Section 8. Investigation Procedures and Protocols

  1. The College will investigate all reports of gender discrimination and sexual misconduct. However, the level and scope of the investigation may in some cases be decided by the reporting party. Responsibility for the investigation model is assigned to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator oversees the training and implementation of the investigator team. In instances of employee on student investigations college legal counsel may also be part of the investigation to ensure legal guidelines and processes are met for all parties.
  2. Investigations
    Investigations with willing participants provide the most thorough and effective processes. Investigations of alleged sex discrimination and sexual misconduct will be handled using an Investigator Model. In this model, an investigator(s) serves as a neutral fact‐finder who will interview the reporting party, the respondent, any  witnesses, and also gather any other evidence as necessary. The lead investigator will be assigned by the Title IX Coordinator and will be trained in issues of gender discrimination and sexual misconduct. Issues such as impartiality, appropriateness (based on involved parties), fit, etc. will be considered in appointing the lead investigator on any case.
    The lead investigator may interview the reporting party, the respondent, witnesses, any parties with potentially relevant information, review video footage, and investigate any other appropriate avenues that may provide pertinent information. The investigator will keep both the reporting party and the respondent apprised of their rights and the status of the process. The investigator will compile all the investigation material into a report.
    The report will be submitted to the Chair of the Hearing Committee who will make a determination of charges. Should a hearing be deemed necessary, the report will be given to the Hearing Committee for adjudication. The steps of the process are outlined in Section 9. Grievance and Adjudication Procedures.
  3. Investigations and Requests for Confidentiality
    If a reporting party discloses an incident to a responsible employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the College must weigh that request against the College’s obligation to provide a safe, non‐discriminatory environment for all individuals, including the reporting party.
    If the College honors the request for confidentiality, the reporting party must understand that the College’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator(s) may be limited.
    Although rare, there are times when the College may not be able to honor a reporting party’s request not to investigate in order to provide a safe, non‐discriminatory environment for all students. When weighing a reporting party’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the College will consider a range of factors, including, but not limited to, the following:
    1. The severity of the alleged act of gender or sexual based violence based on issues such as level of violence, aggression, brutality, intensity, persistence and duration of the act/s
    2. The increased risk that the respondent will commit additional acts of gender or sexual based violence, such as:
      1. Whether there have been other gender or sexual based violence complaints about the same respondent ;
      2. Whether the respondent has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;
      3. Whether the respondent threatened further gender or sexual based violence or other violence against the victim or others;
      4. Whether the violence was committed by multiple perpetrators;
      5. Whether the violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
      6. Whether the reporting party is a minor;
      7. Whether the College possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the gender or sexual based violence (e.g., security cameras or personnel, physical evidence); or
      8. Whether the reporting party’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.
        Note: This list is illustrative and not meant to be exhaustive.
    3. The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the College to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action. The college reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as the reporting party, and to initiate conduct proceedings without a formal complaint by the alleged victim of misconduct.
      If the College determines that it cannot maintain a reporting party’s confidentiality, the College will inform the reporting party prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the College’s response.
      The College may not require a victim to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding. Because the College is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of gender and sexual based violence campus‐wide, reports of gender or sexual based violence (including non‐identifying reports) will also prompt the College to consider broader remedial action such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported violence occurred, increasing education and prevention efforts, conducting climate assessments/victimization surveys, and/or revisiting its policies and practices.
      If the College determines that it can respect a reporting party’s request for confidentiality, the College will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the reporting party. The College will offer remedies and/or accommodations to the reporting party. Some examples of these are below. No formal complaint or investigation, campus or criminal, need occur before these options are available.
      The College will:
      1. Inform the reporting party of, and offer to assist in accessing available resources both on and off campus such as mental health counseling, physical health care providers, legal assistance and victim advocacy services.
      2. Inform the reporting party of the right to report to local law enforcement and provide assistance if the reporting party so wishes.
      3. Offer other security and support services such as
        1. Issuing campus a no‐contact order against a campus community member who has engaged in or threatens to engage in stalking, threatening, harassing or other improper behavior that presents a danger to the welfare of the reporting party or others;
        2. Arranging a change of living, working arrangements or academic accommodations so the reporting party need not face the respondent. Academic accommodations will vary based on the situation and class, but may include things such as assignment rescheduling, taking an incomplete in a class, transferring class sections, temporary withdrawal, alternative course completion options, etc.
  4. Confidentiality
    All individuals involved in an investigation and/or adjudication process will be informed of the importance of confidentiality and may asked to sign a confidentiality statement. Conversations and information that result from an investigation or disciplinary proceeding are private and should not be shared.
  5. Time Frames
    Investigations will be conducted in reasonable and prompt timeframes with a goal for resolution of any gender or sex based discrimination complaint being 60 days. Certain issues, such as the point in the semester when the incident is reported may result in prolonged investigations. For example, conducting interviews during semester breaks may be more challenging as students, faculty or staff may be away. Every effort will be made to find resolution within the 60 day time frame. If the incident is also being investigated by local law enforcement, the campus process need not wait for the outcome of the criminal justice system process before making a final determination.

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