Title IX Policy

Federal Title IX law states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The University of Arkansas Rich Mountain (UARM) is committed to providing an environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of every member of its community and that is free from harassment and discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, age, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, or genetic information. Such an environment is necessary for a healthy learning, working, and living atmosphere. UARM is committed to responding promptly and effectively when it learns of any form of possible discrimination based upon sex.

Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. If you believe you or someone else has been subjected to sexual harassment or sex-based discrimination by a university student, employee or visitor under Title IX, report such conduct to Terry Francis, Title IX Coordinator at 479-394-7622 ext. 1460.

UA Rich Mountain adheres to a policy that enables all individuals, regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, or disability, to work and study in an environment unfettered by discriminatory behavior or acts. Harassment of an individual or group will not be condoned, and any person (student, faculty, or staff member) who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.

Harassment that is considered discriminatory includes actions or conduct (verbal, graphic, gestural, or written) directed against any person or group with the intent to demean or create a hostile or threatening environment. It is not the intent of this policy to infringe upon or limit educational, scholarly, or artistic expression. Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against should contact the Title IX Coordinator to obtain assistance and information concerning the filing of a complaint.

At the same time the university prohibits discriminatory practices, it promotes equal opportunity through affirmative action. Non-discriminatory affirmative action equal opportunity policies apply to recruitment, hiring, job classification and placement, work conditions, promotional opportunities, demotions/transfers, terminations, training, compensation, choice of contractors and suppliers of goods and services, educational opportunities, disciplinary action, recreational and social activities, use of facilities, housing and university-sponsored programs.

UA Rich Mountain Non-Discrimination Policy

All complaints or reports about sex discrimination (including sexual harassment) should be reported to the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain Title IX Coordinator or respective University of Arkansas Rich Mountain Title IX Compliance Officer.

Title IX Incident Report Form

Title IX Coordinator Title IX Compliance Officer (Employees) Title IX Compliance Office (Students)

Terry Francis

1100 College Drive

Mena, AR  71953

479-394-7622 ext. 1460

Amy Ludwig

1100 College Drive

Mena, AR  71953

479-394-7622 ext. 1530

Chad Fielding

1100 College Drive

Mena, AR  71953

479-394-7622 ext. 1400

During college, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will experience attempted or actual sexual assault.

90% know their perpetrator

60% of assaults take place in campus residences

50% of reported assaults involve alcohol

68% of assaults go unreported

When violations of sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination are alleged, all UARM employees have a duty to report claims of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, gender-based misconduct and sexual assault to the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Compliance Officer. 

Title IX Coordinator Title IX Compliance Officer (Employees) Title IX Compliance Office (Students)

Terry Francis

1100 College Drive

Mena, AR  71953

479-394-7622 ext. 1460

Amy Ludwig

1100 College Drive

Mena, AR  71953

479-394-7622 ext. 1530

Chad Fielding

1100 College Drive

Mena, AR  71953

479-394-7622 ext. 1400

If you are employed by UARM, you are considered a responsible employee/mandated reporter.

Responsible employees must report to the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details about the alleged sexual misconduct that the person disclosing the incident has shared. This includes:

  • The person who experienced the alleged sexual misconduct
  • The name of the alleged perpetrator, if known
  • The identity of other persons involved in the alleged sexual misconduct
  • The relevant facts, including the date, time, and location of the alleged misconduct
  • Whether the person who experienced the alleged misconduct has asked that that their name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator(s) or that the College not investigate or take action against the alleged perpetrator(s).

If someone begins to tell you about a case of sexual misconduct, you should advise the person by saying something like the following:

“I need to tell you that I am considered as mandated reporter, which means I must inform the University that sexual misconduct has occurred.  If you do not want details of what occurred reported or are not interested in making a complaint at this time, you have the right to maintain your privacy.  I will only report what you confide in me.”

Links to videos that will help frame the context of the law about Affirmative Consent

Cup of Tea Video

Copyright ©2015 Emmeline May and Blue Seat Studios

It’s On Us: One Thing

Complainant: Any individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. At the time of the filing of a formal complaint, a complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the recipient with which the formal complaint is filed. Any person may report sex discrimination, including harassment, whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of discrimination or harassment.

Consent: Consent is clear, knowing, and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent.  Consent can be given by words or actions, if those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity. If coercion, intimidation, threats, or physical force are used, there is no consent.

If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated so that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent. Incapacitation can be due to alcohol or drugs or being asleep or unconscious. This policy also covers incapacity due to mental disability, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of rape drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Brundage, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another person is a violation of this policy.  More information on these drugs can be found at http://www.911rape.org/

Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this policy. An individual violates this policy if the individual initiates and engages in sexual activity with someone who is incapacitated, and (1) the individual knew the other person was incapacitated, or (2) a sober reasonable person under similar circumstances as the person initiating the sexual activity would have known the other person was incapacitated.

There is also no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or use of duress or deception upon the victim. Whether an individual has taken advantage of a position of influence over an alleged victim may be a factor in determining consent.

Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access.  Force also includes overt threats, implied threats, intimidation, and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent.

Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another.  When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.

Under Arkansas law, the age of consent varies with the degrees of assault, the age of the actor, and the relationship of the actor to the other party.   For specific information, please refer to Arkansas statutes (e.g., Arkansas Code Annotated § 5-14-125, Sexual Assault in the Second Degree).

Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.  In addition, previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.

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 and where the existence of such relationship is determined based on consideration of the following factors: (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; and (3) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Days:  Refers to working days, rather than calendar days, unless otherwise specified.

Domestic Violence: The term includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current 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, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Arkansas, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the laws of Arkansas. Under the Arkansas law on domestic abuse, “family or household members” means spouses, former spouses, parents and children, persons related by blood within the fourth degree of consanguinity, in-laws, any children residing in the household, persons who presently or in the past have resided or cohabitated together, persons who have or have had a child in common, and persons who are presently or in the past have been in a dating relationship together.

Education Program or Activity: Includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the University exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurred, and also includes any building owned or controlled by an officially recognized student organization.

Formal Complaint:  A document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that the recipient investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. The phrase “document filed by a complainant” means a document or electronic submission (such as by electronic mail or through an online portal provided for this purpose by the University) that contains the complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint.

Hostile Environment

  • Sexual harassment, including sexual violence, creates a hostile environment for a student when the conduct is sufficiently serious to limit or deny a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s educational program.

Intimidation

  • Words or conduct that places the victim in reasonable fear of bodily harm (does not include use of a weapon, which is a different crime under Clery).
  • Party: The complainant or respondent.

Preponderance of the Evidence:  A standard of proof where the conclusion is based on facts that are more likely true than not.

Respondent: An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

Sanctions:  The determination of sanctions to be imposed against a respondent who is found to have been responsible for violating this policy will depend upon the nature and gravity of the misconduct, any record of prior discipline for a violation of this Policy, or both.  Sanctions against students may include, without limitation, expulsion or suspension from the University, disciplinary probation, expulsion from campus housing, mandated counseling, and/or educational sanctions. Sanctions against employees and other non-students may include, without limitation, a written reprimand, disciplinary probation, suspension, termination, demotion, reassignment, revision of job duties, reduction in pay, exclusion from campus or particular activities, and/or educational sanctions deemed appropriate.

Sexual Assault: The term “sexual assault” means an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A nonforcible sex offense includes incest (i.e., the nonforcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law) and statutory rape (i.e., nonforcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent). A forcible sex offense is any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.  A forcible sex offense includes:

  • Forcible rape: the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any part of the body or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
  • Forcible sodomy: Oral or sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will or not forcibly or against that person’s will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
  • Sexual assault with an object: Using an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will or not forcibly or against that person’s will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because his/her temporary or permanent or physical incapacity.
  • Forcible fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will or not forcibly or against that person’s will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because his/her temporary or permanent or physical incapacity.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is conduct on the basis of sex constituting one of the following:

  • An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the institution on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
  • 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 University’s educational programs or activities; or
  • Any of the following:
    • Sexual assault as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v) and this policy
    • Dating violence as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10) and this policy
    • Domestic violence as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8) and this policy
    • Stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30) and this policy

Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to

  • Sexual harassment
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)

Stalking:  Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.

Supportive Measures:  Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without a fee or charge to the complainant or respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the University’s educational environment or deter sexual harassment.

What can Bystanders do to make a difference here at UA Rich Mountain?

  1. Direct:  Step in and address the situation directly.  This may be as simple as saying, “That’s not cool.  Please stop” or “Hey, leave her/him/them alone.”  If someone says something offensive, derogatory, racist, sexist, or abusive, speak up and let them know that this behavior is not okay, and not acceptable.  This technique tends to work better when the person you’re trying to stop is someone who knows you.  It doesn’t always work as well when drugs or alcohol are being used because the person’s ability to listen and reason may be impaired, and the person may be more likely to become defensive.
  2. Distract:  Distract either person involved in the situation by saying, “Hey, I think we have a class together” or “Who wants to get a pizza” or “We need some better music.”  This technique is especially useful when drugs or alcohol are involved because people under the influence are more easily distracted than those who are sober.
  3. Delegate:  Find others who can help you intervene in the situation.  This might look like asking a friend to distract one person in the situation while you distract the other (“splitting” or “defensive split”).  If you don’t know either person, ask around to see if someone else does.  See if they can go talk to their friend or text their friend to check in.
  4. Delay:  There may be a reason why you are not able to intervene.  If you feel unsafe or are unsure if the person involved in the situation feels unsafe, you may just want to check in with the person and ask if everything is okay.
Please remember that your safety is of the utmost importance.  When a situation threatens physical harm to yourself or another student, ask someone for help or call 9-1-1.

Bottom Line:  Watch out for your friends and classmates -- if you come across someone who looks like they are in trouble, check with them and make sure they are okay. If you see a friend doing something suspect -- say something.

Many survivors of sexual assault or intimate partner violence feel alone and helpless. This page has some tips and suggestions for being supportive when someone discloses any experience(s) of violence. 

What to do or say:

  • Listen. Show active listening skills.
  • “Thank you for sharing with me”
  • “I’m so sorry that happened”
  • Let them know that they are not to blame for the incident. You can say things such as “It’s not your fault“ or "You didn't deserve that to happen to you" or “I believe you“
  • “What you are feeling is normal“
  • “You’re not alone”

Empower the victim/survivor by asking questions such as:

  • Are you okay?
  • How can I help? 
    • Offer to go with the victim/survivor to the hospital and/or the Title IX Coordinator's office. 
  • What would you like to do?
  • Is it okay to hug you?

What not to do or say:

It is important to let the person control what happens following an incident of violence.

  • Don’t force them to report, call the police or go to the hospital.
    • If you are a responsible employee/mandated reporter, it is important to tell the victim/survivor before they disclose. See Responsibilities of a Mandated Reporter
  • Don’t interrupt.
  • Don’t dig for more information or investigate by asking lots of questions. Allow the victim/survivor to share only what they are comfortable sharing with you. 
  • Never blame the victim.
  • Manage your emotions. It is difficult to hear that someone you care about was hurt.
  • Threatening the person allegedly responsible for the harm is not helpful to the victim/survivor.

Two great links for helping a survivor of sexual assault

Sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender or age.  Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With no intention to victim-blame, and with recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk of experiencing a non-consensual sexual act.

Basic Safety Guidelines

  • Provide Information:  Students should inform friends and family about their plans, which may include a taxi ride, parties, a late study session, or a date. Important information to provide includes dates and times, names, phone numbers, addresses, and license plate numbers.
  • Share your location:  Most smart phones offer the option to share your location with other people for a set amount of time or indefinitely. If individuals end up in a compromising situation, friends or family can provide local authorities with their location.
  • Watch your drink: Predators often slip drugs into their victims' drinks. Students can reduce the risk of this happening by watching who pours their drink, keeping their drink close, and only accepting sealed drinks.
  • Have a backup plan: Having a backup plan can increase students' safety. A portable phone charger, emergency cash, jumper cables, and pepper spray can all come in handy.
  • Avoid traveling alone: Students should consider walking to and from class with a buddy, especially at night. Commuters often travel alone; however, carpooling with other students can increase safety and reduce gas expenses. Universities often provide campus police escorts to ensure students' safety. Using the buddy system at parties and social gatherings is also a good precaution.
  • Use social media with caution: Students often use social media to share their experiences with loved ones. Instead of immediately posting pictures, students should wait until they leave an event to prevent predators from following them. Social media privacy settings can also reduce risk of sexual assault.
  • Stay secure in dorms and apartments: While dorms and apartments contain less entry points than houses, students need to make sure they lock their doors whenever they are home, but especially at night.

Reducing the Risk of Sexual Violence

  • If you have limits, make them known as early as possible.
  • Tell a sexual aggressor "NO" clearly and firmly.
  • Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
  • Find someone nearby and ask for help.
  • Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
  • Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.

If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct:

  • Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
  • Understand and respect personal boundaries.
  • DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent; about someone's sexual availability; about whether they are attracted to you; about how far you can go or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity, then you DO NOT have consent.
  • Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
  • Don't take advantage of someone's drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves.
  • Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don't abuse that power.
  • Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
  • Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.
  • In campus hearings, legal terms like "guilt, "innocence" and "burdens of proof" are not applicable, but the college never assumes a student is in violation of district policy. Campus hearings are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available, from all relevant sources.
  • The college reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect students' rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing and reporting the matter to the local police. Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the college reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The college will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of sexual misconduct.

Dr. Rebecca Campbell is a professor of Psychology at Michigan State University. Dr. Campbell's research on the neurobiology of trauma informs how we understand the impact of trauma on the brain. Watch this video that gives an analogy to help us to understand how memories are encoded in the brain following a traumatic experience.

Polk County Victim’s Assistance Program

600 Port Arthur Avenue

Mena, AR 71953

479-394-6114

Healthy Connections, Inc. (HCI) 136 Health Park Lane

Mena, AR 71953

479-437-3449

Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance 307 S. Cherry

Mena, AR 71953

479-394-5277

Southwest Arkansas Domestic Violence Center, Inc.

24 Hour Crisis Line: 870-584-3441 / 1-800-338-9844

Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault Toll Free 1-866-63-ACASA (22272)

Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence 800-799-SAFE

Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 866-331-9474

National Hotlines

LGBTQ

  • LGBT National Hotline: 888-843-4564
  • The Trevor Project: 866-488-7386

Dating, Domestic, and Intimate Partner Violence

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Human Options: 877-854-3594

Rape, Sexual Assault, Incest, and Abuse

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673)
  • National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence Web: www.ncdsv.org
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Web: www.ncadv.org
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE
  • National Center for Victims of Crime Web: www.ncvc.org
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center www.nsvrc.org
  • Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN) www.rainn.org

Suicide

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255