The university is committed to creating a campus environment that encourages prompt reporting of sexual misconduct and expedites a prompt and impartial investigation and adjudication of such cases. The following procedures apply to cases involving sexual misconduct committed by a student (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking), cases involving student-on-student discrimination (including harassment) based on sex or any other protected characteristic, as well as cases involving retaliation that is connected with sexual misconduct. These cases are investigated by the Title IX Coordinator, or a designee overseen by the Title IX Coordinator in the Office for Access and Equity.
Complaints of sexual misconduct are referred to the Title IX Coordinator for an investigation. The victim can decide whether she/he will participate in the investigative process. If a victim requests that her or his name not be revealed to the student respondent or asks that the University not investigate or seek action against the respondent, honoring the request may limit the University's ability to fully respond to the incident, including pursuing student conduct action. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will proceed with an investigation if she/he determines that the safety and security of the broader campus community requires that the university proceed with a full investigation. Any time this is done, the victim will be notified prior to the start of any such investigation.
The University will take all reasonable steps to respond to the complaint. In addition to the investigative process, other actions may be taken by the Title IX Coordinator or designee including interim interventions or safety measures (e.g. providing support services to the victim, changing living arrangements or course schedules, assignments, or tests, providing increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where misconduct occurred).Back to Top
The investigation process is conducted by an investigator who will meet separately with the victim and the respondent. During each meeting, the investigator will explain: (a) the investigative process, (b) option to participate, (c) rights for each party, (d) available support resources, (e) option to request interim protective measures and accommodations, and (f) prohibition of retaliation.
The investigator will ask for all information relevant to the allegations. For both parties, this is their opportunity to present any information regarding the incident, including names of witnesses, the existence of documents, emails, text messages, or other recordings, or any other information the parties feel may be relevant. Both parties may also present supplemental information during the course of the investigation, until the investigator issues findings regarding the case.
At their respective separate meetings with the investigator, the respondent and the victim may have an advisor or advocate present while being interviewed. The advisor or advocate is selected by the student (i.e. a parent, staff member, an advocate provided through Campus Advocacy Network (CAN), or an attorney). Advisors and advocates will be limited to advising and supporting the student and will not have an active part in the meeting.
The investigator will not question or request information related to the victim's sexual history with anyone other than the respondent. Additionally, the mere fact of a previous consensual dating or sexual relationship between the parties does not, itself, imply consent to the act (s) under investigation or preclude a finding of sexual misconduct.
As part of the investigation, the investigator may conduct additional investigative and witness interviews as appropriate and review all available pertinent evidence. This may include reviewing student and personnel files and reviewing law enforcement documents or evidence.
Once the investigator has completed all the meetings and reviewed the pertinent information, the investigator will issue a notice of finding as to whether or not, by a preponderance of the evidence, the alleged conduct occurred and make a conclusion as to whether the respondent is or is not responsible for a violation of the University Statement on Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct, the Prohibition of Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct policy, and/or the University Nondiscrimination Statement based on the evidence available at the time of the investigation. The investigator cannot and does not make a finding as to whether a crime has been committed, as that can only be determined through the criminal/legal process.
The investigator will simultaneously send the notice of finding to both parties outlining the results of the investigation and the basis for the conclusion, and setting forth recommended actions, as appropriate. The parties have the right to appeal the findings of the investigation within five calendar days after receiving the written notice of finding. An appeal may be filed based upon the following grounds: (1) Procedural Error: A procedural error occurred in the investigation; or (2) New Evidence: new information exists that would substantially change the outcome of the finding. After an appeal is lapsed or exhausted, the notice of finding will also be sent to the Office of the Dean of Students and to the respondent’s and victim's respective college and department.
If the investigator deems that the respondent is responsible for a violation of the University Statement on Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct, the Prohibition of Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct policy, and/or the University Nondiscrimination Statement, the University will take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the sexual misconduct, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence and, as appropriate, remedy its effects.
All students have the responsibility to participate fully and truthfully in university investigations. If the respondent declines to present information on his/her own behalf, this will not be construed as an admission of wrongdoing. Student respondents who fail to respond within ten (10) business days to an initial notification from the Title IX Investigator or who cannot be contacted after reasonable attempts remain subject to an investigation and/or referral to the Office of the Dean of Students for possible action under the Student Disciplinary Policy.Back to Top
The Title IX Coordinator and/or investigator may file a student conduct complaint with the Office of the Dean of Students when the findings of the investigation indicate that a violation of the Student Disciplinary Policy has occurred. Although it is generally up to the discretion of the victim as to whether she/he files a student conduct complaint against the respondent, the Title IX Coordinator may deem a conduct hearing necessary for the safety and security of the student victim and/or the broader campus community The complaint will request that the Office of the Dean of Students hold a formal student conduct hearing to determine whether the respondent is responsible for the charges as related to the Student Code of Conduct and, if so, issue appropriate sanctions. In such a case, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the victim that the case has been forwarded to the Office of the Dean of Students for adjudication through the student conduct process. The victim is not required to participate in the student conduct process.Back to Top
Significant procedural protections are provided to both the victim and the respondent. Both the victim and the respondent are granted the following procedural protections:
The outcome of an investigation will be made using the preponderance of the evidence standard. The preponderance of the evidence standard requires the investigator to determine whether or not it is more likely than not that sexual misconduct occurred.Back to Top
The University will take the appropriate steps to protect student victims of sexual misconduct, to minimize or eliminate contact with the respondent, and to provide appropriate academic and administrative accommodations in accordance with the Clery Act and Title IX. The University may implement interim interventions, as appropriate, for the students involved in a reported incident of sexual misconduct. The interim interventions may be imposed at any time after the initial reporting of the incident, (e.g. prior to or during the investigation and the student conduct processes, and through the completion of any appeal process).
Interim interventions will vary depending upon the facts of each case. The interventions may include options for the victim to change academic, living, transportation, and working situations if those changes are requested by the victim and reasonably available. The victim will be notified of interim interventions required and/or offered to the respondent. The respondent will not be notified of the interim interventions offered or provided to the victim.
Except in those cases where the Office of the Dean of Students invokes the interim suspension process, interim interventions will not terminate the respondent’s status as a student, and will not be construed as a finding of responsibility on the part of any student. A respondent’s failure to abide by these interventions may be considered a violation of the Student Disciplinary Policy. The Title IX Coordinator may request that the Office of the Dean of Students issue an interim suspension of the respondent.
Except in those cases where the Office of the Dean of Students invokes the interim suspension process, interim interventions will not terminate the respondent’s status as a student, and will not be construed as a finding of responsibility on the part of any student. A respondent’s failure to abide by these interventions may be considered a violation of the Student Disciplinary Policy. The Title IX Coordinator may request that the Office of the Dean of Students issue an interim suspension of the respondent.Interim interventions may include, but are not limited to:
There are some cases in which imposing sanctions for violations of the sexual misconduct policy without taking further measures, will not eliminate a hostile environment and provide a safe campus environment for the university community. Consequently, additional safety measures may be necessary. Depending upon the facts of a given case, these may include, but are not limited to: