Information for Complainants

If you have been the victim of sexual misconduct and would like to find out how the University can help you, contact Jessica Weltman, Title IX Coordinator, at 243-5710. If you have experienced behavior that makes you uncomfortable but you're not sure if it is serious enough to warrant a complaint, or if you're not sure what you'd like to happen, Jessica can help.

Why File a Complaint with the University?

We can put into place provisions that will help you continue pursuing your education in a safe environment. For example, if you have missed class due to trauma, we can help your professors work with you to catch up on what you missed. If you live in the same residence hall as the respondent, we can work with Residence Life to find new housing for either the respondent or you. If you see the respondent around campus, we can work with the Dean of Students and University Police to enact and enforce a campus no contact order.

  • Campus no-contact directives

  • Assistance with housing changes

  • Assistance with class accommodations

  • Counseling services

  • Advocacy services

  • Class schedule changes

  • Escort services

  • Other measures, depending on the situation

The University process is an administrative process that could result in mandatory training, suspension, or expulsion for the respondent. You may choose to report to the police if you would like the respondent to face criminal consequences. You do not have to report to the police in order to report to the University, and you do not have to report to the University in order to report to the police.

If we determine that there is a danger to campus—for example, if you have been assaulted by an unknown person who is still at large—we may be required to send out an emergency alert to campus. If that happens, your information will not be identifiable and we will do our best to inform you before that alert is sent out.

Keep in mind that the University process is an administrative process and is not the same as a criminal process. A criminal process looks into whether a crime has been committed; the University process looks into whether a University policy has been violated. The University process uses the "preponderance of the evidence" standard, which weighs whether it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred. This is a much lower standard than the criminal standard, "beyond a reasonable doubt." A University process may result in a different finding than a criminal process because of the different burdens of proof, among other factors.

Policy and Procedures

The University investigative process determines whether there has been a violation of University policy. The applicable policy and procedures are:

What should I expect?

You can file a complaint with the University by filling out the online incident report form or by setting up a meeting with one of the employees in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. At your initial meeting, you will be asked to provide some basic information about your complaint. The Title IX investigator will determine whether the office has jurisdiction over your complaint; if not, we will work with you to determine the best place for you to take your complaint. (For example, if you are having a dispute with someone but there is no evidence that there is any sex-based discrimination involved, we may refer you to the Dean of Students.)

You have the right to have someone accompany you when you meet with the investigator. You may have a supportive friend, a trusted faculty member, an attorney, or an advocate from SARC. If you'd like, we can arrange for a SARC advocate to attend the meeting.

Please try to preserve any physical or electronic evidence supporting your complaint, such as emails, text messages, handwritten notes, or photographs.

If it is determined that the office has jurisdiction, and if you decide you would like to initiate an investigation, an investigation will be opened. In certain situations, it may be necessary to begin an investigation even if you do not wish for one to happen; this would only happen if we determine that there is a danger to campus (for example, if the person named in your complaint has been implicated in other misconduct).

During the investigation, the investigator will gather evidence and conduct interviews. Both you and the respondent will be interviewed one or more times to gather as much information as possible. In addition, the investigator will interview other people involved, including any potential witnesses or anyone who may have additional information about the complaint. We try to keep the investigation as confidential as possible and ask all participants to keep to themselves any information they learn through the investigation, although no one is under a gag order and everyone is free to talk about their own experiences.

We try to conduct the investigation in as timely a manner as possible, but there may be delays in coordinating meetings and gathering evidence. We will try to keep you apprised of what is going on, but you are welcome to get in touch with us if you are wondering where the investigation is.

The investigator will determine whether there is a violation of University policy based on a preponderance of the evidence—that is, whether it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred. Both you and the respondent will receive a copy of a comprehensive report detailing the investigation and evidence found and explaining the reasons for whether there is a finding or not. If there is a finding of policy violation, the investigative report will be sent to the authority responsible for disciplining the respondent.

The investigator does not determine disciplinary sanctions but can make recommendations for sanctions. If there is a finding of policy violation, the authority responsible for disciplining the respondent will determine the sanctions; this will be the Dean of Students, if the respondent is a student, or the supervisor or Dean, if the respondent is an employee. Sanctions for students found in violation of policy may include mandated training, suspension, or expulsion. Sanctions for employees found in violation of policy may include mandated training, work reassignment, leave without pay, or termination of employment.

If the investigator finds that there was not a policy violation, you as the complainant will have the right to appeal. If there is a finding of policy violation, the respondent will have the right to appeal. Procedures for appeal are found in the Discrimination Grievance Procedures and will also be explained in the investigative report.