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Title IX

The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, gender, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, religion or creed, national or ethnic origin, or disability in its programs, activities, hiring or the admission of students.

It is the policy of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, which prohibit discrimination based on sex in the College’s programs and activities.

ACOM’s Compliance Division oversees the institution’s compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. ACOM administration, faculty, staff, campus security, and other support services to ensure that policies and programs foster a campus community free of illegal gender discrimination and from all forms of violence, including sexual misconduct (examples of which can include acts of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.)

Policies & Procedures

ACOM is committed to maintaining study and work environments that are free from discriminatory harassment based on age, race, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion or creed, national or ethnic origin, or disability. Sexual or other discriminatory harassment of its students is strictly prohibited, whether by non-employees (such as contractors or vendors), other students, or by its employees, and ACOM will take immediate and appropriate action to address behavior that violates this policy. Likewise, students are strictly prohibited from engaging in harassing behavior directed at ACOM’s employees, its visitors, vendors and contractors. All students and employees must comply with this policy and take appropriate measures to create an atmosphere free of harassment and discrimination. Appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including, suspension, expulsion, termination from employment or being banned from ACOM properties, will be taken against individuals who violate this policy.

It is the policy of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, which prohibit discrimination based on sex in the College’s programs and activities. Title IX and its implementing regulations also prohibit retaliation for asserting claims of sex discrimination. ACOM has designated a Title IX Coordinator to coordinate its compliance with Title IX and to receive inquiries regarding Title IX, including complaints of sex discrimination, sex-based harassment or sexual misconduct. The Title IX Coordinator may be contacted as follows:

Ashley Nelson
Title IX Coordinator
445 Health Sciences Blvd.
Dothan, AL 36303
(334) 305-1009

It is the responsibility of the Title IX coordinator to coordinate dissemination of information and education and training programs to: (1) assist members of the College community in understanding that sex discrimination and sexual harassment are prohibited by the policy; (2) ensure that investigators and adjudicators are trained to respond to and investigate complaints of sex discrimination and sexual harassment; (3) ensure that employees and students are aware of the procedures for reporting and addressing complaints of sex discrimination and sexual harassment; and (4) to implement the Complaint Resolution Procedures or to designate appropriate persons for implementing the Complaint Resolution Procedures.

Administrators, Deans, Department Chairs, and Other Managers

It is the responsibility of administrators, deans, department chairs and other managers (i.e., those that formally supervise other employees) to:

  • Inform employees under their direction or supervision of this policy
  • Work with the Title IX Coordinator to implement education and training programs for employees and students
  • Implement any corrective actions that are imposed as a result of findings of a violation of this policy

All Employees

It is the responsibility of all employees to review this policy and comply with it.

Students

It is the responsibility of all students to review this policy and comply with it.

The College

When the College is aware that a member of the College community may have been subjected to or affected by conduct that violates this policy, the College will take prompt action, including a review of the matter and, if necessary, an investigation and appropriate steps to address the sex discrimination or sexual harassment. The College will act in accordance with its Complaint Resolution Procedures.

Sexual harassment is defined as conduct on the basis of sex that is one or more of the following:

  • unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity
  • an employee of the school conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the school on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; or
  • sexual assault, as defined in the Clery Act, or dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act.

Regardless of the form it takes, sexual harassment is prohibited at ACOM.

Title IX Training Materials

Introductory Title IX Training for ACOM Faculty and Staff ›

Thompson Coburn LLP has created a lecture series for Title IX training.  ACOM uses these materials in training individuals who will administer the ACOM Title IX process, including Title IX coordinators, investigators, advisors, hearing officers, informal resolution facilitators, and appeal officers:

Module 1 – An Introduction to Managing Title IX Sexual Harassment on Campus

To be completed by: ACOM Faculty and Staff with Title IX Responsibilities

Notes:

  • The ACOM officials in addition to the Title IX Coordinator who have authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of ACOM are listed in the ACOM Title IX Policy: the Dean, any Associate Dean or Assistant Dean, and the Institutional Compliance Officer.
  • Under ACOM’s Title IX Policy, all employees must report instances of sexual harassment or alleged sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator.

Link to Module 1 – Fundamentals

Module 2 – Formal Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment

To be completed by: Title IX coordinators, investigators, advisors, adjudicators, informal resolutions facilitators, appeal officers

  • Note: For the standard of evidence in adjudicating formal complaints, ACOM uses a preponderance of the evidence standard.

Link to Module 2 – Complaints

Module 3 – Title IX Investigations & Informal Resolutions

To be completed by: Title IX coordinators, investigators, advisors, adjudicators, informal resolutions facilitators, appeal officers

Link to Module 3 – Investigations

Module 4 – Title IX Hearings

To be completed by: Title IX coordinators, investigators, advisors, adjudicators, informal resolutions facilitators, appeal officers

Notes:

  • For the standard of evidence to be used by decision-makers in hearings, ACOM uses a preponderance of the evidence standard.
  • Prior to the start of the hearing, the Hearing Officer will share rules regarding the conduct of hearings.  ACOM is committed to respectful hearings.  Conduct that is not permitted include raised voices, rudeness, sarcasm.  Participants who violate the rules of conduct – including but not limited to advisors, witnesses, parties – may forfeit their right to participate in the hearing.

Link to Module 4 – Hearings

Module 5 – Title IX Determinations

To be completed by: Title IX coordinators, investigators, advisors, adjudicators, informal resolutions facilitators, appeal officers

Notes:

  • On slide #15 the topic that should be highlighted in orange is “Determinations: Requirements for adjudicators and determinations”
  • Decision-makers at an ACOM hearing will use the preponderance of the evidence standard to reach a Determination.

Link to Module 5 – Determinations

Module 6 – Title IX Appeals

To be completed by: Title IX coordinators, investigators, advisors, adjudicators, informal resolutions facilitators, appeal officers

  • Note: In addition to the three bases for appeal identified in the Title IX regulations, the ACOM Title IX Policy permits appeals on the following additional two bases:

4) The decision was contrary to the substantial weight of evidence; and/or

5) The sanctions/remedies imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation.

Link to Module 6 – Appeals

Title IX Complaints – How to File

To file a Title IX complaint, contact the Title IX Coordinator.

Ashley Nelson
Title IX Coordinator
445 Health Sciences Blvd.
Dothan, AL 36303
Office: (334) 305-1009
Cell: (334) 596-5360

Compliance Hotline: (833) 490-0007

Students who believe they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment in violation of Title IX should report these concerns immediately to the Title IX Coordinator. Title IX prohibits retaliation by any student and/or employee against anyone who reports an alleged Title IX violation. If students, staff, or faculty members believe someone they know has experienced sexual misconduct, they should promptly report incidents to the Title IX Coordinator.

Inquiries may also be directed to the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, District of Columbia Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington, DC 20202-1475.

Complaint Intake Form ›

Guide for Sexual Assault Victims

Evidence of a sexual assault and the attackers identity may be left on the victim’s body.  Therefore, do not wash in any way until you have been examined.  Victims of sexual assault should go in for the exam as quickly as possible because the evidence deteriorates quickly and may be important should you choose to press criminal charges.  The Southeast Health Emergency Department has a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program.

Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity or contact.

Silence or the absence of resistance alone is not consent.

A person can withdraw consent at any time during sexual activity.

Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (intercourse).

A current or previous dating relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent.

Consent must be “knowing”.  A person cannot consent if he or she is unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious for any reason, including due to voluntary or involuntary use of alcohol or other drugs.

Sexual Misconduct is any non-consensual behavior of a sexual nature that is committed by force, intimidation, or is otherwise unwelcome that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive so as to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from a ACOM program or activity.

NOTE: 

Retaliation against anyone who reports sexual misconduct is strictly prohibited. Anyone responsible for retaliation, including the accused party or someone affiliated with the accused, will be subject to disciplinary action by ACOM.

  • Get to a safe place
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Preserve physical evidence
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Seek counseling
  • Report the incident

ACOM Campus Security
(334) 944-4044

ACOM Title IX Coordinator
(334) 305-1009

Dothan Police Department
(334) 615-3000

House of Ruth 24-Hour Hotline
(800) 650-6522

National Domestic Violence Hotline

(800) 799-7233

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

(800) 656-4673

Title IX Anonymous Reporting

ACOM has established a confidential portal through which individuals can share information anonymously.  The information submitted will be received by the Title IX Coordinator but the reporter will not be identified.  ACOM will investigate anonymous claims to the best of our ability on the basis of information received.

Submit an Anonymous Title IX Complaint