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Title IX Compliance

Discrimination has no place in education. College of The Albemarle (COA) makes every effort to ensure Title IX compliance with a safe learning and work environment. Please know all employees of COA are required to report any known or suspected Title IX incidents. If you need assistance, we are here to help.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in any federally-funded education program or activity. The 2013 reauthorization expanded the definition of gender bias to include sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating and domestic violence, and stalking. Title IX is in place along with the Clery Act, the Violence Against Women Act and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE) to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment. COA is dedicated to providing an educational and work environment that is free from gender bias.



Treatment in favor of or against a person, group or category based on a protected characteristic such as sex, race, religion or disability.


Affirmative agreement for something to happen or to do some action. Silence is not consent.


Inability to consent due to alcohol, drugs, or other altered mental state such as sleeping.

Dating Violence

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social, romantic or intimate dating relationship with the victim. The existence of a dating relationship is based on length, type and regularity of interaction between the parties involved.

Title IX Compliance

Sometimes called intimate partner violence. Crimes of violence committed by a spouse or former spouse, by a person the victim shares a child with or by a person who has cohabitated with the victim.

Any form of physical sexual act that is perpetrated against one’s will or when a person is incapable of giving consent. Sexual assault includes rape, attempted rape, sexual coercion and sexual battery.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which creates a hostile environment or of which submission is a term of employment, academic achievement, evaluation or grades.

Conduct that would cause a reasonable person to fear for one’s own safety or the safety of others, including unwanted communications or contact, harassment by an individual or third party, use of menacing gestures, pursuing or following, surveillance, trespassing or cyberstalking.

Prevention Tips

Some things may be out of your control, but you can take measures to help prevent sexual assault.

  • If you’re going on a first or blind date, go out with a group of friends or to a public place such as a restaurant.
  • Make sure your cell phone is charged and that you have money for a taxi.
  • Be aware that alcohol and drugs may lower your sexual inhibitions, and can impair your judgment and ability to make clear decisions.
  • Keep your drink with you at all times if you’re at a bar or a party.
  • Know your sexual limits and that you have the right to say no under all circumstances. Communicate your limits firmly and directly.
  • Listen to your gut feelings. If a situation seems suspicious or you sense you might be in danger, leave immediately and go to a safe place.
  • Use the buddy system and agree to look out for each other. Let your friends know if you plan on leaving with someone, where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

Questions? Contact any member of COA’s Title IX team.

Be an Active Bystander

If you think someone is at risk for sexual assault, consider it an emergency and get involved. Don’t wait for someone else to act.

Tips for Intervening

  • Approach everyone as a friend.
  • Don’t be aggressive or violent.
  • Keep yourself safe.
  • Get help from other bystanders if necessary.
  • Call the police if the situation becomes dangerous.

Other Ways to Combat Sexual Assault

  • Talk to friends who have expressed violent feelings or behaviors.
  • Assist them in getting help from a professional counselor.
  • Speak up against jokes about sexual assault.
  • Educate people about sexual assault.

Victim’s Rights Provisions

Sexual misconduct is not tolerated at COA. Reports of sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, and stalking are taken seriously. It’s important that victims (complainants) are informed, protected and respected. The following rights are afforded to any COA student, staff or faculty member who experiences such an incident.


Above all, a victim’s confidentiality must be protected. However, when COA needs to act to protect the safety of others, absolute confidentiality may not be possible. COA will protect your confidentiality as much as possible and will take reasonable steps to respond to your request, but cannot guarantee anonymity.

Reporting Options

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual discrimination, harassment, assault or violence, we encourage you to immediately report it, but it’s your choice whether or not to report an incident. You may report to any member of the Title IX team or any COA employee. Faculty, staff and students may submit a Title IX incident report form to a member of the Title IX team.

No Contact and Protective Orders

COA will honor any protective order acquired through the local courts. Please bring a copy of the court order to campus security for enforcement. In addition, a COA administrative no contact order may be created by the Title IX coordinator once the incident is reported to that office.

Preserving Physical Evidence

If you’re considering criminal prosecution, it’s extremely important to preserve all evidence of an assault. If you go to a hospital as a result of a penetrating sexual assault, you’re entitled to a free evidence collection examination (SANE exam).

Requests for Changes

You may request a change in academic setting (class or campus) or work assignment in order to be more clearly separated from the accused perpetrator. Such a request will be granted to the greatest extent possible.

Fair, Impartial Investigation and Resolution

You can expect a fair and just process as your complaint is handled by the Title IX coordinator or a deputy Title IX coordinator.

Retaliation Concerns

Threats, intimidation and any form of retaliation for bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct are prohibited by the Sexual Misconduct Policy as well as federal law, and may be grounds for disciplinary action.

Confidential Resources


Albemarle Hopeline 252-338-3011
Dare County Hotline 252-473-5121
The North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA) 919-871-1015

Due Process Rights

The due process rights of both the complainant and the respondent will be protected. Both parties will receive written notification of their rights.

  • Both the complainant and the respondent are entitled to have an advisor of their choosing present during any meeting or proceeding related to the investigation.
  • An advisor can be anyone chosen by the complainant or the respondent to provide advice and support through the investigation and hearing process.
  • The advisor may be present at all stages of the investigation and hearing, but is not allowed to actively participate.
  • The advisor can be the eyes and ears of the complainant at the investigation and hearing when the complainant does not feel comfortable in the presence of the respondent.
  • Within 10 working days of receipt of a sexual misconduct complaint, the respondent must be given written notice of an alleged violation that would enable a reasonable person to recognize that the charge is consistent with the definition of the prohibited behavior as it appears in this policy.
  • The respondent must be given the opportunity to hear the evidence and to present his or her side of the alleged incident.

Please see our Student Code of Conduct (PDF) for all policies, procedures, appeals and possible disciplinary actions for any type of gender bias, discrimination, stalking, sexual assault, harassment or violence.

Title IX Team


Ella Fields Bunch
Atixa Title IX Coordinator
252-335-0821 ext. 2236
[email protected]

Kris Burris
Atixa Title IX Coordinator
252-335-0821 ext. 2251
[email protected]


Timothy Sweeney
Atixa Title IX Investigator
Paperclip Title IX Investigator and Adjudicator
252-335-0821 ext. 7020
[email protected]