Campus Safety and Security
Committed to Safety
It is the policy of College of the Mainland to provide an educational, employment, and business environment free of discrimination based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, genetic information or veteran status. Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, and other agents of the College will not engage in conduct constituting unlawful harassment, discrimination, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking.
Students who have experienced sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence, or other crimes may seek advice, assistance, and resources from the Vice President for Student Services, or the College’s Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator’s duties include facilitating the complaint and investigation process. Individuals within these offices can assist the complainant with accessing medical or counseling services, advocacy services, social support services, legal services, and police services. Even in the absence of a formal complaint, the College may be able to provide assistance to the complainant with respect to his or her academic, living, transportation, or working situations. For example, a student might wish to explore changing a class or class time.
The College is required by law to investigate and respond to reports of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other acts of sexual misconduct. Therefore, most College personnel will have a duty to report complaints to the College’s Title IX Coordinator. Some victims, however, may prefer a confidential consultation before deciding a course of action. Confidential communications are those communications that cannot be disclosed to another person without the victim’s consent. Victims may speak confidentially with Holly Bankston, LPC in the Student Success Center Center - 409-933-8520, or off-campus resources including medical professionals, licensed professional counselors, pastoral (religious) counselors, and certain counselors at a victim’s crisis centers which are listed below. These individuals are not required to make a report to the College’s Title IX Coordinator.
* Counselors and Student Success Advisors are available as a resource where students may obtain information about support services. De-identified information such as the date, time, and nature of the incident will be reported to the Title IX Coordinators. The purpose of this general reporting obligation is to enable the College to identify patterns or trends involving sexual harassment or violence. For general information about the complaint process, please visit with the College's Title IX Coordinator.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) is a federal mandate requiring all colleges and universities that participate in the federal student financial aid program to disclose information about crime on their campuses and in the surrounding communities.
The Clery Act requires College of the Mainland and other institutions of higher education to do the following:
- Collect, classify and publish crime reports and statistics related to crime.
- Issue timely warnings and campus alerts for Clery-reportable crimes that represent an ongoing threat to the safety of students or employees, or emergency notifications upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees.
- Publish an annual security report containing safety and security-related policy statements and crime statistics and distribute it to all current students and employees.
- Submit crime statistics to the U.S. Department of Education each fall via a web-based data collection.
- Maintain a daily crime log of alleged criminal incidents that is open to public inspection.
- Disclose missing student notification procedures that pertain to students residing in on-campus student housing facilities.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
In March 2013, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) was signed, which focuses on improving the criminal justice response to violence against women. This includes improved accountability for colleges to educate students and prevent gender-based violence. Additional rights were provided to campus victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Campus SaVE Act (Sexual Violence Elimination Act)
In 2013, the Campus SaVE Act was added to VAWA as an amendment, and it seeks to address the violence women face on campus. The act covers domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It requires incidents to be disclosed in the annual “Clery” campus crime statistic reports; clarifies minimum standards for institutional disciplinary procedures; instructs colleges and universities to provide programming for students and employees; and establishes collaboration between the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services to collect and disseminate best practices for preventing and responding to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination and sexual harassment by institutions of higher education that receive federal financial aid. (See 20 U.S.C. § 1681.) Each institution must maintain a grievance process that is prompt, equitable, and impartial. Title IX also requires each institution to appoint one or more “Title IX Coordinators” to coordinate compliance with the statute. Title IX is enforced by the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.
Education, Prevention, and Programming
College of the Mainland will present awareness programs for new students and new employees, in addition to on-going awareness campaigns each academic year related to the awareness of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking for all students and staff.
Safety on Campus
Safety on campus is a joint responsibility of students, employees, and Security. Campus Police are available to help you 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and their goal is to welcome all questions, suggestions and reports of any activities that do not appear to be safe or conducive to a positive learning experience. If you ever feel uneasy about walking to your vehicle or to another building, perhaps because it's late and you're alone, don't hesitate to security. They will gladly escort you.
To report emergencies or to request an escort, dial 599 from any campus phone. From your cell phone, dial 409-933-8599.
Emergencies/Crimes in Progress
Students who have just experienced an assault or other sexual violence should call 911 and locate to a safe place. The student should not change clothes. If the incident occurred on campus, the student should contact campus police at extension 599 (if you are on campus), 409-933-8599 (from your cell phone). Campus security assistance is available 24 hours a day. Campus personnel may assist the victim in obtaining transportation to a hospital or clinic, crisis center, or other location. Prompt medical attention in a case of recent assault is necessary to document and treat any injuries, preserve evidence, and screen for certain medical conditions and diseases.
This Incident Report is for incidents of Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, Dating or Domestic Violence, and Stalking ONLY. Filing this incident report constitutes official notice to College of the Mainland and authorizes the institution to investigate the information and allegations contained within the report and seek resolution. This report is NOT confidential; however, Clery Act reporting does not include any personal identifying information.
All members of the COM community shall promptly report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinators. Any COM employee who becomes aware of sexual misconduct in which a COM student or another employee is the victim shall report that knowledge to the appropriate administrative official.
All emergencies or any incident in which someone is in imminent danger shall be reported to Campus Police by dialing 409-933-8599. The Title IX Coordinator shall assist members of the college community in reporting incidents to law enforcement authorities upon request. The Title IX Coordinators will request the consent of the complainant (or alleged victim if different from the complainant) to report incidents of alleged sexual violence that occur on campus property to law enforcement. Members of the college community may decline to notify law enforcement authorities and decline their consent for the Title IX Coordinators to notify law enforcement if they wish.
Confidentiality and Anonymous Reports
Notwithstanding individuals’ concern for their privacy when they report a possible violation of this regulation, COM has a responsibility to end conduct that violates this regulation, prevent its recurrence, and address its discriminatory effects. To that end, college employees may not withhold any report of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. The college expects employees to treat information they learn concerning incidents of reported violations of this regulation with respect and with as much privacy as possible. College employees must share such information only with those college and law enforcement officials who must be informed of the information pursuant to this regulation.
Responsible employees shall report all alleged violations of this regulation to the Title IX Coordinators except a person who holds a professional license requiring confidentially and his employed in that capacity as noted in FFDA (Local). Other college employees have a duty to report sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking for federal statistical reporting purposes (i.e. Campus Police) as stated in GAC (Legal). Reports received by the college concerning the abuse of a minor shall be reported in compliance with state law and as specified in DHC (Legal) - Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting.
If the complainant requests that the complainant’s identity not be released to anyone else, the College’s ability to investigate and take reasonable action in response to a complaint may be limited. In such cases, the college shall evaluate the request(s) that a complaint remain confidential in the context of the College’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment in order to make such an evaluation, the Title IX Coordinators shall conduct a preliminary investigation into the alleged violation of this regulation and may weigh the request(s) against the following factors:
- the seriousness of the allegation(s);
- the complainant’s or alleged victim’s age;
- whether there have been other similar complaints against the same respondent;
- the respondent’s right to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the college as an "education record" under FERPA; and
- the applicability of any laws mandating disclosure.
The college may pursue an investigation even if the complainant requests that no action be taken and the college will not be able to ensure confidentiality in all cases. The Title IX Coordinators shall notify the complainant in writing when it is determined that the college will be unable to maintain confidentiality or respect the complainant’s request for no further action.
In the event of an alleged incident of sexual violence that results in disclosure of information to a law enforcement agency and the Title IX Coordinators are aware of the disclosure, the Title IX Coordinators shall notify the alleged victim in writing that such disclosure is being made.
COM shall accept anonymous reports with the understanding that it may be limited in its ability to investigate and take reasonable action. The College must have sufficient information to conduct a meaningful and fair investigation. A respondent has a right to know the name of the complainant and information regarding the nature of the allegations in order to defend against the complaint.
The College, when requested and reasonably available or when deemed necessary, shall arrange for changes in academic or work arrangements after an alleged violation of this regulation. When such accommodations are provided, the College shall protect the privacy of the complainant to the extent possible while still providing the accommodation.
Submitting this report notifies the following College entities of the incident:
- Vice President for Student Services, Dr. Vicki Stanfield - Title IX Coordinator
- Chief of Police, Sylvia Chapa
Students may use this procedure to file a complaint against another a student, a College employee, College contractors, or third parties who are visiting the College or participating in a College activity. This complaint procedure constitutes the grievance procedure required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. As used in this procedure, “complaint” and “grievance” are synonymous.
Vice President for Student Services, Dr. Vicki Stanfield - Title IX Coordinator (Complaints involving students)
Student Services, ADM-115
Counselor, Holly Bankston (Confidential reporting)
Student Success Center, ADM-167
Students who have experienced a sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence, or other crimes may file a report directly with the Campus Police or any local law enforcement agency. Students are not required to file a police complaint in order to receive assistance from the College. Additionally, reporting an offense does not commit the student to pursuing further legal action. Students who desire assistance in order to make a police report may contact the Vice President for Student Services, the Counseling Office, or the Executive Director of Human Resources.
Contact information for the Campus Police:
From campus phone: 599; from cell phones: 409-933-8599.
REPORTING – EMPLOYEE OBLIGATIONS
All employees are encouraged to report incidents of sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment to the College’s Title IX Coordinator. Some employees, however, will have a mandatory duty to report incidents if they know or in the exercise of reasonable care should know that a violation has occurred. See FA Regulation
Vice President for Student Services, Dr. Vicki Stanfield - Title IX Coordinator (Complaints involving students)
Student Services, ADM-115
Counselor, Holly Bankston (Confidential reporting)
Student Success Center, ADM-167
The Title IX Coordinator has been designated to coordinate the College's anti-discrimination procedures.
Clery Reportable Crimes
Under the Clery Act, College of the Mainland is required to track the occurrence of certain crimes occurring on or near campus:
On Campus: any building or property owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the institution’s educational purposes, including residence halls. This also includes any building or property that is within or reasonably contiguous to the geographic area that is owned by the institution but controlled by another person, is frequently used by students, and supports institutional purposes (such as a food or other retail vendor).
Non-Campus: any building or property owned or controlled by an institution that is used in direct support of, or in relation to, the institution’s educational purposes, is frequently used by students, and is not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution. This also includes any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the institution.
Public Property: all public property, including thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities, that is within the campus, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.
The definitions below are brief statements of longer legal definitions. For a complete list of Clery definitions please go to: National Center for Education Statistics
Definition of Consent
“Consent” is the affirmative, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity during a sexual encounter. Consent is communicated through mutually understandable words or actions that indicate willingness by all of the involved parties to engage in the same sexual activity, at the same time, and in the same way. Consent may be given verbally; however, consent (or lack of consent) also may be expressed through gestures and body language. Consent cannot be freely given if the person’s ability to understand and give consent is impaired. Examples of those who are impaired and therefore cannot give consent include but are not limited to:
- Any person who is incapacitated due to the use of alcohol and/or other drugs.
- Any person who is asleep or unconscious or for any reason is physically incapacitated.
- Any person who is mentally impaired or has a mental disability.
- Any person younger than 17 years old.
- Any person who has been subjected to the explicit or implicit use of force, coercion, threats and/or intimidation.
Silence does not equal consent. Additionally, consent to one form of sexual activity does not necessarily imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Similarly, a prior sexual history or dating history between the participants does not constitute consent. Further, any party has the right to change his or her mind and withdraw consent at any time through words or actions.
What is Consent?
- The willful (non-negligent) killing of a human being by another. Note: Deaths caused by negligence, attempts to kill, assaults to kill, suicides, accidental deaths and justifiable homicides are excluded.
- The killing of another person through gross negligence. Gross negligence is the intentional failure to perform a manifest duty in reckless disregard of the consequences as affecting the life or property of another.
- Sex Offenses:
- Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
- The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
- The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
- Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
- Statutory Rape:
- Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
- The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.
- Aggravated Assault:
- An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm. It is not necessary that injury result from an aggravated assault when a gun, knife or other weapon is used which could or probably would result in a serious potential injury if the crime were successfully completed.
- The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. For reporting purposes this definition includes: unlawful entry with intent to commit a larceny or a felony; breaking and entering with intent to commit a larceny; housebreaking; safecracking; and all attempts to commit any of the aforementioned.
- Motor Vehicle Theft:
- The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle, including joyriding.
- Any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling, house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.
- Dating Violence:
- Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party's statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
- Domestic Violence:
- The term “domestic violence” refers to a pattern of abusive behavior between two individuals formerly or currently in an intimate relationship, including through marriage, cohabitation, dating, or within a familial or household arrangement. Abuse may be in the form of physical assault, sexual assault, bodily injury, emotional distress, physical endangerment, or when the imminent threat of any of these instances puts the victim in fear of their occurrence. The term encompasses acts committed by by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, and by a person similarly situated to a spouse or the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
- A course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. “Course of conduct” means two more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly or indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means.
Referrals for Discipline
For Weapons, Drug, and Liquor Law Violations, Clery reportable crimes are those incidents only where arrests or disciplinary referrals occur.
- Weapon Law Violations:
- The violation of laws or ordinances dealing with weapon offenses, regulatory in nature, such as: manufacture, sale, or possession of deadly weapons; carrying deadly weapons, concealed or openly; furnishing deadly weapons to minors; aliens possessing deadly weapons; all attempts to commit any of the aforementioned.
- Drug Abuse Violations:
- Violations of state and local laws relating to the unlawful possession, sale, use, growing, manufacturing, and making of narcotic drugs. The relevant substances include opium or cocaine and their derivatives (morphine, heroin, codeine); marijuana; synthetic narcotics (Demerol, methadone); and dangerous non-narcotic drugs (barbiturates, Benzedrine).
- Liquor Law Violations:
- The violation of laws or ordinance prohibiting: the manufacture, sale, transporting, furnishing, possessing of intoxicating liquor; maintaining unlawful drinking places; bootlegging; operating a still; furnishing liquor to minor or intemperate person; using a vehicle for illegal transportation of liquor; drinking on a train or public conveyance; all attempts to commit any of the aforementioned. Drunkenness and driving under the influence are not included in this definition. Alcohol violations referred for campus disciplinary action under the Campus Code need not be reported to the Police Department.
A crime involving one or more of the above listed crimes, the crimes of theft, simple assault, intimidation and/or vandalism reported to local police agencies or to a campus security authority that manifests evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator's bias against the victim. The categories of bias include the victim's actual or perceived race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, and disability.
- Larceny-Theft (Except Motor Vehicle Theft):
- The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Attempted larcenies are included. Embezzlement, confidence games, forgery, worthless checks, etc., are excluded.
- Simple Assault:
- An unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.
- To unlawfully place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.
- Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property:
- To willfully or maliciously destroy, damage, deface, or otherwise injure real of personal property without the consent of the owner or the person having custody or control of it.