For Responding Party
Being accused of sexual misconduct in any form can be a confusing and stressful experience. There are campus resources available to answer your questions and offer you support through the process. You’ll notice that if you are accused of sexual misconduct, you are referred to in the process as the “Responding Party”. Under the UIC Sexual Misconduct Policy, both the Reporting Party and the Responding Party have the right to a fair and equitable adjudication process.
If You Are a Responding party
Any member of the University community who is reported to have committed act(s) of sexual misconduct may be subject to disciplinary action and/or criminal charges. University disciplinary action may occur whether or not criminal charges are filed.
Non-retaliation policy – UIC prohibits retaliation against those who, in good faith, report or disclose an alleged violation of the Prohibition of Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct policy, file a complaint of discrimination or harassment, or otherwise participate in a complaint resolution procedure. Any report of retaliation – including by third parties – will be taken seriously and reviewed as a separate violation under the Prohibition of Retaliation Following Claims of Unlawful Discrimination policy.
During an investigation, the same procedural rights and protections are provided to both Responding Party and Reporting Party. Visit Procedural Rights During the Investigation to learn about your rights.
My Friend is a Responding Party
If a friend or someone you know is reported to have committed act(s) of sexual misconduct, it is likely that you have questions and may be struggling to understand what has happened. You may be experiencing a range of emotions such as helplessness, anger, confusion or betrayal. If your friend has told you that they have been reported to have committed act(s) of sexual violence, they may be turning to you for help and support. You may be unsure how to respond to your friend or the situation.
Here are a few ways you can help your friend through this experience:
- Direct your friend to resources. The Office for Access & Equity can and will help a Responding Party understand their rights, resources and what may happen next. Helping your friend access these resources is a step you can take to provide support in what may be a confusing and emotional time for both of you.
- Recommend that your friend seek counseling services to deal with their emotions. It may also be helpful for you to seek counseling to help you process any emotions and trauma you may be experiencing as a result of the situation.
- Get educated on the issue of sexual misconduct. The information on this website can answer some of the questions you may have. If you are seeking additional information on sexual violence, please contact the Campus Advocacy Network.
- Be available to listen in a non-judgmental manner. They may not feel comfortable talking about the matter, but let your friend know you will listen.
- Familiarize yourself with the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Remember, being a good friend does not mean:
- Approving of your friend’s actions and/or choices. You can help your friend without making a judgment as to whether or not an act of sexual misconduct occurred. Determining if a crime or policy violation took place is the responsibility of the legal system and/or campus administrators.
- Telling your friend what to do.
- Blaming the student who has brought the complaint.
- Telling others about what might have happened and violating their confidentiality and trust.
- Taking action. Violence or retaliation is not the answer to helping your friend. Remember, harassing and threatening behaviors are not helpful and could undermine any court or university proceeding taking place. It could also jeopardize your own standing at the University.
Resources for Responding Parties to Complaints of Sexual Misconduct
UIC will respond to reports of student sexual misconduct with support and resources for all students affected by the report. This includes offering the student responding party appropriate information, support, and resources and notifying the student of applicable institutional policies.
Office of the Dean of Students
1200 W. Harrison
Student Services Building – Room 3030
The Office of the Dean of Students will help to coordinate campus services for the student responding party. The Office of the Dean of Students is not an advocate on behalf of a student responding party or a confidential resource. The staff can assist with services which may include:
- General support for the student.
- Management of immediate and on-going needs related to academic accommodations, housing arrangements, access to campus facilities, and other interim interventions as necessary.
- Referrals to confidential resources that can offer a safe listening space. The UIC Counseling Center offers confidential counseling services and crisis intervention to students.
- Information and assistance related to administrative proceedings and investigations.
- Information related to the student conduct process.
- Assistance with understanding the university’s administrative processes.
- Assistance with navigating family and community concerns and effects.
- Information and referral to campus and community resources for additional support needs.
The UIC Student Legal Service cannot represent students accused of violations of the Student Disciplinary Policy. Students seeking legal advice should retain the services of their own personal attorney.
1200 W. Harrison
Student Services Building - Room 2010
The Counseling Center offers confidential counseling services for student responding parties. The staff provides support and guidance to help manage immediate emotional trauma and strengthen resilience in response to trauma. Counseling and crisis intervention can be easily arranged by calling or coming to the Counseling Center. Counselors will arrange to meet with students who have urgent needs within the same day or the next day.
818 Wolcott Ave.
Student Residence Hall (SRH) – Room 220
Campus Housing staff (e.g. resident assistants, peer mentors, resident directors) will assist the student responding parties including making appropriate referrals to university offices, providing information regarding investigations and the student conduct process. The staff can assist with changes in housing arrangements and inform the student responding parties about campus services provided by the Office of the Dean of Students and the Counseling Center.
750 S. Halsted Street
Student Center East Building - Room 238
The Wellness Center provides students with health and wellness information. The Center offers students individual consultations with a health educator. These informal discussions typically require no appointment and the goal of these consultations is to identify simple and effective self-care and life strategies covering everything from stress management and nutrition to relationships and sexual health.
Gender and Sexuality Center
Behavioral Sciences Building
Rooms 181 & 183
The Gender and Sexuality Center at UIC creates programs and provides resources that promote the full inclusion and cultural vitality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and their allies. The GSC staff is available to consult with individuals on any aspect of their experience at UIC and can help make referrals to the appropriate offices. The GSC is one of the Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change in the Office of Diversity.