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Discrimination, Sexual Violence and Misconduct


Victims of sexual violence are encouraged to report the incident and seek both police and medical attention. Seeking police and medical attention does not obligate a victim to make a complaint or take any further action, but the decision to seek medical help and gather evidence allows for greater assurance of pursuing a full range of options. Contact information for police, as well as CONFIDENTIAL medical and counseling services along with NON-CONFIDENTIAL reporting options are linked here.  


Westfield State University Statement:
Sexual Violence and Sexual Misconduct

Westfield State University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy learning, living and working environment that is free from all forms of gender-based misconduct.  Consistent with this commitment, the University complies with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendment of 1972 which prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex in education programs and activities, as well as retaliation for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX. The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in admission to or employment in its education programs and activities. 

As a policy, Westfield State University prohibits all forms of sexual violence and gender-based misconduct. These behaviors are antithetical to the University’s educational mission and prohibited forms of harassment under Title IX. The University provides educational and prevention programs, services for individuals who have been impacted by sexual violence and/or gender-based misconduct, and accessible, timely and equitable methods of investigation and resolution of complaints.

Prohibited conduct under the policy includes sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, sexual assault, rape, sexual exploitation, stalking, domestic/dating violence or coercion, all of which are defined within this website. Sexual misconduct may occur between a male perpetrator and female victim, a female perpetrator and male victim, or between a perpetrator and victim of the same gender. This policy applies to all members of the university community; students faculty and staff alike, as well as anyone having dealings with the university. 

NOTE: While federal and state laws require that a sexual violence and sexual misconduct policy be in place for Westfield State University, all forms of discrimination based upon race, creed, color, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, parental and veterans status are also prohibited by law. The state's Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan(linked here), of which the Sexual Violence Policy is a part, may be used as a resource for all forms of discrimination including how to report such conduct.

PLEASE REFER TO THE STATE BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION SEXUAL VIOLENCE POLICY (LINKED) FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION.

 

 

Title IX Coordinator


Dr. Jalisa Williams,

Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
Horace Mann Center, 202

(413) 572-8670

jdwilliams@westfield.ma.edu

 

Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Employees)


Evelyn Soucie
Director, Human Resources
Horace Mann Center, 204
(413) 572-5637

esoucie@westfield.ma.edu

Deputy Title IX Coordinator 


Erin Leeper
Equal Opportunity & Compliance Programs Investigator
Horace Mann Center, 239
(413) 572-8485

eleeper@westfield.ma.edu

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

Affirmative Consent
Incapacitation
Rape
Sexual Assault
Sexual Exploitation
Sexual Harassment
     Hostile Environment
Gender-Based Harassment
Domestic and Dating Violence
Stalking
Retaliation
Amnesty

Affirmative Consent

Consent is an understandable exchange of affirmative words or actions, which indicate a willingness by all parties to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.  Consent must be informed, freely and actively given.  It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain clear and affirmative responses at each stage of sexual involvement. 

Silence, previous sexual relationships or experiences, and/or a current relationship may not, in themselves, be taken to imply consent. Consent to sexual activity may be withdrawn at any time, as long as the withdrawal is communicated clearly.



Incapacitation

An individual who is incapacitated by alcohol and/or drugs both voluntarily or involuntarily consumed may not give consent. The use of alcohol or drugs to render another person mentally or physically incapacitated as a precursor to or part of a sexual assault is prohibited. The use of alcohol, medications or other drugs by either party does not excuse a violation of this Policy.
 


Rape

Rape is the penetration, no matter how slight, of (1) the vagina or anus of a person by any body part of another person or by an object, or (2) the mouth of a person by a sex organ of another person, without that person’s consent. 
 


Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is any kind of sexual physical contact that involves any form of coercion, force or lack of consent.  Sexual physical contact includes the intentional touching of another person on an area of the body generally recognized as a private part of the body, or touching any part of another person’s body with a private part of one’s own body or object, no matter how slight.  Sexual intercourse means penetration, no matter how slight, of a bodily orifice (vagina, anus, or mouth) by an object or by a body part, and/or non-consensual oral sex or anal sex.  


Sexual Exploitation


Sexual exploitation is taking sexual advantage of another person for one’s own benefit or the benefit of anyone other than that person without that person’s consent. (For examples of behavior that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation please see pages 18 and 19 of the Sexual Violence Policy)


Sexual Harassment 

Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is prohibited when:   

submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; and/or submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; and/or such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating a sexually intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, educational, or living environment.

Sexual harassment can occur between people of any gender. It can occur between equals (e.g., student to student, staff to staff, faculty to faculty) or between persons of differing power status (e.g., supervisor to subordinate, faculty to student, coach to athlete.  In order for conduct to constitute sexual harassment under this policy, a reasonable person under similar circumstance would have to conclude that the behavior was harassing or discriminatory.

Hostile Environment
A hostile environment exists when sexual harassment is sufficiently serious to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs or activities. A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in the University’s programs or activities (e.g., administrators, faculty members, students, and campus visitors).

A single or isolated incident may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe.  The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to show evidence of a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical.




Gender-Based Harassment

Unwelcome conduct of a nonsexual nature based on a person’s actual or perceived sex, including conduct based on gender identity, gender expression, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes, is prohibited when:

submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; and/or submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; and/or such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, educational, or living environment based on gender.



Domestic and Dating Violence

Domestic and dating violence are acts of abusive or coercive behavior (physical, sexual, financial, verbal and/or emotional) used by a perpetrator to gain or exercise control over another, including any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.  Domestic and dating violence can occur in relationships between persons of any gender.

Domestic violence is such behavior directed against a current or former spouse, family member (blood, step, adoptive or foster), person with whom a child is shared, or cohabitant (possibly a roommate).

Dating violence is such behavior directed against another person in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature, and where the existence of such a relationship is determined based on a consideration of the length and type of relationship and frequency of interaction between the persons involved.
 


Stalking

Engaging in a course of harassing, threatening, or unwanted behavior that would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress or fear for their safety or the safety of others.  Stalking may occur in a range of formats including, but not limited to, in-person conduct, writings, texting, voicemail, email, social media, following someone with a global position system (GPS), and video/audio recording.


 
Retaliation

The University prohibits retaliation against any person for making a complaint of sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and retaliation, for assisting in making a complaint, for resisting or openly opposing such conduct, or for otherwise using or participating in the complaint investigation process under The Plan.



Amnesty

Students may be hesitant to report sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or retaliation out of concern that they, or witnesses, might be charged with violations of the University’s drug/alcohol policies. While the University does not condone such behavior, they place a priority on the need to address sexual violence and misconduct. Accordingly, the University may elect not to pursue discipline against a student who, in good faith, reports, witnesses or possesses personal knowledge of sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or retaliation.

POLICE

Westfield State University Police - x5262 or (413) 572-5262

Confidential Reporting Options

Non-Confidential Reporting Options

Timeframe for Reporting

The Universities do not limit the timeframe for filing a complaint under this Policy. While reports may be made at any time, complainants are reminded that the more time that passes from the time of the incident, the more difficult it is for the University to obtain information and contact witnesses, and the alleged respondent may no longer be affiliated with the University.
 


Confidential Reporting Options

Medical Services
Counseling Services
Anonymous Reporting
Making No Report
Additional Off-Campus Confidential Resources

One may report sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and/or retaliation or other forms of "sexual misconduct" in confidence to licensed mental health counselors, licensed health care personnel, pastoral counselors or clergy who work for the University.   Employees may also report such misconduct in strict confidence through the Employee Assistance Program. Except in rare, extreme circumstances, these individuals will share nothing without one’s permission. 

One may also confidentially report sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and/or retaliation or other forms of "sexual misconduct" to the community support resources of the greater Westfield area, listed below.

MEDICAL SERVICES

On Campus

  • Westfield State University Health Services, x 5415 or (413) 572-5415

Off Campus

  • Baystate Medical Center Emergency/Sexual Assault Nurse
  • Examiner – (413) 794-3233
  • Noble Hospital Emergency Room (24 Hours) – (413) 568-2811
  • Cooley-Dickinson Hospital/Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (24 Hours)-(413) 582-2000

COUNSELING SERVICES AND SUPPORT

On Campus

  • Westfield State University Counseling Services, Lammers Hall Annex - x5790 or (413) 572-5790
  • Albert and Amelia Ferst Interfaith Center, (413) 572-5567
  • Employee Assistant Program (Westfield State University employees only)
     

Off Campus

  • YWCA of Western, MA (Springfield, MA) – (800) 796-8711
  • New Beginnings – (413) 562-5739
  • Domestic Violence Shelter Services and 24 Hour Hotline
  • Day number – (413) 732-3121
  • (24 Hour Hotline) – (413) 733-7100
  • SafeLink (Employees) – 1-877-785-2020
  • Every Woman’s Center (Amherst) Resource and Referral – (413) 545-0883 (24 Hour Hotline) – (413) 545-0800

REPORTING

One may file an anonymous report (without including one’s personal identification) with the Title IX Coordinator. Anonymous reports will typically be used only for statistical data collection under the Clery Act, will be kept confidential, and will not be used to initiate an investigation or a complaint.

Report an incident

MAKING NO REPORT

Victims have the right not to make a report to anyone. The Universities, however, strongly encourage victims to seek medical attention, counseling and support. Victims are always welcome to file a report at a later date, but please note that a delay in reporting could weaken the evidence necessary to determine whether the accused is found responsible for committing an act of sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or retaliation.

Additional Off-Campus Confidential Reporting Resources:

YWCA, Springfield, 800-796-8711 Hotline/TTY

 

Everywoman Center, Amherst, 413-545-0800 Hotline, 888-337-0800 TTY

 

Elizabeth Freeman Center, Pittsfield, 413-443-0089 Hotline, 413-499-2425 TTY

 

NELCWIT, Greenfield, 413-772-0806 Hotline/TTY

 

SafeLink ( MA Statewide Toll-Free Domestic Violence Hotline) 
(877) 785-2020    TTY: (877) 521-2601
 

Victim Rights Law Center
115 Broad Street, 3rd Floor Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617-399-6720
(legal services for victims of sexual assault)

 

RAINN [Rape Abuse & Incest National Network]
(800) 656-4673 (Hotline)
http://www.rainn.org (On-Line Chat Live)
 

MA Spanish Language Rape Crisis Center Hotline (Llamanos)
(800) 223-5001 (Hotline)

 

National Sexual Assault Hotline
(800) 656-4673 (24 hour)

 

National Domestic Violence Hotline
(800) 799-7233 (24 hour)

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-8255 (Hotline)

 

The National Stalking Resource Center
www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center


Non-Confidential Reporting Options
On-Campus Non-Confidential Reporting Options

Non-Confidential Reporting Options
   On-Campus Non-Confidential Reporting Options
      Title IX Coordinators
      Responsible Employees
      On-Campus Criminal Reporting Options
  Off-Campus Reporting Options
False Charges
Governmental Reporting Options

Generally, once a “non-confidential report” of sexual violence or sexual misconduct is made to the university, an investigation must be commenced, subject to the wishes of the complainant.  Except under circumstances where a potential threat exists to the safety of the university community, the wishes of the complainant will likely be honored. 

A report is considered to have been made to the university if it is reported to or otherwise learned about by a Title IX or Deputy Title IX Coordinator or a “Responsible Employee”, defined below.

If an investigation commences, trained campus administrators will investigate the complaint and, if appropriate, recommend sanctions.  (A complete description of the investigative process may be found below in the section titled "Investigation and Resolution Procedures").

TITLE IX COORDINATORS

Reports of sexual violence or sexual misconduct may be made directly to the Title IX or Deputy Title IX Coordinators.  Typically, student complaints may be directed to Sue LaMontagne and employee reports to Evie Soucie. 

Title IX Coordinator

Dr. Jalisa Williams,
Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
Horace Mann Center, 202
(413) 572-8670
jdwilliams@westfield.ma.edu

Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Students)

Sue LaMontagne, Dean of Students
Ely, Room 209
(413) 572-5425
slamontagne@westfield.ma.edu

Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Employees)

Evie Soucie, Director, Human Resources
Horace Mann Center, 204
(413) 572-5637
esoucie@westfield.ma.edu

RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEES

The University recognizes that you may feel most comfortable disclosing an incident to a University employee that you know well. As noted above, certain employees, identified as “Responsible Employees”, are required under nearly all circumstances to report incidents to the Title IX Coordinator. These “Responsible Employees” are listed below:

  • Members of the Boards of Trustees;
  • The President and Vice Presidents;
  • Assist./Assoc. Vice Presidents;
  • Title IX Coordinator/ Deputy Coordinators;
  • EO Officer;
  • Campus Police (waiver may need to be signed for report to Title IX Coordinator);
  • Director/Assistant Director of Human Resources;
  • Departmental Directors/Assist. Directors;
  • Residential Life Professional and Student Staff (including RDs and RAs);
  • Athletic Coaches, Assistant Coaches and Athletics Administrators;
  • Studio Managers;
  • Deans and Assistant/Associate Deans
  • Academic Department Chairs;
  • Academic and Non-Academic Program Directors/ Coordinators;
  • Faculty/Staff Leading or Chaperoning Travel or Overnight Trips; and
  • Faculty/Staff Advisors to Student Organizations.

If one is unsure of another’s duty to report or ability to maintain the privacy of the report, one should inquire about that duty before sharing information.
 

ON-CAMPUS CRIMINAL REPORTING OPTIONS

You may file a criminal complaint with The Westfield State University Police (Public Safety).  The University encourages you to report incidents to the Westfield State University Police so that appropriate measures can be taken to help you and prevent future crimes. The Westfield State University Police can assist you in filing criminal charges against the alleged offender and can also assist you in the process of obtaining protective restraining orders and abuse prevention orders for relationship/domestic violence.

Westfield State University Police - x5262 or (413) 572-5262

If you choose, and at the same time, you can also make a campus report to the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator or a Responsible Employee; you do not have to choose one or the other. 

(NOTE: If you wish for the report you make to the police to also be shared with the university Title IX Coordinator, you may be asked to provide written permission to do so.)
 

OFF-CAMPUS NON-CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING OPTIONS

You may file a criminal complaint with the local police department where the incident occurred. The University encourages you to report incidents to the police so that the police can take appropriate measures to help you and prevent future crimes. Local Police information is as follows:

City of Westfield Police Department (Emergency) – 911

Hampden County District Attorney/Westfield Office – (413) 572-1454

Massachusetts State Police (Russell Barracks)-(413) 863-3312
 

FALSE CHARGES

The filing of a knowingly false report of sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or retaliation is a serious offense prohibited by this Policy. A report made in good faith, however, is not considered false merely because the evidence does not ultimately support the allegation of prohibited conduct. If an investigation reveals that a complainant knowingly filed false charges, the University shall take appropriate actions and issue sanctions pursuant to other applicable University policies, including any applicable collective bargaining agreement. The imposition of such sanctions does not constitute retaliation under this Policy.

GOVERNMENTAL REPORTING OPTIONS

If you wish to file a complaint of sexual violence or sexual misconduct outside of the University or in addition to a complaint filed under the University’s Complaint Investigation and Resolution Procedures, the following agencies may provide additional resources:

U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women
https://www.justice.gov/ovw
Office on Violence Against Women
145 N St., NE, Suite 10W.121
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 307-6026
Fax: (202) 305-2589
Email: ovw.info@usdoj.gov

Persons who have questions or who wish to file a complaint of gender discrimination or sexual harassment under state law may contact the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination:

Boston Office:
One Ashburton Place,
Rm. 601
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-3990
 

Worcester Office:
Worcester City Hall
455 Main Street, Room 101
Worcester, MA 01608
(508) 799-8010

Springfield Office:
424 Dwight Street, Rm. 220
Springfield, MA  01103
(413) 739-2145
 

New Bedford Office:
800 Purchase St., Rm 501
New Bedford, MA  02740
(508) 990-2390

Employees with complaints, questions or concerns about gender discrimination or gender-based misconduct may also contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, John F. Kennedy Federal Building, 475 Government Center, Boston, MA 02203, (800) 669-4000, TTY (800) 669-6820.

complainants rights
Respondents rights

Advisors
Informal Resolution Procedure 
Mediation
Formal Investigation Procedure
   Submission of Complaint and Initial Review 
   Investigation Process 
   Administrative Review 
   Notice of Outcome 
   Possible Sanctions And Additional Remedies 

   Appeals 

Investigation and Resolution Procedures

Investigations of complaints are necessary to determine:

  •   whether a complaint alleges a violation of the Sexual Violence Policy or the Student Code of Conduct;
  •   whether prohibited conduct has occurred;
  •  whether there is an ongoing risk of harm for further prohibited conduct and, if so, what steps must be taken to prevent its recurrence;
  •  whether interim protective measures should be in place for the safety of the complainant or the community, or to redress the effects of prohibited conduct;
  •   whether the conduct warrants disciplinary action; and
  •   whether local or system-wide changes to policies, practices or training should be considered and implemented by the Universities.

These Procedures have been designed to provide prompt, thorough, fair and impartial processes from investigation to final result. The proceedings pursuant to these Procedures will be conducted transparently and consistently with the University's policies. The formal rules of process or evidence, such as those applied in criminal or civil courts, are not used under these Procedures.



Complainants rights regarding allegations of sexual violence or sexual misconduct: 

  • to an explanation of the options available;
  •   to referrals to confidential assistance and support services from both on- and off-campus resources, including 24 hour services;
  •   to a change in on-campus residence and/or an adjustment to their academic schedule if such changes are reasonably available;
  •   to request that the University impose no contact/communication orders or other interim measures;
  •   to make a complaint that starts the University’s investigation and resolution processes;
  •   to a prompt, thorough and equitable investigation and resolution of a complaint;
  •   to choose whether or not to initiate a formal investigation of the complaint, unless the University deems it necessary to investigate to protect the safety of the community or in compliance with applicable law;
  •    to the confidentiality of the investigation process to the extent possible;
  •   to an advisor of one’s choice who will assist and be present at any time during the investigation proceedings, but who may not participate in or otherwise provide representation in any way throughout the process;
  •   to reasonable accommodations for a documented disability during the process;
  •   to know, in advance, the names of all persons known to be involved;
  •   not to have irrelevant sexual history discussed;
  •   to be present at meetings and review documents;
  •   to speak and present information on one’s own behalf;;
  •   to submit questions for the Administrative Investigator to ask witnesses;
  •   to know the status of the case at any point during the process;
  •   to be informed of the outcome of the process in a timely manner;
  •   to an appeal from the outcome of the process;
  •   to file no complaint with the University, but receive support services from the University;
  •   to file a police report and/or take legal action separate from and/or in addition to the University discipline process;
  •   to seek and enforce a no contact, restraining or similar court order;
  •   to be assisted by the University in seeking assistance from or filing a complaint with local law enforcement;
  •   to not file a complaint or seek assistance from local law enforcement, but receive support services from the University;
  •   to be free from any behavior that may be construed by the University to be intimidating, harassing or retaliatory; and
  •   to have the matter handled in accordance with University Policy. 

Respondents rights regarding allegations of sexual violence or sexual misconduct:

  •   to an explanation of the allegations against them; 
  •   to referrals to confidential assistance and support services from both on- and off-campus resources, including 24 hour services;
  •   to receive a copy of the complaint filed against them;
  •   to be presumed not in violation of University policy until a violation is established through the complaint investigation process;
  •   to the confidentiality of the investigation process to the extent possible;
  •   to an advisor of one’s choice who will assist and be present at any time during the investigation proceedings, but who may not participate in or otherwise provide representation in any way throughout the process;
  •   to reasonable accommodations for a documented disability during the process;
  •   to know, in advance, the names of all persons known to be involved;
  •   not to have irrelevant sexual history discussed;
  •   to be present at meetings and review documents;
  •   to speak and present information on one’s own behalf;
  •   to submit questions for the Administrative Investigator to ask witnesses;
  •   to know the status of the case at any point during the investigation and resolution process;
  •   to be informed of the outcome of the process in a timely manner;
  •   to an appeal from the outcome of the process;
  •   to be free from any behavior that may be construed by the University to be intimidating, harassing or retaliatory; and
  •   to have the matter handled in accordance with University Policy. 


Advisors


Each victim, complainant or respondent to an investigation initiated under the Investigation and Resolution Procedures is entitled to have an advisor present during any meetings regarding the process (other than meetings between victims and University officials regarding accommodations or protective interim measures) and disciplinary proceedings. Except as otherwise required by law, the advisor may observe, but may not participate in any way whatsoever, including, without limitation, by asking questions or speaking during the meeting or proceeding. The advisor’s role is to provide support and/or advice to the party. During meetings and proceedings, the advisor may speak with the party or pass notes in a non-disruptive manner. The Universities reserve the right to remove from the meeting or proceeding any advisor who disrupts the process, or who does not abide by the restrictions on their participation. In addition, please note that the University does not need to cancel or delay a meeting or proceeding simply because an advisor cannot be present. Further, the advisor is not permitted to attend a meeting or proceeding without the advisee.

The personal advisor for a complainant, a student respondent or a non-unit employee respondent can be any person, including an attorney. For respondents who are unit members, the personal advisor shall be a union representative or other University employee pursuant to the respondent’s Weingarten rights. A respondent who is a unit member may choose as an advisor a person who is not a union representative or other University employee, but the unit member will not be allowed two advisors. If the advisor is an attorney, the University’s legal counsel may also attend the meeting or proceeding. 


Informal Resolution Procedure 

The Informal Resolution Procedure may not be used in an effort to resolve allegations of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking. If you seek to make such a complaint, the Formal Investigation Procedure in Section B will apply.

Where appropriate, the parties to a dispute may attempt to reach an informal resolution of the potential violation. The University encourages involved parties to request the intervention of the University to assist in an informal resolution by contacting the Title IX Coordinator. Where practical, a mediation session shall be conducted no later than thirty (30) days after agreed to by parties.


Mediation

Mediation may not be requested or used in an effort to resolve allegations of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking.

During a formal investigation, at any time prior to the issuance of the Notice of Outcome, either party may request mediation of the complaint by contacting the Title IX Coordinator. All parties must agree to mediation for this option to be used. 


Formal Investigation Procedure 

Submission of Complaint and Initial Review 

When a person believes that s/he has been harassed, discriminated or retaliated against, stalked or subjected to violence in violation of the Sexual Violence Plan, s/he may file a written complaint, preferably using the Complaint Form attached to these Procedures. Individuals are encouraged to file complaints directly with the Title IX Coordinator, but complaints may also be filed with other offices, such as Student Conduct, Human Resources, Residence Life or Campus Police. Any complaint that is initially filed with other offices will be reported to the Title IX Coordinator. 

A complaint must be filed by the complainant or a University official, and the complaint must be in the words of the complainant or the University official. Complaints should contain all known facts pertaining to the alleged violation, the names of any known witnesses and others with knowledge of the allegations, and an identification of any documents or other evidence. 

File a Complaint


Investigation Process 

If a complaint has been properly filed, or the University otherwise determines that an investigation is necessary, the University will assign the matter to an Administrative Investigator. The University may also designate other trained and knowledgeable University officials to assist with the investigation. Under circumstances where the University deems it necessary or appropriate, the University may also appoint an external investigator. The University will make every attempt to investigate a complaint within sixty (60) days of the date of its submission. If, for good cause, an investigation cannot be completed within 60 days, the University will provide the parties status updates at reasonable intervals until the investigation is completed.

The Administrative Investigator will notify the respondent of the complaint, provide him or her with a copy of the complaint, and invite the respondent to submit a written response. If the respondent does not respond, or otherwise fails to participate in the investigation, the Administrative Investigator will complete the investigation on the basis of the other information obtained. Where a complaint is brought by a third party reporter, the Administrative Investigator shall attempt to meet with the potential complainant to discuss his/her participation in the investigation, and to gain additional information. 

The investigation shall include, but is not limited to: an analysis of the allegations and defenses presented using the preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) standard; consideration of all relevant documents, including written statements and other materials presented by the parties; interviews of the parties and other individuals and/or witnesses; and/or reviewing certain documents or materials in the possession of either party that the Administrative Investigator has deemed relevant. The Administrative Investigator may also review any available campus police investigation reports or the investigation reports of local law enforcement authorities. 

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Administrative Investigator shall prepare an Investigation Report for an administrative review. The Investigation Report shall: outline the investigatory steps undertaken; summarize the factual findings; state whether a policy violation has occurred based on the preponderance of the evidence; explain the rationale for the violation determination; and, if applicable, recommend a sanction(s). The Investigation Report will not be shared with the parties except upon request following the issuance of the Notice of Outcome, and then only in accordance with applicable law. 


Administrative Review 

The Title IX Coordinator or other designated University official(s) (the “reviewing body”) will conduct an administrative review of the Investigation Report. 

If the reviewing body determines that the investigation is prompt, fair, impartial and thorough, the reviewing body will then consider whether the recommended discipline or sanction is consistent with University policy and practice. In determining discipline, the Administrative Investigator and the reviewing body may consider the respondent’s disciplinary history, if one exists. The Administrative Investigator and/or reviewing body may discuss sanctions with other University personnel as necessary, such as Human Resources, Student Conduct or upper-level administrators. The University will make every effort to conclude the administrative review within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the Investigation Report


Notice of Outcome 

At the completion of the administrative review, the University will notify the respondent of all sanctions imposed. If the sanctions imposed on the respondent include a separation from the residence halls or the University, and, in the opinion of the Administrative Investigator and/or reviewing body, the respondent poses a continued threat to the safety of the campus community, the sanctions may take effect immediately, and while an appeal is pending.

At the completion of the administrative review, the University will also contemporaneously issue a written Notice of Outcome to the complainant and the respondent. The Notice of Outcome shall include the following:

  1. the factual findings of the investigation;
  2. the policy violation determination and the rationale for the determination;
  3. all sanctions that result from an allegation of sexual violence or other crime of violence;
  4. the sanctions that directly relate to the complainant that arise from an allegation of discrimination, discriminatory harassment, non-violent sexual or gender-based harassment, and/or retaliation;
  5. and the parties’ appeal rights.

If no appeal is filed by either party within five (10) days of their receipt of the Notice of Outcome, the results will become final and the University will proceed with the imposition of the recommended sanction(s).

A person making a complaint of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking may submit a victim impact statement. A respondent to such a complaint may submit a statement of mitigation or extenuation. 


Possible Sanctions And Additional Remedies 

 

For Employee Respondents. Disciplinary action taken against an employee shall be regarded as an administrative action, up to and including termination, subject to all provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreements or personnel policies.

For Student Respondents. A student who has been found to have violated the Sexual Violence Policy may be subject to sanctions including, but not limited to:

  •   reprimand
  •   warning
  •   disciplinary probation
  •   loss of privileges
  •   relocation of residence
  •   restriction from facilities or activities
  •   temporary or permanent residence hall
  •   suspension
  •   fines and/or restitution
  •   disciplinary hold
  •   assessment
  •   educational program or project
  •   revocation of admission or degree
  •   withholding of degree
  •   suspension
  •   expulsion 

    In general, the sanction typically imposed for students for rape or non-consensual sexual intercourse is expulsion. The sanction typically imposed for students for non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking is suspension or expulsion. All student sanctions, however, are determined on a case-by-case basis in consideration of: the seriousness of the violation; sanctions typically imposed for similar violations; prior disciplinary history; and any other circumstances indicating that the sanction should be more or less severe. 
     

Appeals 

Either party may appeal the results of an investigation under these Procedures by submitting a written letter of appeal to the Title IX Coordinator or designee within ten (10) business days of the party’s receipt of the Notice of Outcome. An appeal may be transmitted electronically to the Title IX Coordinator or designee. Appeals may be submitted on the following grounds:

  1. to allege a material procedural error within the investigation and resolution process that would substantially change the outcome; or
  2. to consider new evidence that was not known at the time of the investigation that would substantially change the outcome.

Appeals will not be considered on any other basis.

Upon timely receipt of the appeal letter, the Title IX Coordinator shall transmit the Investigation Report and the appeal letter to the appropriate appellate officer or body for review. If the appealing party has presented an appeal on the basis of the grounds set forth above, the appellate officer or body, who shall not have participated in the investigation or administrative review, will review the appeal and make a determination to uphold, reverse or modify the decision. When necessary, the appellate officer or body may seek additional information and/or refer the matter back to the Administrative Investigator, prior to making an appellate determination.

Where practicable, within (30) days of receiving the appeal, the appellate officer or body shall contemporaneously issue a written decision to the parties in which it may uphold, reverse or modify the decision. All appellate decisions are final, provided that any corrective action and/or discipline imposed upon a unit member is subject to applicable collective bargaining agreements. 

PROTECTIVE INTERIM MEASURES

The University is committed to supporting victims of sexual violence or sexual misconduct by providing the necessary crisis intervention, safety and support services, and academic accommodations throughout the investigation and resolution process.

Victims may obtain protective interim measures by reporting the incident to The Title IX Coordinator or disclosing the conduct to a counselor, who in turn can request interim measures on the victim’s behalf from the University without, if requested, revealing the basis for the interim measures.  Some possible interim measures are listed below, and the University determines which measures are appropriate for each victim on a case-by-case basis.  Not all of the measures listed below will be necessary to keep every victim safe and ensure their equal access to University programs and activities.

  • “protective order / no contact” orders;
  • escorts to ensure safety while moving between locations on campus;
  • changes in academic or work schedules;
  • alternative housing, dining and/or office accommodations;
  • restrictions from areas of campus;
  • medical and/or mental health services;
  • assistance in  identifying an advocate to help secure additional assistance, such as off-campus and community advocacy, support and services; and/or
  • academic accommodations, such as:
    • transferring to another section of a course, lecture or lab;
    • rescheduling an academic assignment or test;
    • arranging for incompletes, a leave of absence, or withdrawal from campus; and preserving eligibility for academic, athletic, or other scholarships, financial aid, internships, study abroad, or foreign student visas.

Equal Opportunity Diversity and Affirmative