Sexual Violence and Harassment

Commitment to Our Campus Community
The Law
Defining Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, and Consent
Related Links

Commitment to Our Campus Community 

Muskegon Community College is committed to developing and sustaining a healthy and diverse learning and working environment that recognizes the value of each individual. MCC advances a safe, pleasant and respectful culture for all, free from sexual violence and sexual harassment as well as dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. At MCC such behaviors are forms of sexual discrimination and are not tolerated and are prohibited by College policy and the law.

If you have experienced sexual violence, it’s not your fault. Sexual violence occurs when a person ignores or denies someone else’s wishes through violent sexual means. No one ever asks to be raped or sexually assaulted. Even if you had too much to drink, or used drugs, or froze and did not fight back, or said “yes” to one type of sexual intimacy but not to what happened – you are not to blame for harm being done to you.

The Law

Title IX  (1972)
“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 educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. “

Sexual harassment and sexual violence is prohibited in the education context by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; in the employment context by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; and Section 304 of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.

At MCC, survivors of sexual misconduct shall have the right to:

    • Receive prompt and survivor-sensitive cooperation of campus personnel for recommendations of obtaining, securing and maintaining evidence, including recommendations to receive a medical examination at a local emergency room when necessary to preserve evidence;
    • Expect notification from campus personnel of your options to prevent further unwanted contact by alleged assailants, including issuing of “no contact” orders and changing academic and on-campus working schedules, provided such changes are available;
    • Receive information describing options to pursue a criminal complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency, to pursue the College’s disciplinary process, or to pursue both processes simultaneously;
    • Be notified of existing campus and community-based medical, counseling, mental health, and student services for survivors of sexual assault, whether or not the assault is formally reported to campus or civil authorities;
    • Be informed of the right to confidential or anonymous testing for sexually transmitted infections, HIV,
      and pregnancy;
    • Be free from any threat of retaliation or other attempt to prevent the reporting of sexual misconduct;
    • Be notified of the opportunity to identify witnesses and other evidence to the College investigation and resolution process, information about procedures, and written notice of the outcome in a manner equivalent to the process of the accused;
    • Have a support person of choice accompany them throughout the disciplinary process. While a support person is there to support, they may not speak for you or act as your legal counsel;
    • Be informed in a timely fashion (60 days) of the outcome of the process concurrently with the accused;
      Have the right to appeal the outcome.

Defining Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, and Consent

Sexual Misconduct
An umbrella term referring to any of the prohibited behaviors defined on this page.

Sexual Harassment
Any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can be implicit or overt and could include sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can cause an individual to feel uncomfortable, or hinder their ability to function at school or work. Sexual harassment can involve persons of the same or opposite sex, and it includes harassment based on a person’s actual or perceived sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Sexual Violence
Refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the student’s age, use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the student from having the capacity to give consent). Sexual violence includes sexual assault and rape, sexual exploitation, or similar acts of criminal sexual conduct as defined by the State of Michigan. Sexual assault, including rape, is actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage over another person and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses herein.

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. The relationship is determined based on consideration of the length of the relationship, type of relationship, and frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse, or the threat of such abuse.

Domestic Violence
A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by any of the following individuals: A current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; or a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; or a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; or a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred or any person against an adult or youth victim who is protected under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. MCC considers acts of cyberstalking, recording or transmitting sexual images, and voyeurism to be a violation, two instances of such behavior may be sufficient to constitute stalking. A course of conduct is two or more acts, including but not limited to:

  • Acts in which the “stalker” directly, indirectly, or through third parties by any action, method, device or means,
  • Follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person’s property.

Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.  Michigan State definition of stalking can be found at:

A clear, freely given, verbalized “yes” to sexual activity. The absence of “no” is not consent. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Furthermore, a verbalized “yes” which has been coerced does not constitute a freely given “yes”. Individuals who consent to sexual activity must be able to understand what they are doing. A person may not be able to give consent if she or he is under the age of 16 or is legally mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless–including impairment due to drug or alcohol use.


Campus Reporting
The College can only respond to allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence that are reported to campus authorities. Anyone who believes they have experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct or related retaliation is encouraged to report such behavior promptly. If in doubt, please report. Reporting to the College does not mean you have to report to local authorities, but you have the option to report to local authorities. MCC can assist with reporting to the proper law enforcement agency.

report it here button

Click on the button to access an MCC Title IX and Sexual Discrimination Report form.

How to Report
Reports may be made to MCC Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Deputy Coordinators (listed below under Campus Resources) or to Campus Safety.
Student Conduct Report Form: or

Anonymous reports for victims of sexual misconduct can be submitted  at Please note that MCC’s response will be limited without the reporter’s information.

Confidential reporting is available when reporting to MCC counseling staff when you may not want to trigger an investigation.

Other Support Systems and Advocates
There are plenty of trustworthy people at MCC who want to support you and can point you in the right direction. They can be mentors, faculty and/or staff. However, it is important for you to remember they cannot guarantee confidentiality.

MCC prohibits retaliation against individuals who engage in reporting a complaint of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating or domestic violence, and/or stalking. Retaliatory behavior is regarded as additional misconduct and may lead to increased sanctions.

As always, in the case of an emergency call 911 to reach the Police Department.


Campus Resources

MCC Counseling and Advising Center
Room 101, 231-777-0362

Title IX Coordinator

Kristine Anderson (she/her)
Executive Director of Human Resources
(231) 777-0447, Room 400

Deputy Title IX Coordinators

Sally Birkam (she/her)
Dean of Student Success and Campus Engagement
(231)777-0216, Room 103

Marty McDermott
Director of Athletics (he/his)
(231) 777-0462, Gym Offices

Eli Fox (she/her)
Manager of Student Success and Veterans Affairs
(231) 777-0342, Room 103-D

Tonette Brown-Garner (she/her)
College Services Evening Coordinator
(231) 777-0654, Room 1119

Seth York (he/his)
(231) 777-0296, Room 101

Jason Cooper (he/his)
Director of Compliance and Deputy Title IX Coordinator
(231) 777-0690, Room 400

Medical Care Close to Campus

Emergency Services at Mercy Health, Hackley Campus
1700 Clinton Street
(231) 728-4936

Emergency Services at Mercy Health, Mercy Campus
1500 E. Sherman Boulevard (Near US-31)
(231) 672-3916

Grand Haven
Emergency Department at North Ottawa Community Hospital
1309 Sheldon Road
(616) 847-5310

All emergency centers open 24/7. Call 911 for local police or emergency care.

Community Resources

Every Woman’s Place
for Domestic or Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking
24-Hour Crisis Line: (231)722-3333
Walk-In Services: 1221 W. Laketon Avenue
Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm

Grand Haven
Center for Women in Transition
(Holland and Grand Haven)
Crisis Line: (616) 392- 1970
(800) 848-5991
Espanol: (866) 728-2131

Grand Haven Satellite Office
Please call ahead for appointment
300 North Ferry Street, Suite C
(616) 392-2829

Newaygo County
Women’s Information Service Inc.
Phone: (231) 796-6692
Crisis: (231) 796-6600
or 1 (800) 374-9473

Kent County
YMCA West Central Michigan
Phone: (616) 459-7092 ext. 515
Fax (616) 459-5423
Crisis (616) 421-2744

Legal Advocacy
Personal Protection Orders and Legal Advocate
Michael E. Kobza Hall of Justice
990 Terrace Street, 4th Floor
(231) 724-6422


  • 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted during their time in college.
  • Title IX does not apply to female students only.
  • While some are sexually assaulted by someone they don’t know, or don’t know well, most sexual assault is perpetrated by people who are known and trusted by a survivor. Sometimes survivors question whether what they’ve experienced is assault, especially if there’s a close relationship with the person who harmed them. If you’re not sure, please seek help.
  • Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.
  • 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
  • Every 107 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted
  • In a survey of 412 college students, 11.7% of gay or bisexual men and 30.6% of lesbian or bisexual women indicated they had been forced to have sex against their will
  • Safety at MCC is a priority. With bystander intervention, we will keep each other safe.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to any other acts of sexual activity.

Related Links

Title IX Resources for You Brochure

Title IX Code of Conduct Brochure

Faculty/Staff Title IX Quick Resource Guide

MCC Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy

MCC Non-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Procedure