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Harassment Policy

Statement of Policy

It is the policy of The Boston Conservatory to promote a learning, living and work environment that is free of all forms of harassment.   Harassment on the basis on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national and ethnic origin, disability, and military or veteran status undermines the basic principles of the Conservatory community.  It is not acceptable behavior at the Conservatory and will not be tolerated.

Harassment is defined as the use of derogatory comments or act(s) directed toward an individual’s race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national and ethnic origin, disability, and military or veteran status that:

  1. Humiliates and/or intimidates an individual;
  2. Has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile or offensive learning, living, or working environment;
  3. Impedes and/or interferes with learning or living environment, work performance, or campus life activities.

This Policy applies to any allegation of harassment regardless of whether the alleged harassment occurred on or off-campus. Although there is no geographical limitation to invoking this Policy, harassment that is alleged to have occurred at a significant distance from the Conservatory may be more difficult to investigate.

Moreover, there is no time limit to invoking this Policy in responding to complaints of alleged harassment.  Nevertheless, members of The Boston Conservatory community are encouraged to report harassment immediately in order to maximize the Conservatory’s ability to obtain evidence and conduct a thorough, impartial, and reliable investigation. If the subject of a harassment complaint is no longer a student or employee, the Conservatory may not be able to take disciplinary action, but it will still seek to take steps to meet its obligation of ending the harassment, preventing its recurrence, and addressing its effects.

A retaliatory action or behavior taken toward an individual as a consequence of his or her decision to report a complaint or a retaliatory action or behavior taken toward an individual who cooperates in an investigation is prohibited. Retaliatory acts may include intimidation, threats, harassment, and/or other adverse action threatened or taken against a complainant or third party.   Such retaliation shall be considered a serious violation of this Policy and shall be independent of whether a charge of harassment is substantiated. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Conservatory official handing the complaint by submitting a Complaint Form (see Reporting Harassment). The Boston Conservatory also considers filing an intentionally false report of harassment a violation of this Policy.

The filing of a complaint of harassment under this Policy is independent of any criminal investigation or proceeding, and the Conservatory will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal investigation or proceedings to commence its own investigation and/or judicial process.

Because of the greater frequency of expressed concerns about sexual harassment, most of this Policy refers to that topic. However, this is not intended to limit the Policy’s application to sexual harassment. To the contrary, the procedures in this Policy are intended to apply equally to other forms of harassment covered by federal and state laws and/or by Conservatory policy.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is a violation of The Boston Conservatory policy as well as federal and Commonwealth statutes.  The Conservatory views with the utmost seriousness offenses against an individual such as inappropriate sexual touching, sexual assault and any other form of non-consensual sexual activity.

For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexual assault and all other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s academic or employment status;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions affecting an individual;
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance, or campus activities or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment in which to learn or work. 

The Boston Conservatory considers sexual harassment a very serious matter.  Any person found to be responsible for sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination from a job and/or expulsion from The Boston Conservatory or its residence halls.

Examples of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can be directed toward a person of the opposite sex or same sex and can take many forms. Sexual harassment may occur regardless of the intention of the person engaging in the conduct. The following are some examples of conduct which, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment, depending upon the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness:

  • Sexual advances (whether they involve physical touching or not);
  • Requests for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised academic or job benefits such as favorable grades or continued employment;
  • Sexual jokes;
  • Use of sexual epithets, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life and comments on an individual’s body, sexual activity, deficiencies or prowess;
  • Displaying sexual objects, pictures, written materials or cartoons;
  • Leering, brushing against the body, sexual gestures or suggestive or insulting comments;
  • Sexual exhibitionism;
  • Voyeurism, which is the act of observing someone involved in sexual contact/activity or in a state of undress, without their knowledge or consent;
  • Inquiries into one’s sexual activities;
  • Cyber-harassment including non-consensual videos, audio tapings of sexual activity, texting, emailing, and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
  • Stalking, defined as repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the community;
  • Relationship Violence, including domestic and dating violence;
  • Sexual assault or coerced sexual acts.

In evaluating any complaint of sexual harassment, the perceived offensiveness of a particular expression, standing alone, is not sufficient by itself to constitute sexual harassment. The conduct in question must be objectively intimidating, hostile or offensive and interfere with a person’s right to equally participate in work, academic programs and/or other programs and activities of the Conservatory. A single or isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to provide a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical.

Relationship Violence

In compliance with the Violence Against Women Act and for the purposes of this policy, Relationship Violence is a form of sexual harassment that is strictly prohibited. Relationship Violence, also referred to as “Dating Violence” and “Domestic Violence”, includes any act of violence or threatened act of violence against a person who is, or has been involved in, a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship with that person. It may involve one act or an ongoing pattern of behavior. Relationship violence can encompass a broad range of behavior, including, but not limited to, physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence, and economic abuse. Relationship violence may take the form of threats, assault, property damage, or violence or threat of violence to one’s self, one’s sexual or romantic partner, or to the family members or friends of the sexual or romantic partner. Relationship violence affects individuals of all genders, gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations and does not discriminate by racial, social, or economic background.

Sexual Assault

The most egregious form of sexual harassment is sexual assault.

Definitions

For the purposes of sexual assault violations, the following definitions apply:

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is engaging, or attempting to engage in, any one or more of the following sexual acts with or directed against another person:

  • Sexual penetration without the consent of the other person;
  • Sexually explicit touching through the use of coercion or where the person is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
  • Sexual penetration through the use of coercion or where the person is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Consent

Consent is an understandable exchange of affirmative words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexually explicit touching or sexual penetration. Consent must be informed and freely and actively given. Consent must exist from the beginning to end of each instance of sexual activity and for each form of sexual contact. It is incumbent upon each individual involved in the activity to either obtain or give consent prior to any sexual activity, and again, prior to sexual penetration. Consent is active, not passive, and if at any time during the sexual interaction any confusion or ambiguity should arise on the issue of consent, it is incumbent upon each individual involved in the activity to stop and clarify, verbally, the other’s willingness to continue.

  • A verbal “no,” even if it may sound indecisive or insincere, constitutes lack of consent.
  • When consent is requested verbally, absence of any explicit verbal response constitutes lack of consent.
  • It is expected that, after consent has been established, a person who changes his/her mind during the sexual activity will communicate through words or actions his/her decision to no longer proceed.
  • Past consent to sexual activity does not imply future on-going consent, and the fact that two persons are in an on-going relationship does not preclude the possibility that sexual misconduct or sexual assault might occur within that relationship.
  • An individual’s use of alcohol and/or other drugs does not diminish that individual’s responsibility to obtain consent.
  • Consent is not effective if it results from the use or threat of physical force, intimidation, or coercion, or any other factor that would eliminate an individual’s ability to exercise their own free will to choose whether or not to have sexual contract.
  • If at any time during the sexual activity, any confusion or ambiguity arises as to the willingness of the other individual to proceed, both parties should stop and clarify verbally the other’s willingness to continue before continuing such activity.
  • Either party may withdraw consent at any time. Withdrawal of consent should be outwardly demonstrated by words or actions that clearly indicate a desire to end sexual activity. Once withdrawal of consent has been expressed, sexual activity must cease

Sexually Explicit Touching

Sexually explicit touching is the unwanted touching of another person in a sexual manner. Examples of sexually explicit touching include, but are not limited to, the touching, either directly or through clothing, of another person’s genitalia, breasts, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with a clothed or unclothed body part or object.

Coercion

Coercion is the use of force, or the threat of force; the use of a threat of immediate or future harm; or the use of physical or severe and/or pervasive emotional intimidation to cause or attempt to cause another person to engage in or submit to certain activities. Coercion also includes the administration of a drug, intoxicant or similar substance that impairs the faculties of a person.

Incapacity

Incapacity is defined as a person incapable of giving consent because he/she is asleep, unconscious, losing or regaining consciousness or clearly mentally or physically incapacitated. Signs of being incapacitated include, but are not limited to, difficulty walking, inability to speak in a coherent manner, and vomiting or the presence of vomit.

Sexual Penetration

Sexual penetration is defined as any degree of insertion of a penis, hand, finger, tongue or any object into a person’s anus or vulva, or any degree of insertion of genitalia into the mouth.

Alcohol & Other Drugs

Individuals are urged to exercise caution if they choose to use alcohol or drugs. The consumption of alcohol and/or the use of drugs often lower inhibitions, may cause some people to become more aggressive and always impair judgment. Sexual activity with someone who has consumed alcohol or drugs creates the potential for later dispute over questions of consent. Sexual activity with a person who is thus impaired may be considered a violation of the law and this policy. Conversely, being under the influence of alcohol is not an excuse for committing sexual assault. 

It is a violation of Conservatory policy and Commonwealth law to have any sexual activity with someone who is unable to give consent because of alcohol or drugs or other impairment. If your partner is very drunk, you may be guilty of sexual misconduct even if your partner said yes.

Immediate Procedures and Resources

If an individual has just experienced a violation of this policy and needs immediate assistance, he or she should get to a safe place.  He or she can then:

  1. Call Boston Conservatory Public Safety at (617) 912-9191 or the Boston Police Department at 911.  Either will help whether or not the victim chooses to prosecute the assailant. Boston Conservatory Public Safety does not have the ability or authority to make arrests. However, Public Safety can assist a victim, at his or her request, in contacting local law enforcement. Reporting a sexual assault to law enforcement does not commit someone to further legal action.  In an off-campus emergency, the student is encouraged to call 911 or the police department in the city or town where he or she is located. 
  2. Victims are encouraged to call a friend, family member or someone he or she trusts and can talk with (e.g., students can reach out to a Residence Life staff member, Director of Counseling or Conservatory Counselor, or another Student Affairs staff member).
  3. Get medical attention immediately.  Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Medical Center are experienced and prepared to help sexual assault victims.  A prompt medical examination will test for pregnancy (where applicable) and STDs and can secure valuable evidence that can be used later, should the victim wish to have the assailant prosecuted.
  4. Seek counseling and support. Regardless of whether or not the assault is reported, it is often helpful to seek counseling to cope with the traumatic experience. Students are reminded that they can contact the Counseling and Wellness Center if they wish to confidentially discuss any concerns they have.  One exception from confidentiality is if the student poses imminent risk of harm to self or others. Moreover, all members of the Conservatory (faculty, staff, and students) can access Fenway Health or Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) for counseling and support regardless of where or when the assault may have occurred.  
  5. File a written complaint (Complaint Form) with the appropriate Conservatory official (see Campus Reporting Options) asking for an investigation.

Reporting Harassment

Reporting to Law Enforcement

In addition to reporting harassment to the Conservatory (see ‘Campus Reporting Options’), the Conservatory also encourages complainants to pursue criminal action for incidents of sexual harassment that may also be crimes under Massachusetts criminal statutes. The Conservatory will assist a complainant, at the complainant’s request, in contacting local law enforcement and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies if a complainant decides to pursue the criminal process to the extent permitted by law. The Conservatory will generally respect a complainant’s choice whether or not to report an incident to local law enforcement, unless the Conservatory determines that there is an overriding issue with respect to the safety or welfare of the Conservatory community.

The Conservatory’s policy, definitions, and burden of proof may differ from Massachusetts criminal law. A complainant may seek resolution through the Conservatory’s complaint process, may pursue criminal action, may choose one but not the other, or may choose both. Neither law enforcement’s determination whether or not to prosecute a respondent nor the outcome of any criminal prosecution are determinative of whether sexual assault or harassment has occurred under this policy. Proceedings under the Conservatory’s Harassment Policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus.

Campus Reporting Options

Any member of the Boston Conservatory community who believes that he or she has been subjected to harassment may submit a Complaint Form to one of the designated Conservatory officials that are named below.

Title IX Coordinator

Christopher Reade, Dean of Students
Rm. 004, Student Center, Basement of 24 the Fenway
617-912-9121
creade@bostonconservatory.edu

Duties and responsibilities include monitoring and oversight of overall implementation of Title IX compliance at The Boston Conservatory such as coordination of training, education, communications, and administration of grievance procedures for students, faculty and staff. Title IX regulations require Deputy Coordinators to report incidents to the Title IX Coordinator. These reports allow the Title IX Coordinator to identify patterns of frequency in a particular area within the Conservatory and to coordinate compliance with federal regulations.

Title IX Deputy Coordinators

Eric Crumrine, Director of Housing and Student Life/Judicial Officer
Room 001, Student Center, Basement of 24 the Fenway
617-912-9165
ecrumrine@bostonconservatory.edu

Abra Bush, Director of the Music Division
Suite 203, 8 The Fenway
617-912-9124
abush@bostonconservatory.edu

Carrie Bourque, Employment Manager, Human Resources
Room 110, 8 The Fenway
617-912-9275
cbourque@bostonconservatory.edu

Complaint Forms are available in the offices of the four designated Conservatory officials listed above.

Complaint Form

While the Conservatory strongly encourages the use of its Complaint Form, designated Conservatory officials will also accept a written document which includes:  the Complainant’s name, contact information and signature, a description of the conduct believed to be discriminatory, harassing and/or retaliatory with approximate dates(s) when these actions occurred, and the name(s) of the subject/s of the complaint.

Campus Reporting Considerations

Confidentiality and Mandated Reporting

While the Conservatory encourages any individual who has experienced harassment to report directly to the designated Conservatory officials listed above, the Conservatory recognizes that a student or employee may choose to disclose an incident of sexual harassment to any employee of the Conservatory. For example, a student may choose to confide in a Division Director, a resident assistant (RA), a faculty member, or a private instructor. An employee may choose to confide in a supervisor or colleague. The Conservatory encourages any individual who believes that he or she has been subject to any form of harassment to speak with someone about their experience. However, it is important to know that different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain confidentiality. With the exception of employees of the Counseling and Wellness Center, The Boston Conservatory has designated all professional employees, including faculty and staff, as mandated reporters. The Conservatory has also designated student Resident Assistants as mandated reporters when they are acting within the scope of their position on campus. All mandated reporters are required to share with the Title IX Coordinator all information of which they are aware in relation to any report of sexual harassment.

If a report or complaint discloses an immediate threat to The Boston Conservatory community, the Conservatory is required to issue a timely notification to the campus community in order to protect the health or safety of the community. The notification will not include identifying information about the complainant. Moreover, The Conservatory may also be required to share non-identifying information about reports received in aggregate form, including data about outcomes and sanctions. At no time will the Conservatory release the name of the complainant to the general public without the express consent of the complainant or as otherwise permitted or required by law.

Amnesty for Personal Use of Alcohol or Other Drugs

The Boston Conservatory recognizes that a student complainant or witness who was using alcohol or other drugs at the time of an alleged incident may be hesitant to come forward due to the potential of disciplinary consequences. Any Conservatory student who reports harassment, either as a complainant or a third party witness, will not be subject to disciplinary action by the Conservatory for his/her/their own consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident. The Conservatory may, however, enforce educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs. This policy provides students with amnesty from disciplinary charges under the Conservatory’s Student Conduct Code and thus does not apply to faculty, staff, or third parties.

False Reporting

The Conservatory takes validity of information very seriously as a charge of sexual harassment may have severe consequences. A reporting party who makes a report that is later found to have been intentionally false or made maliciously without regard for truth may be subject to disciplinary action. This provision does not apply to reports made in good faith, even if the facts alleged in the report are not substantiated by an investigation. Similarly, a party or witness who is later proven to have intentionally given false information during the course of an investigation or judicial action may be subject to disciplinary action.

Harassment Investigation and the Title IX Investigative Committee

The Title IX Investigative Team is led by the Title IX Coordinator and is comprised of all Title IX Deputy Coordinators. The role of the Title IX Investigative Team is to enforce the consistent application of Conservatory policy and procedures in relation to any report of harassment. The Conservatory is committed to undertaking fair and thorough investigations with due regard for the rights of all parties. Investigations are designed to provide a fair process for both parties while also ensuring the complainant’s protections under the law.  Consistent with due process, the accused person is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Further, the Conservatory will ensure that no person who is the subject of a complaint will be assigned to investigate the complaint.

Upon receipt of a written Complaint Form, a member(s) of the Title IX Investigative Team will conduct an initial assessment with the complainant in order to ensure a thoughtful and coordinated response to any report of harassment. This assessment will consider the preference for resolution as expressed by the complainant, the nature and severity of the report, and the safety of the complainant and greater campus community. The assessment is also a forum for the complainant to request alterations related to academic classes, housing and/or dining services, Student Life activities or other accommodations based on the circumstances.  Decisions regarding such requests will be made by the member(s) of the Investigative Team that conduct the assessment, after consultation with the Title IX Coordinator and appropriate Conservatory faculty and/or staff while preserving confidentiality to the extent possible. Depending upon the circumstances, both the complainant and the subject of the complaint may be issued administrative orders to have no contact with each other.  This allows the matter to proceed while at the same time trying to minimize any possible harassment or miscommunication between parties. All administrative orders will remain confidential to the extent that maintaining that confidentiality will not impair the effectiveness of the order.

The primary goal of the initial assessment is to eliminate any hostile environment. The Conservatory will seek action consistent with the complainant’s request where possible. Where a complainant makes a report but requests that a name or other identifiable information not be shared with the subject of the complaint or that no formal action be taken, the Conservatory will balance this request with the overarching obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment to all members of the Boston Conservatory community. Where the Conservatory is unable to take action consistent with the request of the complainant, a member of the Title IX Investigative Team will communicate with the complainant about the Conservatory’s chosen course of action, which may include the Conservatory choosing to seek disciplinary action against the subject of the complaint. Alternatively, the course of action may also include steps to limit the effects of the alleged harassment and prevent its recurrence that do not involve formal disciplinary action against the subject of the complaint or revealing the identity of the complainant.

The Boston Conservatory has adopted both informal and formal resolution procedures to deal with harassment complaints.  Except in unusual or unexpected circumstances, all harassment complaints will be investigated and a decision made and communicated within 60 business days of receiving the complaint.

Informal Resolution

Upon receipt of a Complaint Form, and after discussion, some complaints may be resolved informally.  After discussion with one of the designated Conservatory officials, the complainant may choose to utilize one of the following informal procedures:

  1. One-on-one communication.  If the complainant feels comfortable dealing with the situation without the direct involvement of a third party, he or she can communicate directly with the subject of the complaint.  It is appropriate to use face-to-face individual communication only when the complainant does not feel threatened, there is no risk of physical harm, and if he or she believes the other person will be receptive. If the complainant chooses to communicate face-to-face, he or she should also send an email if possible and keep copies of written communication.
  2. Communication with the assistance of one of the designated Conservatory officials. If the complainant chooses to proceed informally but would like the assistance of someone else, he or she may ask the designated Conservatory official for assistance. The complainant should not rely on other students or co-workers who are not familiar with Conservatory policy to intervene on their behalf when discussing their concerns with the subject of the complaint.
  3. Mediation. Mediation consists of facilitated discussion conducted with the assistance of one of the designated Conservatory officials.  It is designed to help the parties to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of a dispute. Mediation may be appropriate when:
    • The complainant and the subject of the complaint wish to continue to work together;
    • The facts are not disputed, but the behavior was perceived as unwelcome and/or offensive;
    • No one has been physically harmed;
    • The complainant is able to articulate a desired outcome; and
    • Both are committed to resolving their dispute and not “winning” an argument.

In cases involving complaints of sexual assault, use of informal resolution, including mediation, is not viewed as appropriate even on a voluntary basis and will not be used. Furthermore, complainants are not required to follow the informal procedures before filing a formal complaint. Finally, at any time during the informal process, the complainant may decide to stop the informal process and file a formal complaint instead.

Formal Resolution

The formal complaint procedure is initiated after the complainant requests for a formal investigation to be conducted (see above for “Reporting Options” and “Harassment Investigations and the Title IX Investigative Committee”).

The subject of the complaint is a student. After the complainant requests for a formal resolution, an investigation of the complaint will be initiated by a member(s) of the Title IX Investigative Team in close consultation with the Judicial Officer. This investigation will consist of interviewing the complainant, the subject of the complaint, all third-party witnesses, and where applicable, examining any pertinent evidence. Both the accused and the complainant may be supported by an advisor of their choice. This advisor is typically a member of The Boston Conservatory community (current student, faculty member, or staff member) but is not limited to this population. Advisors are not to participate in any part of the process other than speaking directly with individual that they are advising. Furthermore, advisors are not entitled to address the Title IX Investigator(s) except to ask for a short recess if one of the parties requests a break or needs to collect their thoughts. The Title IX Investigator(s) has the right at all times to determine what constitutes appropriate behavior on the part of the advisor and whether the person may remain at the investigative meeting.

Upon conclusion of the investigation, the member(s) of the Title IX Investigative Team and the Judicial Officer will meet individually with the complainant and the subject of the complaint to present the results of the investigation prior to the judicial hearing.

If it is determined that a judicial hearing should be held, the case will then be heard by The Boston Conservatory Judicial Board according to judicial procedures outlined in the Student Handbook. The Judicial Board Chair and members of the Judicial Board will be provided with the results of the investigation prior to the hearing.  A student judicial hearing shall endeavor to accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being or fears of confrontation of the complainant, the subject of the complaint, or witnesses during the hearing to the extent possible by providing alternate means of communication when and as determined to be appropriate by the Judicial Officer. The Judicial Board will use a preponderance of evidence standard in deciding the cases.

If a student is found responsible for a violating this policy, the Judicial Board, in consultation with the Judicial Officer, will determine the appropriate sanction(s). The sanction(s) may include, but are not limited to, those set forth in the Conservatory’s Judicial Policies outlined in the Student Handbook. In particular, a violation of this policy may result in suspension or expulsion from the Conservatory. The Judicial Board may issue a single sanction or a combination of sanctions. Absent compelling justifications, if the subject of the complaint has engaged in the same or similar conduct in the past, the sanction will be expulsion.

When the judicial process has concluded, the Judicial Officer will inform both the complainant and the subject of the complaint of the outcome in writing.  The Judicial Officer will also inform the Title IX Coordinator.

Both the complainant and the subject of the complaint may appeal the decision of the Judicial Board according to the appeal process outlined in the Student Handbook. In compliance with Title IX regulations, in cases of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, appeals must be submitted to the Vice President of Finance and Planning. The Vice President of Finance and Planning will inform the Title IX Coordinator of the outcome of the appeal.

The subject of the complaint is a faculty member, staff, member, or contractor secured by the Conservatory. If the subject of the complaint is a faculty member, staff member, or contractor, a formal investigation will be conducted by a member(s) of the Title IX Investigative Team. All investigations will include private interviews with the complainant, the subject of the complaint, as well as third-party witnesses and will also include consideration of other relevant evidence. Both the accused and the complainant may be supported by an advisor of their choice. This advisor is typically a member of The Boston Conservatory community but is not limited to this population. Advisors are not to participate in any part of the process other than speaking directly with individual that they are advising. Furthermore, advisors are not entitled to address the Title IX Investigator(s) except to ask for a short recess if one of the parties requests a break or needs to collect their thoughts. The Title IX Investigator(s) has the right at all times to determine what constitutes appropriate behavior on the part of the advisor and whether the person may remain at the investigative meeting.

When the investigation has been completed, the member(s) of the Title IX Investigative Team will make a recommendation to the designated Conservatory official (Vice President of Academic Affairs for all complaints against a faculty member, and the Vice President of Finance and Planning for all complaints against a staff member). The designated official will inform both the complainant and the subject of the complaint of the outcome in writing. The Conservatory official will also inform the Title IX Coordinator.

Both the complainant and the subject of the complaint may appeal the decision of the designated Conservatory official if either party can demonstrate that there is substantial new evidence that could not have been obtained prior to the completion of the investigative process or a serious breach of the process that would have materially affected the outcome. The sanction imposed is not grounds for an appeal.

All appeals should be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator, who will be responsible for convening an Appeals Committee comprised of senior administrators. The Appeals Committee consists of three Conservatory senior administrators who will hear the positions of the parties and may choose to call witnesses with first-hand knowledge.

An appeal must be in written form, received by the Title IX Coordinator within five business days after receipt of the designated school official’s decision and contain the following information:

  • The name, address and telephone number of the individual filing the appeal;
  • A clear statement explaining the serious breach of process that had a significant effect on the outcome, and/or, the discovery of substantive new information which was unknown or unavailable prior to the completion of the investigative process that would have had a significant effect on the outcome;
  • The names, addresses and telephone numbers of new witnesses, if applicable.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, appeals will be decided and communicated to the accused student within 20 business days of the appeal request. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.

Prevention and Education

The Boston Conservatory endeavors to educate students, faculty, and staff about harassment in a variety of ways:

  • Incoming students are required to complete the “Think About It” Course, which includes a module that contains information about Sexual Violence, as well as information and tips for Bystander Intervention.
  • The Counseling and Wellness Center has a variety of books, pamphlets, and resources addressing sexual harassment (including sexual assault), which are available to all students.
  • Training on harassment is held for faculty and staff as well as student staff (RA’s and Orientation Leaders).
  • Training on harassment (including sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking) is held for the All-Conservatory Judicial Board on a yearly basis.
  • Training on harassment and conducting harassment investigations is held for designated Conservatory officials.
  • The Counseling and Wellness Center provide on-campus programming on harassment including sexual assault.
  • The Conservatory’s harassment policy, Title IX Policy, and related resources are communicated to in-coming students during New Student Orientation, to returning students in their registration packets, and to new faculty and staff members at their Orientation.

Student Support and Resources

The Boston Conservatory encourages students to make use of appropriate resources and will assist all persons involved in an allegation of harassment. Support structures include the Dean of Students, the Director of Counseling (or designee), the Director of Wellness Services, the Director of Housing and Student Life, or the Director of Public Safety. Each office is prepared to offer assistance to students both in an emergency and on an on-going basis. In addition to these on-campus resources, referrals for off-campus counseling and support services can be provided for both the student complainant and the accused student at the student's request.

Community Resources

Boston community resources include:

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC)
1-800-841-8371 (24-hr. hotline)
617-492-6434 (TTY Number)

Behavioral Health
Fenway Health
617-927-6202

Fenway Health
Violence Recovery Program
617-927-6250 or 1-800-834-3242

Jane Doe, Inc.
(Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence) 
MA Safelink (1-877-785-2020)
1-877-521-2601 (TTY Number)

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)

Commonwealth and Federal Remedies

In addition to the above, if you believe you have been subjected to harassment, you may file a formal complaint with the following government agencies:

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