TITLE IX CoordinatoR

BETH KARMIS, MA
email: titleix@ico.edu
voice: 312-949-7415
TITLE IX Confidential Line: 312-949-7444
ICO Confidential Reporting Line: 312-949-7225

Campus Conduct Policy

 ICO seeks to create an environment where the greatest academic potential of students and professional potential of employees can be reached.  Toward that end, ICO values a community atmosphere that is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment, and will endeavor to prevent discrimination based on race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or military service. ICO prohibits conduct which prevents free academic interaction and opportunities or which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive study or work environment.

Sexual harassment and racial harassment have been held to constitute a form of discrimination that is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1977.  Other types of harassment or discrimination (age, religious, national origin, disability or other protected status) are prohibited by applicable state and federal law.

Illinois College of Optometry is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and employment environment that is free from discrimination, harassment and misconduct on the basis of sex, which includes sexual orientation and gender-related identity and expression. It is the policy of the College that no employee, student or other members of the College community shall be subject to sexual discrimination, harassment or misconduct. This Policy applies to students, employees, appointees, or third-parties, whenever the misconduct occurs:

  1. On College property; or
  2. Off College property if:
    1. The conduct was in connection with a College or College-recognized program or activity; or
    2. The conduct may have the effect of creating a hostile environment for a member of the College community.

The College designates our Title IX Coordinator and team to ensure adherence to the policy and promote a respectful College environment free of sexual discrimination, harassment and misconduct.

Any form of retaliation, including intimidation, threats, harassment and other adverse action taken or threatened against any complainant or person reporting or filing a complaint alleging sexual discrimination, harassment or misconduct or any person cooperating in the investigation of such allegations (including testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in an investigation) is strictly prohibited.  No one will be subject to retaliation for bringing good faith concerns to our attention or for assisting in an investigation, even when coming forward identifies the reporter of having been at an event where College policies governing alcohol or drug use may have been violated.

ICO (under the oversight of the Title IX Coordinator) will maintain and publish procedures implementing this policy on the College’s publicly available Campus Conduct website, as well as in other formats useful to a variety of College audiences.  These sources contain information that includes but is not limited to:

  • Definitions of prohibited conduct;
  • Responsibilities of and contact information for ICO’s Title IX Coordinators;
  • Options for assistance following an incident of sexual discrimination, harassment and/or misconduct;
  • Procedures for reporting and confidentially disclosing sexual discrimination, harassment and/or misconduct;
  • Complaint investigation, resolution, and appeal procedures;
  • Prevention and education programming provided to College students;
  • Training and education provided to employees, including the Title IX Coordinator, Department of Human Resources, Campus Security, responsible employees, and anyone involved in responding to, investigating or adjudicating sexual discrimination, harassment and misconduct incidents; and
  • Any other relevant information as required by federal and state law.

Comprehensive information about the College’s disciplinary procedures can be found in the Student Guide and in the Employee Handbook, both of which can be found online on my.ico.edu. ICO maintains a compliance program, including a reporting mechanism as one way of communicating to employees and external parties that we are committed to compliance with all applicable laws, standards and regulations.  A compliance program is also a way of organizing policies and compliance information in order to facilitate the understanding of what can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing information.   The Compliance Office maintains a confidential message line at 312-949-7225 that can be utilized to report any compliance related concerns or matters.  This line provides allows for confidential and anonymous reporting and does not track caller id information.

There may also be behaviors (such as an isolated inappropriate comment) that are offensive or cause discomfort but do not constitute a policy violation or warrant disciplinary action by the College; In these situations, the College can still provide supportive resources and avenues for feedback and education