title ix

file a formal complaint

What is a formal complaint?

A formal complaint is a document filed by a complainant alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that MCLA investigate the allegation. In some circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator can sign a complaint against a respondent if the complainant is unable or unwilling to file their own.

Download Title IX Complaint Form

Who is a complainant?

A complainant is any individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. Complainants have the option of filing a formal complaint with the College.

At the time of the filing a formal complaint, a complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in an education program or activity at MCLA.

What is an education program or activity?

For purposes of a formal complaint, education programs or activities include all MCLA operations, locations, events, or circumstances over which the MCLA exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs.

Additionally, education programs and activities include:

  • any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the University;
  • activities that occur on campus or on other property owned or controlled by the College;
  • activities that occur on networks, digital platforms, social media accounts, and computer hardware or software owned, operated by, or used by the College; or
  • conduct that occurred outside of the context of MCLA-sponsored employment or education, but that causes an individual to experience sexual harassment in an education program or activity.

who is a respondent?

A respondent is an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. A respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the investigation and resolution process.

what conduct is prohibited sexual harassment under title ix?

Sexual Harassment

Under MCLA’s Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy, Sexual Harassment is conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following conditions:

  • An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the recipient on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; or
  • 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 recipient’s education program or activity.

Additionally, the following conduct constitutes sexual harassment:

Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is an umbrella term for offenses classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offenses under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Attempts to commit any of these acts is also prohibited. Sexual Assault includes the following:

  • Rape - 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 (or attempts to commit the same). This includes any gender of victim or Respondent.
  • Fondling - The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances in which the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age and/or because of temporary or permanent mental incapacity
  • Statutory Rape- Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent, which is 16 in Massachusetts.
  • Incest- Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

Dating Violence

Any act of violence or threatened 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 a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship, (ii) The type of relationship, and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. This includes, but is not limited to, sexual, emotional or physical abuse, or threat of such abuse.

Domestic Violence

Includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed 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, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.


Engaging in a course of conduct directed (directly, indirectly, through a third party or other means) at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to— (A) fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this Policy, the behaviors must be directly related to that person’s sex.


Neither the College nor any other person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or this policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under Title IX or this policy.

For complete policy information, please refer to the Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Affirmative Action Plan (EO Plan).


Help for Complainants

Help for Respondents

Support & Interim Measures

File a Formal Complaint

Title IX Procedure


Information for Managers and Supervisors

Equal Opportunity

Title IX Personnel Training Information

MCLA Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Affirmative Action Plan

Questions? Contact Us

Patrick Connelly
Dean for Title IX, Equal Opportunity, and Student Wellness
Office Location: Amsler Campus Center - Room 105F
Phone: 413-662-5127
Email: patrick.connelly@mcla.edu
Mailing Address: 375 Church Street, North Adams, MA 01247