Student Sexual Misconduct Complaint Procedures - 650.01

Johnson County Community College
Series 600:  Safety & Security
Section 650.01:  Student Sexual Misconduct Complaint Procedures

Cross References: 

Sexual Misconduct – Policy 650.00
Student Code of Conduct – Policy 319.01
Student Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation Complaint – Policy 319.05 & Operating Procedure 319.05
Student Disciplinary Action – Operating Procedure 319.02
Student Appeal of Disciplinary Action – Policy 319.03 & Operating Procedure 319.03
Student Complaints – Policy 319.04 & Operating Procedure 319.04
Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation Complaint – Operating Procedure 420.01
Preventing Sexual Misconduct – Title IX Student Resources

Applicability: These Procedures apply to all Johnson County Community College (JCCC or “College”) students. 

Students Who May Be Victims of Sexual Misconduct:

You are strongly urged to seek immediate assistance if you or someone you know may be the victim of any form of Sexual Misconduct. Assistance can be obtained 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from:

  • Local Police
  • JCCC Police
  • Overland Park Regional Emergency Department
  • Olathe Medical Center Emergency Department
  • JCCC Counseling Department in the Student Center 8:00-6:00 Monday-Thursday; 8:00-5:00 Friday

During business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday), you are also strongly urged to report any Sexual Misconduct you believe may have occurred to the following individuals designated as Title IX Coordinators for the purposes of these Complaint Procedures, or by contacting the current Dean of Student Services & Success (“Dean”) if that individual is not listed below. 

Sexual Misconduct Complaints Against a Student

Paul Kyle, Dean of Student Services and Success/Title IX Coordinator
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd.
Overland Park, Kansas 66210
913.469.3806
pkyle@jccc.edu
Student Center 325

Pam Vassar, Assistant Dean, Student Life/Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd.
Overland Park, KS 66210
913.469.3409
pvassar@jccc.edu
COM 100

Students interested in counseling and/or guidance may also contact the JCCC Counseling Center, second floor in the Student Center, which offers guidance and support in collaboration with the Dean of Students (8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, 913-469-3809).

These Complaint Procedures cover complaints against College students of alleged Sexual Misconduct.

Complaints against a JCCC employee should be reported in accordance with: Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation Complaint – Procedure 420.01.  If you or someone you know may be the victim of Sexual Misconduct by a College employee, you may verbally report such misconduct or file a complaint with the following individuals designated as Title IX Coordinators for the purposes of receiving Sexual Misconduct Complaints against Employees, or by contacting the current Executive Director of Human Resources if that individual is not listed below: 

Sexual Misconduct Complaints Against an Employee

Becky Centlivre, Executive Director Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd.
Overland Park, KS 66210
913.469.3267
bcentliv@jccc.edu
Office of Human Resources, GEB 275

Brian Evans, Compensation Manager, Employee Relations/Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd.
Overland Park, KS 66210
913.469.2907
bevans14@jccc.edu
Office of Human Resources, GEB 274

Complaints against a third party who is not a student or employee of the College should be reported to: Keeping our People Safe (K.O.P.S.) – Ethics Point: Do not use this site to report events presenting an immediate threat to life or property. In those instances, contact:

Emergency: Dial 911 or ext. 4111 for JCCC Police Department
Olathe Police Department
Overland Park Police Department
Law Enforcement in the municipality where conduct occurred or where you reside

Further information about Title IX and sex discrimination in education is available from the Office for Civil Rights, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100 (by Customer Service Hotline: 800-421-3481; fax: 202-453-6012; TDD: 877-521-2172; email: OCR@ed.gov; or on the web, at http://www.ed.gov/ocr). 

For additional information about the many forms of Sexual Misconduct, what to do immediately following a sexual assault, and the numerous resources available at the College and in the local community, please consult JCCC’s Preventing Sexual Misconduct – Title IX Student Resources web page.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Overview and Purpose

Sexual Misconduct is a broad term encompassing non-consensual, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and any other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature, whether intentional or unintentional, where:

  • an individual’s submission to or rejection of the conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of employment or of status in a course, program or activity, or is used as a basis for an employment or academic decision; or
  • the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive such that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, academic performance or educational experience, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or offensive working or educational environment.                                                                                                   

For the purpose of the Sexual Misconduct Policy 650.00 and these Procedures, the term Sexual Misconduct specifically includes rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, as those terms are defined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy and by state and federal law.

B. Examples of Conduct Which May Constitute Sexual Misconduct

It is not possible to list all circumstances that might constitute Sexual Misconduct. In general, Sexual Misconduct encompasses any sexually related conduct which causes others discomfort, embarrassment or humiliation, and any harassing conduct, sexually related or otherwise, directed toward an individual because of that individual’s sex.

Such conduct is subject to JCCC Policy whenever it occurs in a context related to the employment or academic environments, or if it is imposed upon an individual by virtue of an employment or academic relationship.

A determination of whether conduct constitutes Sexual Misconduct is dependent upon the totality of the circumstances, including the pervasiveness or severity of the conduct.  The following examples of conduct may constitute Sexual Misconduct:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances—whether they involve physical touching or not;
  • Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life;
  • Commenting on an individual’s body, commenting about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies or prowess;
  • Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures or cartoons;
  • Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures or suggestive or insulting comments;
  • Inquiries into one’s sexual experiences; and
  • Discussion of one’s sexual activities.

In order to constitute Sexual Misconduct, conduct must be unwelcome or non-consensual. Conduct is unwelcome when the other person does not solicit or invite it and regards it as undesirable or offensive. Consent requires a willingness or agreement to engage in the conduct, with full knowledge of the facts and circumstances and the necessary mental capacity. The fact that a person may accept the conduct does not mean that he/she welcomes or consents to it.

II. JURISDICTION; TIMING; RETALIATION AND RELATED MISCONDUCT; CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS

A. Jurisdiction

1. Personal Jurisdiction. Any person may file a Sexual Misconduct complaint against a “College student” under these Complaint Procedures.  A “College student” means any student who is registered or enrolled at the College at the time of the alleged Sexual Misconduct (including Sexual Misconduct that is alleged to have occurred during any academic recess, provided that there is an expectation of such student’s continued enrollment at the College).  With respect to a complaint against a student that does not meet the criteria of a College Student, the College reserves the right to determine, in its sole discretion, whether the conduct described in the complaint constitutes a sufficient risk to the College community to warrant processing the complaint.

2. Geographic Jurisdiction. These Complaint Procedures apply to any allegation of Sexual Misconduct against a College student, regardless of where the alleged Sexual Misconduct occurred. Although there is no geographical limitation to invoking these Complaint Procedures, Sexual Misconduct that is alleged to have occurred a significant distance from the College may be more difficult to investigate.  In addition, with respect to any complaint by a person who is not a member of the College community which relates to conduct occurring other than on College-owned or leased property, at any College sanctioned function, at the permanent or temporary local residence of a College student, faculty member, employee or visitor, or elsewhere in Johnson County, Kansas (“Non-College Conduct”), the College reserves the right to determine, in its sole discretion, whether the conduct described in the complaint constitutes a sufficient risk to the College community to warrant processing the complaint.

B. Timing of Complaints and Availability of Procedures

If there is Personal Jurisdiction over the accused student, there is no time limit to invoking these Complaint Procedures. Nevertheless, students are encouraged to report alleged Sexual Misconduct immediately in order to maximize the College’s ability to obtain evidence, and conduct a thorough, impartial and reliable investigation.  Failure to promptly report alleged Sexual Misconduct may result in the loss of relevant evidence and witness testimony, and may impair the College’s ability to enforce these Complaint Procedures.

Where the accused student is a degree candidate, it is the responsibility of the complainant to consult with the Dean concerning the accused student’s intended date of graduation and to file a complaint in a timely manner where Personal Jurisdiction over the accused student would otherwise be lost.  The conferral of a degree may be deferred until proper resolution of any Sexual Misconduct charges.

C. Retaliation 

It is a violation of College policy to retaliate against any person making a complaint of Sexual Misconduct or against any person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) any allegation of Sexual Misconduct.  For these purposes, “retaliation” includes intimidation, threats, harassment and other adverse action threatened or taken against any such complainant or third party.  Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Dean and may result in disciplinary action independent of the sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the Sexual Misconduct allegations.

D. Other Related Misconduct

The Dean is empowered to review allegations of, and to impose sanctions for, Sexual Misconduct and any violations of the JCCC Student Code of Conduct (“Code of Conduct”) directly related to the alleged Sexual Misconduct.  Such related misconduct may include, without limitation, violations of the rules of privacy as articulated herein, violations of the Dean’s directive(s) discussed in Section III.D, below, and for violations of other Code of Conduct provisions that occurred in the course of the alleged Sexual Misconduct.  It is not the practice of the College to pursue disciplinary action against a complainant or witness for his/her improper use of alcohol or drugs (e.g., underage drinking) which is revealed as a result of the Sexual Misconduct complaint, provided that such student is acting in good faith as a complainant or witness to the events of the alleged Sexual Misconduct.

College students who meet with Investigators, the Dean and/or the Vice President of Student Success & Engagement (and his/her designee, the “Vice President”), whether as parties to the proceedings or as witnesses, are expected to provide truthful testimony in accordance with the College’s policies and procedures.

E. Effect of Criminal Proceedings

Because Sexual Misconduct may constitute both a violation of College policy and criminal activity, the College encourages students to report alleged Sexual Misconduct promptly to local law enforcement agencies. Criminal investigations may be useful in the gathering of relevant evidence, particularly forensic evidence. Because the standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation of College policy, criminal investigations or reports are not determinative of whether Sexual Misconduct, for purposes of these Complaint Procedures, has occurred. Conduct may constitute Sexual Misconduct under the College’s Policy and these Complaint Procedures even if law enforcement agencies lack sufficient evidence of a crime and therefore decline to prosecute.

The filing of a complaint of Sexual Misconduct under these Complaint Procedures is independent of any criminal investigation or proceeding, and (except that the College’s Investigation may be delayed temporarily while the criminal investigators are gathering evidence) the College will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal investigation or proceedings to commence its own Investigation and take interim measures to protect the complainant and the College community, if necessary, as described in Section III.D, below. Nothing in these Procedures is intended to limit the authority of JCCC to take appropriate disciplinary action against any individual who violates College rules or policies, whether or not the conduct constitutes Sexual Misconduct under the law.

III. THE PROCESS: INITIAL STEPS

A. Intake Meeting with Complainant

Upon receipt of notice of any allegation of Sexual Misconduct, the Dean will first schedule an individual intake meeting with the complainant in order to: provide to the complainant a general understanding of College Policy and these Complaint Procedures; to identify forms of support or immediate interventions available to the complainant; and to address at a high level how the allegation of Sexual Misconduct could potentially be addressed at both the College level and as a criminal matter with local law enforcement. (Detailed information about sources of support and immediate interventions available to the complainant within the College and the local community is also available at the College’s Preventing Sexual Misconduct – Title IX Student Resources web page.)

The intake meeting may also involve a discussion of any accommodations that may be appropriate concerning the complainant’s academic and/or College employment arrangements.

B. Formal or Informal Resolution

At the initial intake meeting with the complainant, the Dean will: i) determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that policy has been violated and if so, ii) determine how the complainant wishes to proceed (Formal Resolution, Informal Resolution or no resolution process of any kind).  If the complainant wishes to proceed with either Formal or Informal Resolution, the Dean will determine the name of the accused student, and the date, location and nature of the alleged Sexual Misconduct, and will schedule an individual intake meeting with the accused student in order to: provide the accused student a general understanding of College Policy and these Complaint Procedures; to identify forms of support or immediate interventions available to the accused student; and to address at a high level how the allegation of Sexual Misconduct could potentially be addressed at both the College level and as a criminal matter with local law enforcement. (Additional information about sources of support and immediate interventions available to the accused student within the College and the local community is also available at the College’s Preventing Sexual Misconduct – Title IX Student Resources web page.)

If the complainant wishes to proceed with Formal Resolution, the Dean will promptly prepare and forward a formal complaint to the Investigators for Investigation, in accordance with Section IV, below. The formal complaint will set forth the name of the accused student, and the date, location and nature of the alleged Sexual Misconduct.

If the complainant wishes to proceed with Informal Resolution, the Dean will promptly initiate Informal Resolution proceedings, in accordance with Section V, below.

C. Complainant Does Not Wish to Pursue Resolution or Requests Confidentiality

If complainant does not wish to pursue Formal or Informal Resolution and/or requests that his/her complaint remain confidential, Title IX nevertheless requires the College to investigate and take reasonable action in response to the complainant’s information. The Dean will inform the complainant, however, that the College’s ability to respond may be limited. The Dean may conduct a preliminary investigation into the alleged Sexual Misconduct and may weigh the complainant’s request(s) against the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged Sexual Misconduct; whether there have been other complaints of Sexual Misconduct against the same accused student; and the accused student’s right to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the College as an “education record” under FERPA[1].  The Dean will inform the complainant if the College cannot ensure confidentiality.  Even if the College cannot take disciplinary action against the accused student because the complainant insists on confidentiality or that the complaint not be resolved, the Dean reserves the authority to undertake an appropriate inquiry, issue a “no-contact” order and take other reasonably necessary measures, including interim measures described in Section III.D.

D. Interim Measures/Dean’s Directive(s)

In all complaints of alleged Sexual Misconduct, regardless of whether the complainant wishes to pursue Formal Resolution, Informal Resolution or no resolution of any kind, the College will undertake an appropriate inquiry and take such prompt and effective action as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances to support and protect the complainant, including taking appropriate interim steps before the final outcome of complaint.  Accordingly, at or after the intake meeting, the Dean may impose a “no contact” order, which typically will include a directive that the parties refrain from having contact with one another, directly or through proxies, whether in person or via electronic means, pending the investigation. The Dean, as Title IX Coordinator, also may take any further protective action that he/she deems appropriate concerning the interaction of the parties pending the outcome of the Investigation, including, without limitation, directing appropriate College officials to alter the students’ academic and/or College employment arrangements.  When taking steps to separate the complainant and the accused student, the Dean will seek to minimize unnecessary or unreasonable burdens on either party; provided, however, every reasonable effort will be made to allow the complainant to continue in his/her academic and/or College employment arrangements. Violation(s) of the Dean’s directive and/or protective actions will constitute related offenses that may lead to additional disciplinary action.

IV. FORMAL RESOLUTION


A complainant may elect Formal Resolution, which involves: i) a fact finding inquiry by trained individuals designated by the Dean to conduct investigations of alleged Sexual Misconduct (“Investigators”), which includes summarizing information learned from those involved, collecting related documents and submitting summary findings to the Dean that are likely to be helpful in determining whether behavior is in violation of JCCC’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (the “Investigation”), and ii) a review/determination by the Dean.

A. Investigation

When the complainant elects Formal Resolution, the Dean will prepare and assign the complaint to two Investigators to conduct an Investigation, designating one of the Investigators as the Lead Investigator. The Investigators are neutral fact-finders, who, during the course of the Investigation, typically conduct interviews with the complainant, the accused student and third party witnesses (including expert witnesses, where applicable); visit and take photographs at relevant sites; and, where applicable, coordinate with law enforcement agencies to collect and preserve relevant documentation and other evidence. The completed investigative report (the “Investigative Report”) includes, among other things, summaries of interviews with the complainant, the accused student and each third party witness; summaries of interviews with expert witnesses, where applicable; photographs of the relevant site(s) and related logs; other photographic, hard-copy, electronic and forensic evidence; and a detailed written analysis of the events in question. A typical Investigation will be completed within sixty (60) days, if not sooner. The Investigative Report will be distributed by the Lead Investigator, concurrently, to both of the parties and to the Dean.

B. Interim Recommendations 

During the Investigation process, the Lead Investigator may, where the alleged Sexual Misconduct is sufficiently serious in his/her reasonable discretion, cause a disciplinary hold to be placed on the accused student’s academic record pending final resolution of the complaint. An accused student whose transcripts are subject to a hold may appeal that decision to the Vice President, whose decision will be final.

C. Complainant Changes Election to Informal Resolution: Accused Student Elects to Accept Responsibility

After reviewing the Investigative Report, the complainant may decide to elect Informal Resolution instead of Formal Resolution, by making such request to the Dean prior to the final determination.  At any time prior to the final determination, the accused student may elect to acknowledge his/her actions and take responsibility for the alleged Sexual Misconduct.  In such cases, the Dean will propose a resolution to the complaint and a sanction.  If both the complainant and the accused student agree in writing to such proposed sanction, the complaint is resolved without final review and determination by the Dean and without any further rights of appeal by either party.  If either the complainant or the accused student objects to such proposed sanction, a review by the Dean and a final determination will be issued for the exclusive purpose of determining a sanction, which final determination is subject to appeal pursuant to Section IV.D.9. 

D. Investigation Procedures 

1. Submissions.  The parties will provide the Lead Investigator with a list of witnesses they propose to be interviewed, list of relevant documents to be obtained and a description of any other information they believe to be relevant to the Investigation on or before a date set by the Lead Investigator.  Evidence of the complainant’s past sexual history will not be considered unless it is relevant to the complaint.  The Lead Investigator will provide each party with a copy of the list of witnesses to be contacted.  In the absence of good cause, as determined by the Lead Investigator in his/her sole discretion, the parties may not introduce witnesses, documents or other information after the deadline set by the Lead Investigator.  Witnesses contacted by the Investigators but who are unwilling to participate in an interview may instead submit a written statement to the Lead Investigator, prior to the date set for submission of the Investigative Report to the Dean. 

2. Pre-Investigation Meeting and Determination of Complaint and Witnesses. The Lead Investigator will schedule a pre-Investigation meeting with each party prior to the first witness interviews.  At the meeting, the Lead Investigator will review Investigation procedures with the parties.  

3. Investigation.  During the ongoing Investigation, and prior to the Investigative Report, each party may submit a written statement to the Investigators, with any documentation deemed relevant. If prior to the issuance of the Investigative Report, the Investigators determine that unresolved issues exist that would be clarified by the submission of additional information, the Lead Investigator may request such additional information be submitted. The accused student has the option not to provide a written statement; however, the exercise of that option will not preclude the Investigation from proceeding and a final determination of the complaint being made by the Dean.

4. Third Parties. Third parties may assist each party in the Investigation process, including preparing and submitting statements on behalf of a party, but may not participate verbally in any interview or meeting, unless they are witnesses in the Investigation.

5. College’s Counsel. The Investigators, Dean and Vice President may seek advice from the College’s Office of the General Counsel throughout the Formal Investigation process on questions of law and procedure; however, factual determinations are the domain of the Investigators, Dean and Vice President.

6. Standard of Proof. The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has interpreted Title IX to require schools to evaluate evidence of alleged Sexual Misconduct under a “preponderance of the evidence” standard and that is the standard adopted by these Complaint Procedures. A preponderance of the evidence means that the information shows that it is “more likely than not” that the accused student violated the College’s Policy.  In the context of a review of the Investigators’ Investigative Report and determination by the Dean, the accused student will be found to be responsible for the alleged Sexual Misconduct if the Dean concludes that such Sexual Misconduct more likely than not occurred based upon careful review of all information presented. In making a determination, the Dean shall carefully consider all of the evidence presented and follow the procedures stated in these Complaint Procedures.

7. Sanction. The Dean will consider suspending or expelling any student found responsible for Sexual Misconduct; however, the Dean may impose any sanction that he/she finds to be fair and proportionate to the violation, including, but not limited to a verbal or written warning, “no contact” order, alteration of the parties’ academic or employment arrangements at JCCC, probation, suspension and/or expulsion.  In determining an appropriate sanction, the Dean may consider any record of past violations of the Code of Conduct, as well as the nature and severity of such past violation(s). The Dean will also consider whether the sanction will: a) bring an end to the violation in question, b) reasonably prevent a recurrence of a similar violation and (c) remedy the effects of the violation on the complainant and the College community.  The sanction decision will be made by the Dean and any sanction imposed will be explained or supported in the written decision of the Dean.

8. Decision. The decision of the Dean, including the sanction, if applicable, will be provided to both parties via the Final Outcome Letter described in Section IV.D.11, below, within ten (10) calendar days following the conclusion of this Investigation (or such longer time as the Dean may for good cause determine).

9. Appeals. Either party may petition to appeal the Dean’s final determination only on procedural concerns, where it is believed that the final determination was reached without following these Procedures.  In such instances, the appealing party must notify the Vice President in writing within ten (10) business days of the date the Dean delivers the Final Outcome Letter to the parties. The notice of appeal must describe in detail the procedure that was not followed.  The Vice President will accept such appeal request, will put the non-appealing party on notice allowing the non-appealing party to submit a response directly related to the appeal notice and will review the notice of appeal and any additional documentation with respect to the procedural appeal prior to determining whether a procedure was appropriately followed.  If the Vice President determines that a procedure was not appropriately followed, then the Vice President will put the parties on notice of such determination, will allow for the questioned procedure to be carried out appropriately (which may include allowing for additional witness statements and/or documentation in certain circumstances) and will then review the entire set of documents created and collected in the Investigation and the Dean’s Final Outcome Letter before making a determination regarding the original complaint of Sexual Misconduct. The Vice President will make an initial ruling with respect to the questioned procedure within ten (10) business days of the date the appeal is submitted. The Vice President will make a final ruling/determination with respect to the original complaint of Sexual Misconduct within thirty (30) days of the date of the appeal. Decisions by the Vice President are final and not subject to appeal by either party.

10. Effective Date of Sanction. Sanctions imposed by the Dean are not effective until the resolution of any timely appeal of the decision. However, if advisable to protect the welfare of the complainant or the College community, the Dean may determine that any probation, suspension or expulsion be effective immediately and continue in effect until such time as the Vice President may otherwise determine.  The Vice President may suspend the final determination pending exhaustion of any appeals by the accused student pursuant to Section IV.D.9, above, or may allow the accused student to attend classes or to engage in other activity on a supervised or monitored basis, or may make such other modifications to the determination as may be advisable in the sole discretion of the Vice President.  he Vice President’s decision may not be appealed.

11. Privacy of the Hearing Process; Final Outcome Letter. In order to comply with FERPA and Title IX and to provide an orderly process for the submission and consideration of relevant information without undue intimidation or pressure, documents prepared and/or submitted during the Investigation process (including the Investigative Report, and the pre-Investigation submissions referenced in Section IV.D.1, above), testimony or other information, may not be disclosed outside of the investigation process, except as may be required or authorized by law.

In addition to complying with Title IX and FERPA, the College is required to comply with the federal Clery Act[1]. Under the Clery Act, both the complainant and the accused student must be informed of the hearing outcome, and the College may not impose any limitations on the re-disclosure of this information. Accordingly, following the closure of the investigation process, the Dean will issue a written decision letter (the “Final Outcome Letter”), concurrently to both the accused student and the complainant. The Final Outcome Letter will set forth, as required by the Clery Act, the name of the accused student; the violation(s) of College policy for which the accused student was found responsible, if any; any essential findings supporting the Dean’s decision on the issue of responsibility; and the sanction imposed, if any.  College policy neither encourages nor discourages the further disclosure of the Final Outcome Letter by either the complainant or the accused student. The College acknowledges that sharing the Final Outcome Letter with others, including family, friends, legal counsel, mental health professionals and sexual assault advocates or victims, may be a critically important part of a student’s healing process.

V. INFORMAL RESOLUTION

A complainant who wishes to file a formal complaint with the Dean’s Office (Student Center, Room 325) but who does not wish to pursue Formal Resolution may request a less formal proceeding, known as “Informal Resolution”.  Although less formal than Formal Resolution, Informal Resolution is an appropriate resolution process; it is not mediation. The accused student is expected to attend the Informal Resolution proceeding, but is not required to participate.

A. Purpose of Informal Resolution

Informal Resolution provides an opportunity for the complainant to confront the accused student, in the presence of, and facilitated by, a presiding officer, as described in Section V.B, below, and to communicate his/her feelings and perceptions regarding the incident, the impact of the incident and his/her wishes and expectations regarding protection in the future. The accused student will have an opportunity to respond.

B. Third Parties; Presiding Officer

The complainant and the accused student each may bring a third party to the Informal Resolution; however, third parties may not participate verbally in the meeting.  The Dean or a designee of the Dean will preside over the Informal Resolution, and may elect to be assisted by another member of the Investigation team.

C. Informal, Resolution Where Accused Student Acknowledges Responsibility

If, during the course of the Informal Resolution, the accused student elects to acknowledge his/her actions and take responsibility for the alleged Sexual Misconduct, the Informal Resolution will be concluded and the Dean will propose a sanction. If both the parties agree to such proposed sanction, the complaint will be resolved without any further rights of appeal by either party.If either the complainant or the accused student objects to such proposed sanction, the Dean shall make a determination of an appropriate sanction, which determination is subject to appeal pursuant to Section IV.D.9. For purposes of this sanction determination, all of the other provisions of these Complaint Procedures relating to the imposition of a sanction for Sexual Misconduct shall apply including, for example, the provisions governing the effective date of the sanction.

D. Privacy of Informal Resolution

In order to promote honest, direct communication, information disclosed during Informal Resolution will remain private while the Informal Resolution is pending, except where disclosure may be required by law or authorized in connection with duties on behalf of the College.

E. Informal Resolution Where Accused Student Contests Responsibility

If the accused student contests the complaint of alleged Sexual Misconduct, the Dean may nevertheless impose a protective order agreed upon by the parties, or (with or without such agreement) based on information derived from the Informal Resolution proceedings, taken together with any other relevant information known to the College at the time of the Informal Resolution.

F. Election of Formal Resolution 

The College, the complainant or the accused may, at any time prior to the conclusion of the Informal Resolution, elect to end such proceedings and initiate Formal Resolution instead. In such cases, statements or disclosures made by the parties in the course of the Informal Resolution may be considered in the subsequent Formal Resolution.  

[1] Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. §1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99.

[2] Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, 20 U.S.C., Section 1092(f); 34 C.F.R. Part 668.46

 

Approved: 02/20/2014 

Signature on File in Policy Office
Joseph M. Sopcich
President