to as the “complainant.” The student alleged to be responsible for the conduct is referred to as the “respondent.”

How to Report

CCA responds to all reports of unlawful discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and sexual misconduct. The college encourages students, faculty, administrators, and staff who experience, know of, or suspect such conduct to promptly contact an intake officer to maximize the college’s opportunity to investigate, stop, or remedy prohibited conduct and/or prevent its recurrence. Those who seek advice about whether reporting is necessary can provide a “Jane Doe” (nonidentifying) account to an intake officer or Title IX administrator, who will advise about next steps.

  • Kayoko Wakamatsu, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
    Harassment Intake Officer / Title IX Designee for Students
    Receives and responds to reports and complaints by/about students.
    kwakamatsu@cca.edu, 510.594.3673, Irwin 216 (Oakland campus)

Where appropriate, the Harassment Intake Officer will refer students to the Section 504/Title II Coordinator for students, Director of Access & Wellness Suzanne Raffeld.

  • Sherry Kauppi, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
    Harassment Intake Officer / Title IX Coordinator
    Receives and responds to reports and complaints by/about faculty or staff.
    Provides general oversight for Title IX compliance (policies, reporting, training, etc.).
    skauppi@cca.edu, 510.594.3706, Irwin 209 (Oakland campus)

For students, the primary contact is the associate vice president for student affairs. The associate vice president receives reports, speaks to confidentiality/privacy and what can/cannot be done if students request confidentiality, identifies options including formal and informal complaint procedures, determines if a full investigation is warranted, and makes referrals to other sources of support.

Students who suspect or have experienced sexual misconduct, harassment, discrimination, or related retaliation can opt to make a formal or informal complaint. A formal complaint is one that immediately leads to the student conduct process, a full investigation, a formal determination of whether or not a student is responsible, and possible disciplinary action. An informal complaint does not immediately initiate this process and can instead take one of several forms: an FYI report so that the college is aware of incidents or circumstances for which the complainant is not seeking specific remedy; a report that can lead to some remedies for the complainant without the involvement of the respondent (e.g., change in housing or work environment, etc.); or a report that can lead to remedies that involve the respondent (a warning conversation, no-contact agreement, etc.) but that does not include formal charges. Please note that the informal complaint process allows the college to make reasonable adjustments to academic, living, and work arrangements even if the complainant opts not to pursue conduct charges or report the incident to campus public safety or local law enforcement.

If the complainant seeks remedies that involve the respondent, the associate vice president for student affairs identifies an investigator to meet with the individuals involved jointly or separately and to seek a resolution without initiating the conduct process, provided that the college concludes such resolution is likely to provide prompt and effective corrective action. Note: this meeting is not a conduct-related meeting as defined under the Student Code of Conduct as charges have not been filed. Note also: meeting jointly for an informal resolution is not an option for some types of sexual misconduct, including nonconsensual sexual intercourse, or in other types of reports where issues of safety or health exist, but meeting separately with the investigator may be an option.

All efforts at an informal resolution will be made within thirty days of receipt of the complaint. If, in the college’s judgment, an acceptable resolution is not reached, or is not likely to be reached, within thirty days or in a manner necessary to satisfy the interests of the college, the complainant may determine to pursue the matter as a formal complaint, or the college may take immediate action it deems necessary to bring about prompt and effective corrective action.

To file a formal complaint, the complainant should include details of the incident or incidents, the name of the person alleged to have engaged in the conduct complained of, the names of any witnesses, and any relevant documents. The associate vice president for student affairs will forward this information to the investigator(s) assigned to the complaint and help identify advisors for both complainant and respondent, as needed. Further information about the investigation, hearing, deliberation, and appeal process is provided under the Student Code of Conduct.

Assurances Provided by the Student Conduct Process

All cases that go through the conduct process, including those for sexual misconduct, harassment, discrimination, and related retaliation, provide for the following:

  • a fair and impartial assessment of a student’s responsibility for violating CCA policy
  • a timely process that is normally completed within sixty (60) days and that will not await related civil or criminal proceedings unless the government requires a deferral. Respondents and complainants are notified of time frame adjustments and advised of options for ensuring a prompt and equitable process.
  • an administrative and educational process rather than a legal one
  • use of the “preponderance of evidence” standard. The hearing board or conduct officer must find that the respondent is “more likely than not” to be responsible; the likelihood must be “50 percent plus a feather”
  • advice about support available within and outside of the college, no-contact and restraining orders, and options for reporting to law enforcement, if desired
  • general updates of the progress of the investigation, notification of outcome, and opportunities for appeal for both complainant and respondent
  • assurances that all participants will be requested to keep information as private as possible
  • intermediary steps to address the immediate impact of possible violations. These steps are undertaken at the discretion of the associate vice president for student affairs or other Harassment Intake / Title IX officers.
  • interim suspension if there is a possibility of a threat to the safety or civil rights of a person or persons in the campus community or to the performance of college functions

For more information, please see the Student Handbook section on the Student Code of Conduct: Overview of the Conduct Process.

Additional Protections and Options

Due to the complex nature and civil rights implications of complaints regarding sexual misconduct, harassment, discrimination, and related retaliation, such cases are adjudicated by officials who receive annual training on issues related to domestic/relationship/dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and on how to conduct investigations and hearings that protect safety and promote accountability. In addition, complainants and respondents for such cases are afforded additional protections and options beyond those provided by the typical student conduct process.

No Time Limit
There is no time limit to report sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment, or retaliation; students are encouraged to seek support and make informed decisions about reporting possible violations. Delay can make investigation difficult, but reporting is encouraged even if late so that the college can take action. Students who experience nonconsensual sexual intercourse but opt not to report it are encouraged to retain evidence and document their experience as much as possible to aid in any future investigations should they change their minds.

Amnesty
To prevent incidents in which students avoid seeking necessary help for themselves or others, CCA has adopted the following Amnesty Policy:

If a student seeks medical attention or staff assistance due to a violation of the discrimination, harassment and retaliation, or sexual misconduct policies (especially nonconsensual sexual contact or nonconsensual sexual intercourse) that was experienced under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the college will not pursue conduct actions against him/her for violations of alcohol and/or drug policies. Additionally, those students who assist in obtaining medical attention or staff assistance for someone due to a violation of these policies that was experienced under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or who cooperate with a related investigation or hearing, will not receive student conduct sanctions for violations of the alcohol and/or drug policies.

The Amnesty Policy does not preclude student conduct sanctions due to any other violations of the Student Code of Conduct unrelated to substance use.

Person of Support
All complainants and respondents undergoing the conduct process are provided with procedural advisors -- neutral faculty or staff volunteers whose familiarity with CCA policies and procedures enables them to inform students about the conduct process, help protect their rights, provide support and referrals, and otherwise be of assistance. Complainants and respondents in cases of sexual misconduct, harassment, discrimination, and related retaliation are also eligible for an advisor of their choosing to provide additional support. Because such a person may not be fully aware of CCA policies and options for assistance, the college strongly encourages students who wish to identify a person of support to utilize one in addition to rather than in place of a procedural advisor.

Like procedural advisors, persons of support are permitted to attend hearings and conduct meetings, but their scheduling conflicts cannot interfere with the prompt resolution of a case, and they may not speak on behalf of complainants or respondents or otherwise disrupt the conduct process. Complainants and respondents are responsible for providing the conduct officer with the name, contact information, and other identifying information of a prospective person of support at least three working days prior to the relevant meeting or hearing. They are also responsible for explaining to the person of support the guidelines under which their participation is permitted, including information about privacy concerns and cautions about retaliation. In exceptional circumstances when the participation of a proposed person of support may disrupt the conduct process -- e.g., the person identified has been suspended from campus, is a fellow respondent whose case is being heard separately, has previously disrupted a hearing -- the conduct officer may ask the student to identify a different person of support.

Persons of support are considered guests; the conduct officer and the hearing board reserve the right to deny admittance to or remove persons of support who disrupt the conduct process and prohibit their subsequent attendance.

Notification of Outcome
In all conduct cases, both respondent and complainant are notified of the outcome of an administrative meeting or hearing. In cases of sexual misconduct, harassment, discrimination, and related retaliation, both are simultaneously informed in writing of the outcome of conduct processes and of procedures for either to appeal the results, of any subsequent changes prior to the time that such results become final, and when the results become final.

Confidentiality
The college recognizes the sensitive nature of complaints, both for the complainant and the respondent. Reasonable effort will be made to maintain the confidentiality of the identity of the complainant, if requested. However, complainants should be aware that the ability to address and remedy an incident can be limited if confidentiality of the identity of the complainant is requested: information may need to be disclosed on a need-to-know basis to complete an investigation, take immediate steps to stop prohibited conduct, address a larger hostile environment concern, and/or protect the safety of the complainant or the larger community from an immediate threat.

Complainants should also be advised that reports will be shared as needed with other campus Harassment / Title IX officials or college staff. Harassment / Title IX officers, college staff, and hearing board members shall not disclose any information relating to any complaint to anyone who does not have a legitimate need to know in order to implement this policy. Violating these guidelines regarding confidentiality will subject those responsible to disciplinary action. Please note that the Clery Act requires that the campus report statistics about misconduct that rise to the level of criminal activity, including sexual assault, relationship/dating violence, and stalking, but the college will protect the privacy of victims and exclude identifying information in publicly available information to the extent permissible by law.

Students who wish to talk in a truly confidential setting about sexual misconduct, unlawful harassment, discrimination, or retaliation are encouraged to contact Counseling Services. Counseling staff maintains the highest level of confidentiality on campus, and while they do not share the reporting requirements outlined above, they also cannot directly address or remedy possible violations of policy.

Sanction Statement
Any student found “responsible” for violating the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Unlawful Harassment, and Retaliation or the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct will likely receive the following sanctions, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous violations of these policies or the Student Code of Conduct:

  • For Discrimination, Unlawful Harassment, or Retaliation: warning to dismissal
  • For Sexual Harassment or Sexual Exploitation: warning to dismissal
  • For Nonconsensual Sexual Contact (without intercourse): probation to dismissal. Most cases, barring mitigating circumstances, result in suspension to dismissal.
  • For Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse: suspension to dismissal
  • For Domestic/Relationship/Dating Violence and Stalking: probation to dismissal

The hearing body reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the case of serious mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior. Neither the initial hearing officers nor any appeals body or officer will deviate from the range of recommended sanctions unless compelling justification exists to do so.

Possible sanctions for employees found in violation of the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Unlawful Harassment, and Retaliation and the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct range up to and include discharge from the college.

Additional Complaint Mechanisms

Students may alternatively file a complaint with the federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR):

Office for Civil Rights,
San Francisco Office
U.S. Department of Education
50 Beale Street, Suite 7200
San Francisco CA 94105-1813
OCR.SanFrancisco@ed.gov, 415.486.5555, 415.486.5570 (fax), 877.521.2172 (TDD)

For information about filing a complaint, please refer to:

OCR Customer Service Team: 1.800.421.3481
How to File
Complaint Introduction

Contacting Law Enforcement (optional)
Students may also wish to contact local law enforcement, particularly in cases of nonconsensual sexual assault, nonconsensual sexual contact, stalking, or dating/relationship violence.
If a crime has just occurred or if danger is still present, students should call

  • 9-1-1 from any land line
  • 510.777.3211 from a cell phone in Oakland
  • 415.553.8090 from a cell phone in San Francisco

Students are encouraged to program these emergency numbers into their phones.
If time has lapsed, the best ways to report an incident is

  • at the closest police station
  • at designated hospitals, ideally within 72 hours, in the case of nonconsensual sexual intercourse (see below)
  • 510.777.3333 for the Police Department nonemergency line in Oakland
  • 415.553.0123 for the Police Department nonemergency line in San Francisco

For assistance with contacting law enforcement or seeking assistance outside of CCA, please contact:

  • Keith Stiver, Director of Public Safety (kstiver@cca.edu, 510.594.3781)
    As a former investigator for cases of domestic violence and former supervisor for a Special Victims Unit, Keith is uniquely qualified to advise students about options available to them via local law enforcement and community resources.
  • Suzanne Raffeld, Director of Access and Wellness (sraffeld@cca.edu, 510.594.3775)
  • Jeannine Szamreta, Director of Residential Life (jszamreta@cca.edu, 510.594.3725)
  • Janeece Hayes, Assistant Director of Residential Life (jhayes@cca.edu, 510.594.3723)
  • Kayoko Wakamatsu, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs / Harassment Intake Officer / Title IX designee for students (kwakamatsu@cca.edu, 510.594.3673)

It is helpful to retain evidence, such as voicemail, email, texts, police or campus incident reports, medical records, and other documentation. Students always have the option to decline to notify local law enforcement.

Additional Recommendations in Cases of Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse

CCA encourages victims of nonconsensual sexual intercourse to seek medical attention. Hospitals can provide treatment for any injuries, medication for STIs, and contraception if desired; some of these should be administered within 72 hours. Some hospitals are also prepared to collect evidence, but the examination should be conducted within 72 hours of the incident to maximize the potential for a successful prosecution. Although the victim is not required to report, the hospital is required by law to report to the police if a victim indicates that an assault has occurred, and so those who are sure they do not wish to report can indicate “painful, unprotected intercourse” as their reason for seeking care.

Students who think there may be any chance that they will wish to press criminal charges at the time of the incident or at any point within the next six years (the statute of limitations) should seek attention at San Francisco General, Highland Hospital in Oakland, or other location that can offer an evidence collection exam, advocacy, and a coordinated response in addition to care and medication. To preserve evidence, students should not bathe or douche beforehand and should bring any clothing they were wearing at the time of the incident in a brown paper bag.

When going to the hospital following an incident of nonconsensual sexual intercourse, it helps not to be alone. Students who would like assistance are encouraged to contact one of the CCA staff members identified in the section above: Suzanne Raffeld (least connected with the conduct process), Jeannine Szamreta, or Janeece Hayes, or Keith Stiver (the associate vice president for student affairs is also available but may be obliged to respond to the incident as the Title IX designee for students). These staff members help students to obtain medical care, provide referrals for legal assistance, inform students of the option to notify law enforcement, and offer assistance in doing so. They also share information about confidential counseling through CCA’s Counseling Services as well as off-campus sexual assault counseling and community resources.