Title IX Frequently Asked Questions
Does information about a Complainant remain private?
The privacy of all parties to a Complainant of sexual misconduct must be respected, except insofar as it interferes with the College’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where privacy is not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint or investigative procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the Complainant or Respondent may lead to action by the College. In all complaints of sexual misconduct, all parties will be informed of the outcome. In some instances, the administration also may choose to make a brief public announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken, without using the name or identifiable information of the alleged Complainant or Respondent. Certain college administrators are informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy (e.g., College President, Vice President of Student Services, Dean of Student Services, Security Supervisor, and Title IX Coordinator). If there is a report of an act of alleged sexual misconduct to an officer of the College, and there is evidence that a felony has occurred, law enforcement will be notified. This does not mean charges will be automatically be filed or that a Complainant must speak with law enforcement, but the College is legally required to notify law enforcement authorities. The College also 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.
Will my parents or other family members find out?
No, not unless you tell them. Whether you are the Complainant or the Respondent, the College’s primary relationship is to the student(s) and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic integrity, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parent, guardian, or next of kin. College officials may directly speak with a parent, guardian, or next of kin when requested to do so by a student, in a life-threatening situation, or if an accused student has signed a release of records to allow for such communication.
Will the Respondent know my identity?
Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the Respondent has the right to know the identity of the Complainant.
Do I have to name the Respondent?
Yes, if you want an investigation to take place. Complainants should be aware that not identifying the Respondent may limit the institution’s ability to respond or investigate accordingly.
What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?
DO NOT contact the alleged Complainant. You are encouraged to contact an employee at the College who can act as your advisor. You may also contact the Office of the Vice President of Student Services, for an explanation of the College’s policies and procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor in the Student Health & Wellness Center or seek other community assistance. See below regarding legal representation.
Will I (as a Complainant) have to pay for counseling/or medical care?
Not typically, if the College provides these services already. If a Complainant is accessing community and non-institutional services, payment for such services will usually be at the cost of the student and will be subject to state or local laws, insurance requirements, etc.
What about legal advice?
Complainants or Respondents need not retain a private attorney to submit a complaint or to have an investigation initiated. However, the Complainant or the Respondent may retain an attorney at any time. The Complainant or Respondent may retain counsel at their own expense if they determine that they need legal advice about criminal prosecution and/or college proceeding.
What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?
Law enforcement are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence of a sexual assault must be collected from the alleged Complainant within 120 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods. If you believe you have been a victim of a sexual assault, you should call the law enforcement agency where the sexual assault took place. Law enforcement will accompany you to a nearby emergency hospital to seek medical attention. In order to preserve evidence, you should not wash yourself or your clothing. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (a specially trained nurse) at the hospital is usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (call the Emergency Room if you first want to speak to the nurse; ER will refer you). A victim advocate can also accompany you to hospital and law enforcement can provide transportation. If a Complainant goes to the hospital, local law enforcement will be contacted, but the Complainant is not obligated to talk to law enforcement or pursue prosecution. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help to keep all options available to a Complainant, but will not obligate the Complainant to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should the Complainant decide later to exercise it.
For the Complainant: Hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the sexual assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the sexual assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the examination, if you want. Do not disturb the crime scene—leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for law enforcement to collect.
Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct complaint?
The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either the Complainant or Respondent will not diminish the responsibility of either party. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the Complainant’s memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint. A person bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct must either remember the alleged incident or have sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence and/or witnesses to prove their complaint. If the Complainant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the Respondent without further corroborating evidence or information. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will not excuse sexual misconduct.
What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?
If you believe that you have experienced sexual misconduct, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the College’s sexual misconduct policy, please contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Student Health & Wellness Center. They can help you to define and clarify the event(s), and advise you of your options.
For more information please contact:
Any person (student, faculty, staff, or guest) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based upon gender may discuss their concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with the following:
Title IX Coordinator: