Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the university’s Title IX policy and procedures.
Does information about a complaint remain confidential?
The university will maintain the privacy of all parties to a complaint, except when it interferes with the university’s obligation to fully investigate the allegations. When privacy is not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Sharing of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the complainant or respondent may lead to conduct action by the university.
In Title IX investigations, all parties will be informed of the outcome. Certain university administrators are informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy.
The institution must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.
Can I make a report anonymously?
Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning a Title IX violation. An individual may report the incident without disclosing his/her name, identifying the respondent or requesting any action. The level of information shared and made available about the incident or the individuals involved will affect the university’s ability to respond.
EthicsPoint is a service that allows anyone to report suspected misconduct, including suspected Title IX violations or other issues, with complete confidentiality. This service allows the person making the report and university administrators to confer about additional details, while maintaining the reporting party’s anonymity. All reports with a Title IX concern will go to the Title IX coordinator.
Anonymous reports may be made via telephone at 888-233-8988 (toll free) or on the EthicsPoint website.
Will my parents be told?
The Title IX office will not contact the parents of anyone involved in a Title IX investigation. Further, if a parent contacts the Title IX office, we will not speak to them about a Title IX matter without permission of the student involved. Your parents will only learn of a Title IX incident if you choose to tell them.
Whether you are the complainant or respondent, the university’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents. University officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, in a life-threatening situation or if the complainant and/or respondent has signed the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permission form at registration, which allows such communication with the parents and/or other permissible third party.
Will the accused student know my identity?
Yes, if a formal complaint is filed against a named respondent. Title IX allegations are serious and a respondent has the right to know the identity of the complainant.
A person who believes he or she could have been the victim of a Title IX offense may come to speak to someone in the Title IX office without providing the identity of the person he or she believes caused him or her harm. In that case, a respondent is not named and will not be contacted. In this situation, the issue is counted in the university’s reporting data (Clery Act), but no formal investigation or confrontation can be conducted.
The Title IX policy has an anti-retaliation clause that prohibits retaliation for filing a Title IX complaint.
Do I have to provide the name of the person I believe violated Title IX?
No, unless you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged assailant.
You do not have to name the person if you choose not to file a formal complaint. Complainants should be aware that not identifying the assailant may limit the university's ability to respond comprehensively.
In cases where no suspect is identified, the goal of the Title IX office is to offer resources to the reporting individual.
What do I do if I am accused of a Title IX violation?
If you are accused, you will be contacted by someone from the Title IX office. You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss the allegations. You are welcome to bring a support person to this meeting if you wish.
Do not contact the complainant. Feel free to contact the Title IX office with any questions about the process or policy.
Is it sexual assault?
What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened, or whether it constitutes sexual assault?
If you believe that you have experienced sexual misconduct or sexual assault, but are unsure whether it was a violation of the university’s policy on sexual assault, stalking and other forms of sexual misconduct, you should contact the Title IX office. They can help you to define and clarify the event(s) and advise you of your options.
What is consent?
Consent should be:
- Informed: a person has an understanding of what is being asked of them;
- Voluntary: the choice by a person to participate or not participate is present and respected;
- Active: actions, both verbal and non-verbal, demonstrate agreement of both parties;
- Use clear words and actions: No means No. Stop means Stop. Slow Down means Slow Down.
A person cannot LEGALLY give consent if:
- A person is impaired, incapacitated or unconscious from voluntary or involuntary drug or alcohol use;
- A person has a physical or mental disability that prevents him or her from understanding what is happening.
If I engage in a sexual activity with someone who has been drinking, can I be accused of sexual assault?
Yes, it is against the university’s policy on sexual assault, stalking and other forms of sexual misconduct to engage in any sexual activity with someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated, and therefore incapable of giving consent. Alcohol may cause such a state of incapacitation. However, the individual facts and circumstances will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Drug or alcohol use
Will a student be punished when reporting a Title IX policy violation if he/she has illegally used drugs or alcohol?
The university's primary concern is the health and safety of its students. When conducting an investigation of an alleged Title IX violation, the university’s focus will be on addressing the Title IX violation and not the lesser policy violations that may be discovered or disclosed. The Title IX policy contains an amnesty provision regarding possible alcohol violations.
Will the use of drugs and/or alcohol affect the outcome of a complaint?
The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the responsibility of the accused. However, alcohol and/or other drugs may affect perception and memory. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by the respondent.