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Non-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Assault

Non-Discrimination Policy

Thomas Aquinas College is committed to complying with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. Anyone who believes that the College has, through any of its agents, officials, programs, or activities, violated any such applicable law should notify the official below promptly so that complaints can be quickly and fairly resolved. The official will investigate the alleged incident promptly and thoroughly, affording all concerned an opportunity for explanation. The official will notify the complainant of the final decision, which the complainant may appeal to the President, whose decision will be final.

The following person has been designated to handle complaints, or inquiries, regarding this non-discrimination policy:

John Quincy Masteller
St. Thomas Hall, Room 101
10,000 Ojai Rd., Santa Paula, CA 93060
(805) 421-5930
E-mail: qmasteller@thomasaquinas.edu

Title IX Coordinator

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.

Mr. John Quincy Masteller serves as Thomas Aquinas College’s Title IX Coordinator. As Title IX Coordinator, he is responsible for ensuring that the College complies with Title IX and properly investigates complaints of sexual discrimination, harassment, assault, violence, and other sex-based complaints from students, staff and faculty. Mr. Masteller is also responsible for ensuring that the College community is properly trained regarding Title IX.

Mr. Masteller’s contact information is:

John Quincy Masteller, Title IX Coordinator
St. Thomas Hall, Room 101
10,000 Ojai Rd., Santa Paula, CA 93060
(805) 421-5930
E-mail: qmasteller@thomasaquinas.edu

Mr. Masteller also serves as Thomas Aquinas College’s General Counsel.

Reporting Sexual Harassment

Thomas Aquinas College is committed to providing a school environment that is free of harassment, including sexual harassment. If you believe you are being subjected to such harassment, or if you witness conduct that you believe constitutes harassment, you should report the matter to the Assistant Dean or the Title IX Coordinator immediately so that complaints can be quickly and fairly resolved.

The law protects you from any retaliation for reporting or participating in an investigation of a discrimination or discriminatory harassment complaint. A prompt and thorough investigation of the alleged incident will be conducted. To the extent possible, the investigation and any subsequent action will proceed in an atmosphere of confidentiality.

Sexual harassment is considered to be unlawful sex discrimination and may be found when, among other reasons, a student initiates unwelcome sexual advances, remarks or jokes of a sexual nature, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile and intimidating environment sufficiently severe or pervasive to substantially impair a reasonable person’s participation in the College’s programs or activities. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, consideration shall be given to the record of the incident as a whole and to the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

The Assistant Dean’s contact information is:

Assistant Dean
Thomas Aquinas College
St. Thomas Hall, Room 132
10,000 Ojai Rd., Santa Paula, CA 93060
(805) 421-5958
E-mail: studentaffairs@thomasaquinas.edu

The Title IX Coordinator’s contact information is shown above.

Reporting Sexual Assault

An incident of sexual assault should be immediately reported to a Prefect, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Resident Assistant, or the Title IX Coordinator. The College will aid the victim in notifying local law enforcement officials (Ventura County Sheriff) if the victim desires to do so. The victim is not required to notify them.

The Assistant Dean will normally be the primary investigating officer of a complaint of sexual assault. He will take all necessary measures to protect the privacy of the victim and all individuals involved, including the accused, witnesses, and investigating officials of the College. All individuals involved in the investigation and evaluation of complaints shall similarly treat all information they learn as confidential and shall not disclose any such confidential information in order to protect the privacy of all individuals involved in the process.

The Assistant Dean will make a report to a committee composed of the President, Dean, and Assistant Dean. The small size of this committee is designed to preserve as much as possible the anonymity of the complainant and the accused, and those officers of the College are given the annual training for investigating and adjudicating cases of sexual assault.

Given the seriousness of sexual assault, offenses of this kind normally result in expulsion. In any case, the committee’s decision will be simultaneously communicated in writing to all involved parties.

The College’s chaplains, resident assistant, and/or campus counselor (x5918 or 805-816-7854) are available for counseling the victim and the respondent. If a victim or respondent would like to seek off-campus counseling, the College recommends Stillpoint Family Resources in Woodland Hills, CA: (818) 704-9117. Alternatively, catholictherapists.com may be a helpful resource. Victim advocacy, legal assistance, and other services can be found here: http://1800victims.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/English.pdf.