What will the University do if I make a report of sexual misconduct, harassment, or discrimination?
When the University receives a report it will conduct a preliminary evaluation to determine if immediate action must be taken to protect the complainant or other members of the campus community. At this stage the University will evaluate the complainant’s request for confidentiality. If the report moves to a complaint status under the University’s Harassment/Discrimination/Sexual Misconduct policies the University’s Title IX coordinator will assign the complaint to an Investigator who will conduct an investigation. The investigation will be adequate, reliable, impartial, and prompt and include the opportunity for both parties to present witnesses and other evidence. In compliance with OCR guidelines, the University will make every effort to complete all investigations including adjudication processes within a 60 business day time period. This 60 day time period can be extended for appropriate cause by the Title IX Coordinator.
How is an investigation completed?
Investigations are conducted in a manner that is consistent with the Institution’s policies and transparent to the complainant and respondent.
- Initial report made
- Preliminary investigation of the report and request for confidentiality is evaluated
- Report becomes a formal complaint
- Title IX Coordinator assigns an Investigator
- Respondent is notified of complaint
- Interviews are scheduled and will include the complainant, respondent, and witnesses if applicable.
- Investigator completes the investigative report and draws a conclusion that is not a final determination.
- Investigator and Title IX Coordinator review the investigative report and the case is forwarded to the appropriate hearing committee/board for adjudication. This may result in sending the case for a conduct review.
While an investigation is ongoing, what immediate safety measures and accommodations are available to me?
During the investigation, the University will take reasonable steps to provide an equitable and safe environment should they be necessary. Possible remedies include and are not limited to:
- No Contact Orders between individuals
- Provide escort or transportation
- Changes in academic arrangements
- Changes in living arrangements
- Changes to work schedules
- Counseling, academic support, and other services
If I make a report, I may be afraid of retaliation by the Respondent and his/her friends. What protections can be offered to me?
The University recognizes that retaliation can take many forms and may be committed by one person or a group. Both the respondent and complainant can be the subject of retaliation. All complaints of retaliation should be made to the investigator, Title IX Coordinators or Deputy Coordinators.
Do Title IX protections apply only to women?
The law requires educational institutions to maintain policies, practices, and programs that do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of gender. Elimination of discrimination against women has received more attention because females have historically faced greater gender restrictions and barriers in education. However, Title IX has also benefited men. Continued efforts to achieve educational equity have benefited all students by moving toward the creation of University environments where all students can learn and achieve the highest standards.
Can I report on behalf of someone else? What if I witnessed something or heard about something but it did not happen to me?
You can report an incident as a witness to the actual incident or as a concerned party. If you can provide enough information the University can pursue an investigation. If the information is incomplete or lacking specific information the University may be limited in the ability to respond.
If I engage in sexual activity with someone who has been drinking, can I be accused of sexual assault?
Yes. If you engage in sexual activity with someone who is physically or mentally incapacitated, consent for sexual activity cannot be given. Alcohol may cause such a state of incapacitation. For such reasons it is unwise to engage in sexual activity when one or both parties are intoxicated.
What should I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?
Do not contact the alleged complainant. You should contact the Title IX Coordinator, or the Office of the Dean of Students who will explain the University’s procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints. You will also receive information on your rights and responsibilities as well as any resources that may be available to you.
How will the Hearing Committee/Board determine if a respondent is responsible for the conduct that has been reported?
Based on a fair and impartial review and evaluation of all evidence developed and presented the Hearing Board/Committee will make a decision based on Preponderance of the Evidence Standard. The Definition of Preponderance of the Evidence Standard is more likely than not (50% plus a feather).