Personal Conduct

Behavior is recognized as a reflection of professional and personal integrity, which conveys to the community an image of the College and ultimately of healthcare professions.All policies apply to on campus and online students. 

Alcohol and Drug Policy

Nebraska Methodist College recognizes that misuse of alcohol and other drugs and the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol pose major health problems, are potential safety and security problems, can adversely affect academic, clinical, and job performance, and can generally inhibit the educational development of students.

NMC is committed to the standards outlined by the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. As a result of this commitment, NMC has established regulations forbidding students to engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of illegal or illicit drugs and alcohol on NMC premises or property or as part of any NMC activity planned for or by students. These regulations shall assure that NMC is in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local statutes, regulations, and ordinances.

NMC encourages all members of the college community to maintain civic and social responsibility when making decisions regarding the use of alcoholic beverages off NMC premises. If a student demonstrates unsafe and/or unprofessional behavior that violates professional standards or state practice acts of each academic program, or calls into question the professional accountability of the student, corrective action will follow. Students are expected to adhere to the standards of behavior required of healthcare professionals. A one-time deviation from safe practice may be sufficient to judge a student's behavior unsafe.

Practicing in a clinical setting or coming to class under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (illegal or prescribed) is prohibited and warrants corrective action. If the College or a clinical site has reasonable suspicion that the student is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it may require a student to submit to a blood, breath, and/or urine test for drugs and/or alcohol.

Students who may be experiencing drug or alcohol-related use/abuse problems are encouraged to contact the NMC Counseling Office without risk of sanctions, provided the request is not the result of a violation, wherein the student will be evaluated and possibly referred to a substance abuse specialist for assessment, additional counseling, and/or be referred for treatment.

Students who initiate and seek assistance and/or medical treatment on behalf of themselves, another student, or a friend when a serious or life-threatening situation is transpiring as a result of alcohol and/or drugs may qualify for consideration under the Medical Amnesty Policy. In sum, by enrolling at NMC, students acknowledge and agree to the following:
 

  • It is a violation of the Drug and Alcohol Policy for students to consume or possess alcoholic beverages on campus.
  • Student possession or consumption of alcohol on NMC premises or property or at any College-sponsored event shall constitute misconduct. A College-sponsored event is any gathering where students are in attendance that is planned for or by students and endorsed by the College.
  • Misconduct constitutes a student attending class, clinicals, laboratory sessions, practicums or College-sponsored or approved events while impaired by alcohol or drugs (illegal or prescribed).
  • Any student or student organization which violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action which may include immediate dismissal from the College.
  • The manufacture, sale, possession, distribution or use of illegal drugs is prohibited.


Procedure for reasonable suspicion testing:

  1. A student who reports to class or clinical and is reasonably suspected of being under the influence of alcohol/illegal drugs or who is reasonably suspected of impairment due to legally prescribed medication will be removed and will be required to provide specimens for a drug and/or alcohol analysis at that time. Student confidentiality will be maintained as much as possible.

If student is at a clinical site in Iowa or Nebraska and during NMC operating hours*:

  • Remove the student from patient care and arrange for student oversight based on the clinical site policy. The student is to remain in that location until drug testing is completed.
  • Call the NMC Reception Desk at (402) 354-7000 to report suspected student impairment and provide the following information - name and contact phone number of person reporting the incident, clinical site location (include full address for clinical site and department), student name and program.
  • The Receptionist will contact Midlands Testing Services (MTS) at (402) 658-1122 or
  • (402) 657-5453 and notify them of the site and contact person. The Receptionist will also contact the Dean of Students at (402) 354-7212 to report the incident. 
  • MTS will come directly to the clinical site to complete the drug testing.  Upon arrival, MTS will call the contact phone number for the location of the student.
  •   Following the testing, the clinical site supervisor/instructor will inform the student to contact a family member/friend for transportation.  If needed, the supervisor/instructor will contact the NMC receptionist to arrange taxi service for the student (Omaha only).
  • If the student appears to be impaired and refuses to be tested, assist the student in contacting a family member/friend or call a taxi to take the student home.**  If the student tries to leave on their own, call the Omaha or local police department and, using reasonable judgment, attempt to detain the student if possible until they arrive. Do not use force to detain the student or do anything that might place yourself or others at risk.

*Clinical instructors/preceptors at sites outside of Nebraska and Iowa or when the NMC campus is closed, who suspect student impairment due to drugs (illegal or prescription) or alcohol are to remove the student from patient care and contact the Program Director for further instructions.

If student is at the NMC campus:

  • The instructor will notify the NMC Reception Desk at (402) 354-7000.
  • The Receptionist will contact Security immediately of suspected impairment.   The security officer will remove the student from the classroom and escort them to the Student Health Center waiting area.
  • The Receptionist will contact Midlands Testing Services (MTS) at (402) 658-1122 or
  • (402) 657-5453 and notify them of the site and contact person (Security).  The Receptionist will also contact the Dean of Students at (402) 354-7212 to report the incident. 
  • MTS will come directly to campus to complete the drug testing.  Upon arrival, MTS will check in with the receptionist for the location of the student.
  • Following the testing, the security officer will inform the student to contact a family member/friend or arrange for a taxi to provide transportation home.  Security will supervise the student until their transportation arrives.
  • If the student appears to be impaired and refuses to be tested, Security will contact a family member/friend or call a taxi to take the student home.  If the student tries to leave campus on their own, Security will call the Omaha Police Department, and using reasonable judgment, attempt to detain the student if possible   until they arrive.
  1. The student will be required to meet the Dean of Students within 24 hours or the next working day.
  2. Students who refuse testing or fail to comply with any step in the process may be suspended or dismissed from NMC.
  3. All positive alcohol or drug screens will be referred to a chemical dependency counselor for evaluation at the students' expense. Students are required to follow through with treatment recommendations.  When the student is released, they will be informed that clinical placement will be based on availability and may not be guaranteed. This incident may significantly deter academic progression.

Penalties for a confirmed positive drug test

First Positive Test:  

  • The student will be suspended from clinical courses for a minimum of thirty (30) days.
  • The student will be required to see the NMC counselor for referral to a drug/alcohol abuse professional for evaluation and treatment.  The length of the substance abuse treatment program will be determined by the treatment program counselor. 
  • The student will be responsible for any costs associated with the counseling and treatment in the substance abuse treatment program.  Referral to the substance abuse treatment program shall be confidential.
  • The Academic Dean will be informed of the expected completion date of the substance abuse treatment program and whether or not the student successfully completes the program.   
  • Reinstatement to clinical coursework is not guaranteed and will be based on successful completion of treatment and course availability. 
  • A negative follow-up drug test will be required before students are permitted to return to participation in clinical coursework.  This testing will be done at the student's expense.  Students who are suspended for a positive drug test and successfully complete a substance abuse treatment program will be required to submit to random, follow-up drug testing for up to twelve (12) months.  A refusal to participate in a substance abuse program and/or follow-up drug testing will result in immediate permanent dismissal from College.

Second Positive Test:  Dismissal from the College and forfeiture of any NMC scholarship.

Updated: July 2013

College Code of Conduct Policy

Being a student at NMC communicates an intention and commitment to join the College community. Each student's enrollment therefore obligates him or her to demonstrate civilized behaviors - those reflective of the College's core values and student policies.

Behavior is recognized as a reflection of professional and personal integrity, which conveys to the community an image of the College and ultimately of health care professions. Through the delivery of health care, a student assumes serious responsibility for others. Based upon these factors, the College believes a student, as an adult, has the personal responsibility for understanding the potential impact of personal, as well as professional, behaviors upon others. Adherence to College policies and regulations is required.

NMC students are expected to conduct themselves as health care professionals and as responsible citizens of their communities. The personal conduct of NMC students is expected to reflect the high regard in which the public holds health care professionals.

The following behaviors are expected of NMC students:

  • Honor all individuals or groups. This means that any physical, verbal, or electronic abuse, harassment, intimidation, or disrespect of others is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
  • Follow the College's Social Media Policy.
  • Do no deliberate harm. This means that thefts, vandalism, possession of weapons, fireworks, illegal devices or substances are prohibited.
  • Strive to facilitate in self and others behavior that maximizes potential and self-responsibility.
  • Adhere to the highest personal and professional ethical standards.
  • Assume accountability for self and actions taken.
  • Refer peers to appropriate professional resources when necessary.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of other's personal information.
  • Support the community in its efforts to improve the quality of life.

Any student, employee or other individual will be subject to disciplinary action upon violation of this policy.

Updated: July 2013

 

Drug Prevention Program

Nebraska Methodist College Standards of Conduct regarding illicit drugs and alcohol

  • It is a violation of the alcohol policy for students to consume or possess alcoholic beverages on campus.
  • NMC students are expected to abide by federal, Nebraska State law, and local Omaha laws.
  • Student possession or consumption of alcohol on campus or at any College sponsored student event shall constitute misconduct. A College-sponsored event is any gathering where students are in attendance that is arranged or is endorsed by the College.
  • Should a student attend class, clinicals, laboratory sessions, practicums or College sponsored or approved events while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (illegal or prescribed), this shall constitute misconduct.
  • Any student or student organization which violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action which may include immediate dismissal from the College.
  • The manufacture, sale, possession, distribution or use of illegal drugs is prohibited.
  • The College will cooperate fully with state and federal laws. Section 5301 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 states in part, "if a student is convicted of drug distribution or possession, the court may suspend eligibility of Title IV financial aid.

If a student is convicted three or more times for drug distribution, he/she may become permanently ineligible to receive Title IV financial aid."

Alcohol and Drug Policy
Nebraska Methodist College encourages all members of the college community to maintain civic and social responsibility when making decisions regarding the use of alcoholic beverages. If a student demonstrates unsafe and/or unprofessional behavior and fails to achieve the standard of care, violates professional standards or state practice acts of each academic program, or calls into question the professional accountability of the student, corrective action will follow. Students are expected to adhere to the standards of behavior required of healthcare professionals. Depending upon the degree of actual or potential harm a client may suffer, a one time deviation from safe practice may be sufficient to judge a student unsafe. In accordance with the College's position on alcoholic beverages or drugs (illegal or prescribed), students practicing in a clinical setting or coming to class under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is prohibited and warrants corrective action. The College may require a student to submit to a blood, breath, and/or urine test for drugs or alcohol for reasonable cause. A student may request assistance with a drug or alcohol-related use/abuse problem without risk of penalty, provided the request is not the result of a violation. All such requests will maintain the student's confidentiality. See College Catalog for procedure for reasonable cause testing.

Housing Policy

  • The use and/or possession of alcohol/alcohol containers, as well as the manufacture, sale, distribution, use and/or possession of illegal drugs/drug paraphernalia is prohibited on campus. The consequences for each resident involved in an alcohol-related violation are as follows:
    • 1st Incident - All guests escorted out of Josie's Village; an alcohol awareness session with a College counselor and 10 hours of community service.
    • 2nd Incident -20 hours of community service; guest privileges restricted for two weeks and an alcohol evaluation
    • 3rd Incident - Eviction from Josie's Village without any refund of rent or deposits paid.
  • The consequences for each person involved in an illegal drug related violation at Josie's Village will include the following:
  • Automatic eviction of the resident(s) from Josie's Village, without any refund of rent or deposits paid; and
  • All names referred to College and local authorities where additional College, local, state, and federal sanctions may apply.
  • Sanctions for either type of violation may also include the immediate dismissal of a student from the College.

Drug Screening Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide a safe working and learning environment for patients, students, clinical and institutional staff and property in the clinical programs of Nebraska Methodist College. Healthcare accreditation organizations mandate that hospitals and other health care agencies require students who participate in the care of patients be subject to the same standards as their employees. Accordingly, submitting a negative urine drug screen is a condition for participation in the clinical component of all programs.

For all programs, submitting a negative drug screen will be a requirement prior to the start of clinical courses. Repeat testing may also be required for cause or to retest a dilute sample. Failure of the drug test, tampering or attempting to tamper with a specimen, or refusal to cooperate with any aspect of this policy, or any health system policy on substance abuse, will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, refusal of enrollment or denial of clinical course progression. The student shall be responsible for paying any and all associated costs of urine drug screening including necessary retesting for any reason. Charges will be added to the students' account.

Test results will be confidential with disclosure of results provided only to approved persons involved in evaluating qualifications for clinical programs. Because of the mandate to comply with health system policies, disciplinary actions against students may be imposed without the customary mechanisms of academic warning and probation. Reports are the property of the NMC, will not be provided to students unless requested, and will be kept in confidential files separate from the student's academic file.

Nebraska Citations and Penalties

OFFENSE DESCRIPTION PENALTY
DWI/.08/Refusal These offenses all fall within the same misdemeanor.  Driving while impaired is a violation that includes other drugs. $400 - $500.00 fine, 7-60 days in jail, 6 month license suspension.
Using False ID/Minor Misrepresenting Age It is a violation to use falsified documents to purchase alcohol. No minor shall obtain, or attempt to obtain, alcoholic liquor by misrepresentation of age, or by any other method, in any tavern or other place where alcoholic liquor is sold. Up to $500.00 fine and 6 months in jail.
Furnishing a False ID Any person who knowingly manufactures, creates, or alters any form of identification for the purpose of sale or delivery of such form of identification to a person under the age of twenty-one years.  This includes any card, paper, or legal document that may be used to establish the age of the person named thereon for the purpose of purchasing alcoholic liquor. Up to $500.00 fine and 6 months in jail
Consuming Alcohol in Public It is illegal to consume alcohol on the public right of way.  This includes street, sidewalks or any other public property. Up to $500.00 fine and 6 months in jail.
Selling Alcohol Without a License It is illegal to charge for alcohol in any way e.g., at the door, as a cover charge or by the drink, if you do not have a liquor license. Up to $500.00 fine and 6 months in jail. 
Failure to Disperse/Failure to Obey a Lawful Order You may be cited for failing to leave or obey a specific command if ordered by an officer to do so. Up to $500.00 fine and 6 months in jail.
Felony Assault Assaulting another person causing serious injury and/or involving the use of a weapon Depending on the severity of the injury, this offense could result in incarceration.
Minor in Possession No one under the age of 21 may possess, consume, or have physical control of alcohol. Exceptions: a minor may possess or have physical control of alcoholic liquor in his or her permanent place of residence. 19 and 20 year olds may handle alcohol as part of their employment duties. Up to $500.00 fine and 6 months in jail.
Minor Attempt to Purchase It is unlawful for anyone under the age of 21 to attempt the purchase of alcohol with or without identification. Up to $500.00 fine and 6 months in jail.
Procuring Alcohol for a Minor It is illegal to purchase alcohol for anyone under the age of 21. Up to $500.00 fine and 6 months in jail. 
Disorderly House This violation enables law enforcement to cite property owners or renters with parties that get out of hand causing a disturbance.

Up to $500.00 fine and 6 months in jail.

Misdemeanor Assault Striking another person causing injury.  Up to $500.00 fine and 6 months in jail.
Urinating in Public It is unlawful for any person to urinate or defecate on a public street, alley, or any other property, public or private, open to or visible to the public. Minimum $100.00 fine


Health Risks Associated with Alcohol and Drugs

  1. Alcohol consumption causes a number of changes in behavior and physiology. Even low doses significantly impair judgment, coordination, and abstract mental functioning. Statistics show that alcohol use is involved in a majority of violent behaviors on college campuses. Continued abuse may lead to dependency, which often causes permanent damage to vital organs and deterioration of a health lifestyle. Alcohol use can result in missing class, poor academic performance and disciplinary or legal issues. Other consequences associated with alcohol use include: injury to self or others, being involved in a fight, forgetting where you were or what you did, doing something you later regretted and having unprotected sex
  2. Amphetamines can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, headaches, depression, damage to the brain and lungs, tremors, loss of coordination, collapse, and death. Heavy users are prone to irrational acts.
  3. Cocaine/Crack users often have a stuffy, runny nose and may have a perforated nasal septum. The immediate effects of cocaine use include dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature, paranoia and depression. Cocaine is extremely addictive and can cause delirium, hallucinations, blurred vision, severe chest pain, muscle spasms, psychosis, convulsions, stroke and even death.
  4. Hallucinogens such as Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) cause illusions and hallucinations. The user may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Delayed effects, or flashbacks, can occur even when use has ceased. Phencyclidine (PCP), another hallucinogen affects the section of the brain that controls the intellect and keeps instincts in check. Hallucinogens can cause liver damage, convulsion, coma, and even death.
  5. Marijuana may impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, alter sense of time, and reduce coordination and energy level. Users often have a lowered immune system and an increased risk of lung cancer. Users also experience interference with psychological maturation and temporary loss of fertility. The active
    ingredient in marijuana, THC, is stored in the fatty tissues of the brain and reproductive system for a minimum of 28 to 30 days.
  6. Methamphetamines, known as speed, meth, ice, glass, etc. have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Taking even small amounts may produce irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions, anxiety, paranoia, and aggressiveness. Over time, methamphetamine users may experience symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease, a severe movement disorder.
  7. Narcotics such as codeine, heroin or other opiate drugs cause the body to have diminished pain reactions. The use of heroin can result in coma or death due to a reduction in heart rate.
  8. Steroid users experience a sudden increase in muscle and weight and an increase in aggression and combativeness. Steroids can cause high blood pressure, liver and kidney damage, heart disease, sterility and prostate cancer.


Universal Crisis and Drug Abuse Hotline 1-800-392-0280
Counseling treatment and rehabilitation for drug and alcohol abuse

After a student meets with a campus counselor, recommendations will be made on an individual basis. A violation will result in a meeting with the counselor and referrals to either campus counselors or community resources, with a release to the campus counselor.

Special Note- Please be aware that healthcare providers hold a special responsibility to the public. Drug and Alcohol violations are taken seriously due to the professional nature of Nebraska Methodist College. The State of Nebraska licensing boards require an explanation and description of any misdemeanor or felony before State Boards can be taken.

Updated August 2013

Guidelines for Disciplinary Procedures

Range Of Student Sanctions for Policy Violations

Individuals found to be in violation of various rules and regulations may be subject to disciplinary sanctions.  It is the belief of the College that sanctions should maximize safety for all students and College constituents, relate to the nature of the behavior, and provide an opportunity for growth and learning. Thus, these examples are not meant to represent the only sanctions that may be used by the College.

Reprimand: A written warning to a student for a violation of College policy. The warning shall include notice that further violations of the same or other regulations will result in a more severe disciplinary sanction. A copy of the warning letter is placed in the student's academic file.

Apology: A required formal apology, given either verbally or in writing (as designated by the sanction), either private or public, to an individual, outside agency, or the College. Evidence of the offering of the apology may be required.

Restitution: In the event of damage, destruction, or theft, a student may be required to make a full and complete reimbursement to the College or others. Restitution for College property, damage, or theft may take the form of financial payment, appropriate service, or other compensation. Failure to make arrangements to pay may result in a hold being placed on the student's NMC account.

Monetary Fine: The student is required to pay a specific monetary fine to the College.  Failure to pay or to make arrangements to pay such fines may result in a hold being placed on the student's NMC account.

Work Project: The student is assigned a specific work or service project, as outlined in a work agreement. This sanction will normally be assigned to help the student reflect upon the negative implications of his/her behavior.

Disciplinary Warning: This sanction is administered to serve as a notice to the student that his/her behavior was unacceptable and inconsistent with the College's values and standards of behavior. The Warning will note that any future violations of the policy could result in the imposition of more severe sanctions. In some cases, it may be the preliminary step to Disciplinary Probation. This sanction may also involve specific conditions that may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Removal from campus housing or relocating within the apartments.
  2. Restriction of access to specific campus facilities.
  3. Loss of privileges, to include, but not limited to, the following:
    1. Active participation in any or all public events sponsored by the College or by students;
    2. Attendance at any or all public events sponsored by the College or by students;
    3. Normal visitation rights.
  4. Work project requirements/assignment.

If a student is found responsible for a violation of the College's Sexual Harassment policies, a Disciplinary Warning could also include one or more of the following:

  1. Required consultation with a member of the College's counseling staff, as well as required participation in any on-going counseling and/or educational programming recommended by the counselor.
  2. Issuance of a public apology by the student.
  3. Prohibited contact for a specific period of time between the violator and the victim.


Disciplinary Probation: This sanction may involve specified conditions that may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Removal from campus housing or relocating within the apartments.
  2. Restriction of access to specified campus facilities.
  3. Loss of privileges to include, but not limited to, the following:
    1. Active participation in any or all public events sponsored by the College or by students;
    2. Attendance at any or all public events sponsored by the College or by students;
    3. Representation of the College in specified manners;
    4. Holding office in a College-approved organization;
    5. Participating in specific extracurricular activities;
    6. Normal visitation rights.
  4. Required participation certain groups and/or educational programs as they relate to the violation.
  5. Required period of appropriate work project.

Disciplinary Probation can also carry other sanctions imposed by certain campus organizations and academic departments. For example, a student on Disciplinary Probation may be ineligible to hold positions in Student Senate, participate in clinical rotation, or hold positions on the student housing staff. Any such sanctions are considered independently by those organizations or departments and may be imposed in addition to the sanctions identified above. Notification of Disciplinary Probation may be sent to a minor student's parents, subject to regulations governing a student's right to privacy.

Suspension: Suspension from classes and/or the College property may occur for a period of up to one (1) regular semester. A student wishing to re-enroll at the end of the suspension period must notify the Vice President of Student Affairs in writing six (6) weeks prior to the start of the semester.

Dismissal: Dismissal constitutes expulsion from the College. Students who have been dismissed are not eligible for return or reapplication.

Required Assessment and/or Counseling: In the event a student's conduct creates safety concerns and/or violates the NMC Code of Conduct Policy, he or she may be required to receive counseling, not necessarily as a disciplinary measure, but as an attempt to facilitate growth and/or safety. The student's conduct will be individually evaluated based on observations of his or her actions that indicate safety concerns or violations of the Code of Conduct. Following this individual assessment, College, at its discretion, will determine whether the student will be required to obtain treatment or evaluation from a qualified healthcare professional. Based on the results of the student's assessment, the College, using careful judgment, will determine whether the student is otherwise qualified to take classes. Before the College concludes that the student's conduct merits suspension or other appropriate disciplinary measures, student will be provided with a forum in which he or she will be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard and respond. However, in exigent circumstances, the College may take immediate measures to dismiss or withdraw the student. Any decision to suspend or withdraw a student will be made by the Vice President of Student Affairs or the Vice President of Academic Affairs (depending on the circumstance) and the College President. If the College takes immediate action to dismiss or withdraw the student, the student will be given the opportunity at a reasonable time afterwards to be heard and to present his or her position.

Updated: July 2013

Matters of Conscience

A student may be assigned to a situation that may pose an ethical dilemma for them.  The student who objects to providing care for assigned patients based on matters of conscience will notify the instructor as soon as possible. The student will remain aware that their first responsibility is to the patient, and that they should complete the necessary care to meet the immediate needs of the patient. The student shall not abandon the patient. The faculty will attempt to provide individual guidance to the student in the immediate situation.

Updated: July 2013

Romantic and Sexual Relationships Between Students and Staff Policy

The relationships between students and their teachers, advisors, and others holding positions of authority over them should be conducted in a manner that avoids potential conflicts of interest, exploitation, or personal bias. Given the inherent power differential, the possibility of intentional or unintentional abuse of that power should always be borne in mind. For example, a conflict of interest arises when an individual evaluates the work or performance of a person with whom he or she is engaged in a romantic or sexual relationship. In addition, relationships between students and others holding positions of authority can also lead to possible Title IX sexual harassment claims.

Romantic or sexual relationships between students and persons in positions of authority compromise the relationship between students and the College. No member of the College community should simultaneously be romantically or sexually involved with a student whom he or she teaches, advises, coaches, or supervises in any way. Individuals in such positions of authority must not allow these relationships to develop or continue.

Updated: July 2013

Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention Programs and Resources

Nebraska Methodist College offers different programs and resources in an effort to prevent and/or remedy occurrences of sexual harassment/assault on its campus or College-sponsored activities. In the month of April each year as part of Sexual Assault Awareness month, the College dedicates one week wherein it holds activities to inform and educate students on topics related to sexual harassment/assault awareness. The College also encourages students who may need to discuss issues relating to sexual harassment/assault to contact the College Counselor. As an affiliate of Methodist Health System, the College may also refer the student to the Heidi Wilke/SANE SART Survivor Program, where specifically-trained on-call staff respond and care for the specific needs of sexual assault patients. Please note, however, that students who believe they are victims of a sexual harassment/assault incident or perceive/observe such an incident, must first report it to the Title IX Coordinator or the appropriate authority listed in the "Reporting" paragraph.

Updated: July 2013

Sexual Harassment Policy

Introduction

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 provides that 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 education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.  Nebraska Methodist College (NMC or College) strives to create a respectful, safe, and non-threatening environment for its students. This policy sets forth the resources available to students, describes prohibited conduct, and establishes procedures for responding to sexual misconduct incidents that includes sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and other unwelcome behaviors as explained below.

Policy Statement

NMC prohibits discrimination, which can include disparate treatment directed toward an individuals or group of individuals on race, ethnicity, sex, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, age (40 and over), marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. Veteran (disabled, Vietnam, or other), or other protected class, that adversely affects their employment or education. For religion or disability, the law allowed employees and students to request reasonable accommodations to continue their work or studies.

NMC also prohibits sexual misconduct in any form, including sexual assault or abuse, sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, and any other forms of unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, all of which can be forms of sexual discrimination. Students should be able to live, study, and work in an environment free from sexual misconduct.

It is the position of NMC that sexual misconduct in any form will not be excused or tolerated.  It is the College's goal to prevent the occurrence of discriminatory and harassing activity and to promptly stop such conduct. While grounded in state and federal non-discrimination laws, this policy may cover those activities which, although not severe, persistent, or pervasive enough to meet the legal definition of harassment, are unacceptable and not tolerated in an educational or work environment.

NMC's disciplinary process will be available to a student with a compliant and enforced against a person found to have engaged in the behavior. Students engaged in prohibited conduct may also be subject to criminal and civil procedures at state and/or federal levels. NMC is committed to fair and prompt procedures to investigate and adjudicate reports of sexual misconduct and to the education of the NMC community about the importance of responding to all forms of sexual misconduct. Special emphasis is placed on the rights, needs, and privacy of the student with a complaint, as well as the rights of the accused. At the same time, NMC adheres to all federal, state, and local requirements for intervention and crime reporting related to sexual misconduct.

To learn more about discrimination based on sex, please visit: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/ list/ocr/docs/tix_dis.html

Policy Scope and Jurisdiction

Scope

This policy covers all NMC students, and in particular students who:

  1. Are victims of any form of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, by another persons (student, employee, of others outside of the NMC community)
  2. Are accused of engaging in behavior prohibited by this policy.

As provided by the College Code of Conduct, Section 1.2, "student" includes all persons taking courses at NMC, either full-time or part-time, pursuing certificate, undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral studies.

This policy also includes all NMC administrators, faculty, staff, visitors, and applicants for employment or admission.

Jurisdiction

In agreement with Section 2 of the College Code of Conduct, this policy shall cover both on-campus and off-campus conduct, as those terms are described below.

On-Campus Violations: This campus includes the geographic confines of NMC, including its land, institutional roads and buildings; its leased premises, common areas of leased premises, student housing, and alumni center.

Off-Campus Violations: Students should be aware that off-campus violations that have the effect of excluding participation in, denying the benefit of, or subjecting a student or employee to educational program or activities on the basis of sex are subject to disciplinary sanctions. As a non-exhaustive list of examples, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and stalking are within NMC's interests when the behavior

  1. Involves conduct directed at or by an NMC student or other member of the College community, as defined in Section 1.5, (e.g., private house party, outside employment);
  2. Occurs during NMC-sponsored events (e.g., field trips, social or educational functions, College-related travel, student recruitment activities, clinical or practicum experiences);
  3. Occurs during the events of organizations affiliated with the College, including events of student organizations; or
  4. Poses a disruption of threat to the College community.

Confidentiality

NMC is committed to creating an environment that encourages students to come forward if they have experienced any form of sexual misconduct. While the College will work to safeguard the identity and privacy of students, NMC cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. NMC will make all reasonable efforts to disclose only to select official who have an essential need to know in order to carry out their College responsibilities. As is the case with any educational institution, NMC must balance the needs of the individual student with its obligation to protect the safety and well being of the community at large. Therefore, depending on the seriousness of the alleged incident, further action may be necessary, including a campus security alert. The alert, however, would never contain any information identifying the student who brought the complaint.

Definitions

Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and can include unwanted or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault or sexual violence. Determination as to whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment should take into consideration the totality of the circumstances, including whether it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's personal, educational or work experience or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

Under this policy, sexual harassment can be verbal, visual, or physical. It can be overt, as in the suggestion that a person could get a higher grade or a raise in salary by submitting to sexual advances. The suggestion or the advance need not be direct or explicit--it can be implied from the conduct, circumstances, and relationships of the persons involved. Sexual harassment can also consist of persistent, unwelcome attempts to change a professional or academic relationship to a personal one. It can range from unwelcome sexual flirtations and inappropriate put-downs of individual persons or classes of people to serious physical abuses such as sexual assault. Examples could include, but are not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances; repeated and unwelcome sexually-oriented bullying, teasing, joking, or flirting; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual's body, sexual prowess, or sexual deficiencies; derogatory or demeaning comments about women or men in general, whether sexual or not; leering, touching, pinching, or brushing against another's body; or displaying objects or pictures, including electronic images, which are sexual in nature and which create a hostile or offensive work, education, or living environment.

Sexual Violence is defined as a severe form of sexual harassment, including physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to use of drugs and/or alcohol or to an intellectual or other disability. Examples of sexual violence include rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.

See also Nebraska Rev. Stat. 28-319 for degrees of sexual assault and their associated penalties.

Dating Violence is defined as violence committed against a person a) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and b) where the existence of such relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of (i) the length of the relationship, (ii) the type of relationship, and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence is defined as felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shared a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, 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 persons against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Nebraska.

Stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. "Course of conduct" is defined as a pattern of actions composed of more than one act over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of conduct. Stalking includes any behaviors or activities occurring on more than one occasion that collectively instill fear in a victim, and/or threaten her or his safety, mental health or physical health, Such behaviors and activities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Non-consensual communication, including face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voice messages, e-mails, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired and place another person in fear.
  • Use of online, electronic, or digital technologies, including:
  • Posting of pictures or information in chat rooms or on Web sites
  • Sending unwanted/unsolicited email or talk requests
  • Posting private or public messages on Internet sites, social networking sites, and/or school bulletin boards
  • Installing spyware on a victim's computer
  • Using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to monitor a victim
  • Pursuing, following, waiting, or showing up uninvited at or near a residence, workplace, classroom, or other places frequented by the victim
  • Surveillance or other types of observation, including staring or "peeping"
  • Trespassing
  • Vandalism
  • Non-consensual touching
  • Direct verbal or physical threats
  • Gathering information about an individual from friends, family, and/or co-workers
  • Threats to harm self or others
  • Defamation - lying to others about the victim

 

STEP ONE: Initiating a Complaint

Where to File/Report a Complaint

NMC encourages any person who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment, misconduct, or any prohibited discrimination as set forth in this policy, to immediately file a complaint with Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Dean of Students), or any other member of the College community, including a College Counselor, Program Director, Academic Dean, College Administrator or Campus Security ("Responsible Party"). Any of the foregoing parties who receives a complaint or initiates a complaint, is responsible for reporting the incident to the Title IX Coordinator.

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors who witness or are aware of suspected incidents of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or any prohibited discrimination set forth in this policy, are encouraged to immediately ("Complainants") report the incident to the Education Compliance Director, who is also the Title IX Coordinator.

If a member of the NMC community observes a violation of this Sexual Harassment Policy wherein a minor (an individual under the age of nineteen (19) years of age) is involved, Nebraska law requires them to report it to the proper law enforcement agency or Department of Health and Human Services. A report should also be made to campus security, if the victim is facing immediate danger. (Please refer to the "Minors Involved in Nebraska Methodist College Programs" for additional guidance).

In accordance with the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act), students or employees reporting victimization of domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, will be provided, upon request, their written rights, which are: (i) to be assisted by campus authorities if reporting a crime to local law enforcement; (ii) change academic, living, transportation, or working situations to avoid a hostile environment; (iii) obtain or enforce a no contact directive or restraining order; (iv) have a clear description of NMC's disciplinary process and know the range of possible sanctions; and (v) receive contact information about existing counseling, heath, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, and other services available both on-campus and community. Producing this statement in written format to the victim shall meet the requirement of providing the victim of their rights.

Any member of the NMC community who receives a complaint of sexual discrimination or harassment from a student, College employee, or third-party against the Title IX Coordinator should report the complaint to the NMC President and/or Human Resources. The NMC President will designate an appropriate person to conduct the investigation required by informal or formal resolution procedures. The written report of the investigation shall be presented to the President, who will prepare and issue the written determination. The determination is subject to appeal.

Local Law Enforcement: Notwithstanding the Complainant's ability to file/report a complaint with NMC, the Complainant may also file a report with local law enforcement. College personnel will assist the Complainant in reporting the alleged offense to the local police if the victim requests such assistance. In addition, the importance of preserving evidence for proof of a criminal offense is conveyed to the Complainant at the time of first reporting.

College action against violators of this policy does not in any way preclude the possibility of criminal action by civil authorities, should the Complainant wish to pursue this course of action.

To the greatest extent possible, reports of sexual harassment brought anonymously or brought by third parties not directly involved in the harassment will be responded to. The response to such reports may be limited if information contained in the report cannot be verified by independent facts.

Office for Civil Rights: An individual to whom this policy applies may also file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR); however, NMC encourages you, but does not require you to, to first file/report any sexual harassment, assault, or violence complaint with any of the NMC parties named herein. For more information and/or to file a complaint with OCR, please go to: http://www2.ed.gov/ about/offices/list/ocr/qa-complaints.html.

Methodist Health System Compliance Reporting: Any member of the NMC community may also file a complaint of sexual harassment, assault, or violence by using the Methodist Health System Compliance Reporting website: https://nmhs.alertline.com/gcs/welcome.

Estimated Timelines

At the initial meeting with the person reporting the complaint, the Responsible Party will explain the informal and formal resolution procedures that are identified below to the Complainant. The timelines offered in this policy are intended to assist with a prompt and equitable resolution of complaints.  However, during winter breaks and summer sessions, when witnesses may not be available, the timelines may be adjusted to accommodate these circumstances.  Nevertheless, it is NMC's intention to proceed as expeditiously as possible. The estimated timeline for informal resolution is fifteen (15) business days from receipt of informal complaint by a Responsible Party.  The estimated timeline for formal resolution is forty-five (45) business days from receipt of formal complaint by a Responsible Party.  If a complaint is referred to a disciplinary process, the estimated timeline for completion of these procedures is thirty (30) business days from the date of the disciplinary referral. Where an estimated timeline cannot be adhered to, the Responsible Party will notify the parties and provide an anticipated completion date. 

 

STEP TWO: Resolution Process

Informal Process

NMC has adopted an informal process through which non-student harassment and discrimination complaints may be resolved promptly and discreetly, often through communication, education, and/or mutual agreement. Participating in the informal resolution process is optional and voluntary. The Complainant can end the informal process at any time and begin the formal resolution process. The goal of information resolution is to resolve concerns at the earliest stage possible, with the cooperation of the parties involved. Efforts for early resolution will be flexible and encompass a full range of possible outcomes, including, but limited to addressing the Respondent participating in mediation (which may be ended at anytime by either party in favor of the formal process), or arranging a remedy for the Complainant and/or agreement by the accused to accept a disciplinary sanction. The information resolution process could include by way of example: separating the parties; referring the parties to counseling; conducting targeted educational and training programs; or providing remedies for the individual harmed by the alleged discrimination.

Mediation will not be used to resolve alleged sexual assault complaints.

If the matter is resolved informally to the satisfaction of all parties, the Title IX Coordinator will maintain a record of the complaint and its resolution.

If informal resolution is not possible, the Title IX Coordinator will proceed to formal resolution of the complaint.

Formal Investigation and Resolution Process

If early resolution is unsuccessful, inappropriate (e.g. when facts are in serious dispute, reports involve a pattern of behavior, or allege serious misconduct such as sexual assault), or if the Complainant requests a formal procedure, a formal written complaint may be filed with a Responsible Party.

Reporting and Investigation

In order to initiate, if necessary, an investigation process, the Complainant should submit a signed, written statement, including the Complainant's name, signature, contact information; the name of the person directly responsible for the alleged violation; a detailed description of the conduct or event that is the basis of the alleged violation; the date(s) and location(s) of the occurrence(s); the names of any witnesses to the occurrence(s); the resolution sought; and any documents or information that is relevant to the complaint. While an investigation may begin on the basis of an oral complaint, the Complainant is strongly encouraged to file a written complaint. If either party is an employee of MHS, the Title IX Coordinator may collaborate with MHS.

When a Responsible Party receives a complaint with a written statement, the individual receiving the complaint shall immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator. Once a complaint is filed with the Title IX Coordinator, it will be assessed and, if an investigation is warranted, the case will be assigned for investigation to a staff member or designee.

In the event the Title IX Coordinator finds an investigation may not be warranted, he/she may also dismiss the complaint if the facts alleged in the complaint, even if taken as true, do not constitute prohibited harassment or discrimination; the complaints fails to allege any facts that suggest prohibited harassment or discrimination occurred or the appropriate resolution or remedy has already been achieved, or have been offered and rejected. If it is determined that a complaint will not be investigated, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the Complainant and/or send the Complainant a notification letter explaining the reason for the dismissal and informing the Complainant that, within fifteen (15) work days of the notification, he or she may appeal the decision not to proceed with a complaint investigation to the President of NMC. The written appeal must explain why the decision to dismiss the complaint was in error. The President of NMC will respond within twenty (20) work days of receipt of the appeal. The NMC President's decision is final. If the decision to dismiss is overturned, the complaint is sent back to the Title IX Coordinator for investigation in accordance with the procedures outlined herein.

If the Title IX Coordinator finds an investigation is warranted, he/she will provide the Respondent with a copy of the complaint and allegations within ten (10) working days of the Title IX Coordinator's receipt of the written complaint. If Respondent cannot be located, attempts of notification will be documented. Respondent will have ten (10) working days to respond in writing. Respondent's statement must contain full and specific responses to each claim or complaint, admitting, denying or explaining the Complainant's allegations. Respondent must sign his or her response which will then be appended to the original complaint. Within five (5) business days of the Respondent's response, the Title IX Coordinator will forward both statements to the Complainant, Respondent, and the Methodist Health System's Human Resources Department ("MHS"), if either party is employed by MHS. If Respondent fails to respond within time noted above, the Title IX Coordinator may proceed with scheduling a hearing in accordance with Section 9 of the College Code of Conduct.

During the investigation, and depending on the nature of the allegations, the party assigned to investigate the complaint, in his or her discretion, may interview Complainant, Respondent and/or witnesses; review written documentation and relevant policies; and take other necessary steps to thoroughly investigate the allegations. Interviews with the Complainant and Respondent will occur separately. NMC will ensure that both the Complainant and Respondent are afforded equal opportunities to present relevant witnesses and other evidence.

Disclosure of facts to witnesses and parties is limited to what is reasonably necessary to conduct a fair and thorough investigation.  Participants in an investigation are advised that maintaining confidentiality is essential to protect the integrity of the investigation.

Neither Complainant nor Respondent will be afforded the opportunity to have legal counsel present during any stage.

During the investigation, the party assigned to investigate the incident may take appropriate interim measures to ensure safety and non-retaliation for all parties. Examples of interim measures include, but are not limited to, separation of parties, no contact directives, and alternative academic or housing arrangements.

Investigation Findings

Upon completion of the investigation, a written report will be issued to the Title IX Coordinator. The report shall include: a recommendation of whether a violation of the policy occurred, an analysis of the facts discovered during the investigation, any relevant evidence, recommended disciplinary action if a violation of this policy occurred, and any recommended remedial action. Factual conclusions shall be based upon a preponderance of the evidence standard (e.g., more likely than not). 

A copy of the report will be provided to the Complainant, the Respondent, and the Vice President for Student Affairs, who will be the final arbitrator, if the Respondent is a student. NMC defers employment related matters of faculty and staff to MHS. Communication of outcome does not constitute a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. 1232g). The Complainant will be informed of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint. The Complainant may be notified generally that the matter has been referred for disciplinary action but will not be informed of the details of the recommended disciplinary action without the consent of Respondent. Notwithstanding the foregoing, NMC may permit the disclosure to the victim the final results.

The Respondent shall be informed of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint and shall be notified generally of referrals and/or recommendation for disciplinary action. 

The Complainant and the Respondent may request a copy of the investigative report. The report will be amended to protect the privacy of personal and confidential information regarding all individuals other than the individual requesting the report in accordance with College policy.

Copies of the investigative report will be provided to College administrators and other College leaders who are directly responsible for implementing measures to correct and prevent discriminatory or harassing conditions.

Policy Violation Finding

If the Vice President for Student Affairs determines that this policy was violated, he or she will refer the matter for disciplinary action in accordance with the College's applicable disciplinary procedures, which can be found in the College Code of Conduct. If the Respondent is an employee of NMC, the matter will be referred to MHS who will handle it in accordance with its policy and procedures for discipline and dismissal of employees. 

The Complainant and Respondent will be provided with a written copy of the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings. However, if the complaint is filed against a student, information sent to the Complainant will be in compliance with FERPA.

Possible Disciplinary Sanctions

The purpose of disciplinary sanctions for violations of this policy is to educate students about responsible behavior as members of the NMC community, to maintain order, and to protect the rights of others. There is no set sanction for any of the offenses provided in this policy, with the exception of automatic expulsion for a felony conviction. Sanctions will be determined individually and will reflect the nature and severity of the offense. Notwithstanding NMC's right to impose a sanction under this policy, students may also be subject to penalties at the local, state, and federal level.

The College reserves the right to apply any sanction for a violation of the College Code of Conduct that, in its sole discretion, appropriately addresses the gravity and frequency of the offense. One or more sanctions may be imposed for any offense. Prior offenses are cumulative and any student found in violation of the same offense or a second offense of equal or greater magnitude, may be suspended or expelled from the College. However, evidence of prior violations of the College Code of Conduct may be considered after a determination of "Responsible" has been made as part of the process of determining sanctions.

For a list of disciplinary sanctions, please see the "College Code of Conduct."

Appeals Process

Once written notification of the resolution has been provided, either the Complainant or Respondent will be afforded the opportunity to appeal any disciplinary action imposed. NMC will follow the appellate process found in the College Code of Conduct, Section 16.

Retaliation

An individual who is subjected to retaliation (e.g., threats, intimidation, reprisals, adverse employment or educational actions) for having reported sexual harassment in good faith, who assisted someone with a report of sexual harassment, or who participated in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a report of sexual harassment, may make a report of retaliation under these procedures. The report of retaliation will be treated as a report of sexual harassment and will be subject to the same procedures.

Assurance to Prevent Reoccurrence

The law requires the College to ensure a work and educational environment free from discriminatory harassment and sexual harassment. The College will take all reasonable steps to prevent the reoccurrence of any harassment, and to correct its discriminatory effect on the Complainant and others, if appropriate under the circumstances.

Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention Programs and Resources

Nebraska Methodist College offers different programs and resources in an effort to prevent and/or remedy occurrences of sexual harassment/assault on its campus or College-sponsored activities. In the month of April each year as part of Sexual Assault Awareness month, the College dedicates one week wherein it holds activities to inform and educate students on topics related to sexual harassment/assault awareness. The College also encourages students who may need to discuss issues relating to sexual harassment/assault to contact the College Counselor. As an affiliate of Methodist Health System, the College may also refer the student to the Heidi Wilke/SANE SART Survivor Program, where specifically-trained on-call staff respond and care for the specific needs of sexual assault patients. Please note, however, that students who believe they are victims of a sexual harassment/assault incident or perceive/observe such an incident, are encouraged to first report it to the Title IX Coordinator or the appropriate authority listed in the "Reporting" paragraph.

Updated: November 2013