Title IX and Sexual Violence
Right to Refuse
Individuals can choose whether or not to report an incident of sexual misconduct. UHC allows complainants and reporters to file both reports and complaints against an individual that is thought to have violated this policy. If the event where only a report is filed and not a formal complaint, the complainant or reporter will be notified that they can file a formal complaint at any time, but the University is still obligated to investigate the report.
Filing a Formal Complaint
Any member of the UHC campus community, guest, visitor or other interested party may make a report of an alleged violation of this policy. Formal complaints must be in writing and it is suggested for the preservation of evidence that they be submitted within one hundred and twenty (120) calendar days following the date of the alleged incident of sexual misconduct. Formal complaints submitted after 120 calendar days will still be investigated. While UHC is firmly committed to protecting all members of the campus community from sexual misconduct, failure to file a timely complaint may adversely affect the ability of UHC to take appropriate actions under this policy. Formal complaints must be submitted in person or a complainant or reporter can call to make arrangements for a representative to meet with them at another location. Individuals that are unable to file a written complaint and would like to make a verbal complaint can call a designated reporting location, but in order for a complaint to be official it must be in writing.
A Responsible Employee must promptly notify the Title IX Coordinator(s) of any report of sexual misconduct brought to their attention, including campus law enforcement. The Title IX Coordinator(s) works collaboratively with the reporting entity, making every effort to operate with discretion and maintain privacy of the individuals involved. Responsible Employees for UHC are as follows:
- Members of the Board of Trustees
- Vice Presidents
- Campus Police
- Departmental Directors and Coordinators
- Academic Department Chairs
- Academic Faculty (full-time and part-time)
Confidentiality and Privacy
An individual may make a request for confidentiality at any point during the investigation process. This type of request typically means that a complainant, reporter, or witness does not want his/her identity known to other individuals involved in the investigation or to other members of the campus community. UHC is required to weigh requests for confidentiality within its commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment. If at any point an individual requests privacy during an investigation, UHC will make all reasonable attempts to comply with this request, but such requests limit UHC’s ability to investigate and properly adjudicate any allegations.
In all investigations, the identities of all involved parties will only be revealed to University Officials who need to know as an official part of the investigation. When a report or formal complaint is filed, all parties who are named in the investigation will be notified of UHC’s expectation of confidentiality and privacy. UHC will make all reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of parties involved in sexual misconduct investigations and hearings. Breaches of confidentiality and privacy against involved parties may warrant a separate misconduct hearing.
The Complaint Process
- Formal complaints are investigated by the Title IX Coordinator(s) or a designee. Following an initial investigation, a preliminary meeting will be held with the respondent to review the complaint and other information gathered. The respondent will be provided with a written notification of the formal investigation or and a copy of the Sexual Misconduct Policy by the Title IX Coordinator(s) or his/her designee.
- As a part of the investigation process, the disclosure of facts to all involved parties will be limited to what is reasonably necessary to conduct a fair and through investigation. All participants will be advised that maintaining confidentiality is essential to protect the integrity of the investigation.
- All involved parties may have an advisor present throughout the investigation and adjudication process.
- At any time during the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator(s) may recommend that interim protections or remedies for any involved party.
- The investigation shall be completed as promptly as possible and in most cases, within sixty (60) business days of the date that the formal complaint was filed.
- After the completion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator(s) will prepare a written report. The written report will include a statement of the allegations and issues, the positions of the involved parties, and a summary of the evidence.
- If the investigation involves allegations of student-on-student sexual misconduct, and the investigation results in a finding that this policy has been violated, the complaint will be adjudicated as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and Student Judicial System and Procedures. The University Judicial Committee will make a determination of responsibility based on the Student Code of Conduct.
- If the investigation involves allegations of sexual misconduct where an employee is the respondent, and the investigation results yield a finding that this policy has been violated, the file will be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources where the procedures outlined in the University of Holy Cross Employee Handbook will be followed. The determination of responsibility will be determined by the guidelines of the aforementioned Handbook.
- At the conclusion of the adjudication process, within 2 business days, written notification will be provided to the Title IX Coordinator(s) of what action, if any has been taken.
- The outcome of a sexual misconduct investigation and adjudication will become a part of the educational/personnel record of the respondent, and is protected from release under federal law (FERPA), and UHC’s confidentiality of records policies. Both the complainant and respondent will be informed by the Title IX Coordinator of the outcome and essential findings and sanctions of the Office of Human Resources or the Office of Student Engagement and Advising, in writing, without conditions or limitations.
- The outcome of sexual misconduct investigation may be appealed in accordance with the appeals guidelines of the Student Code of Conduct and Employee Handbook. For an appeal to be valid it must be based on at least one of the following criteria:
- There was a procedural error in the operation of the University judicial process that was substantial enough to have effectively denied an individual a fair hearing.
- There is availability of new and significant evidence that was not available during the initial hearing process in spite of diligent efforts to collect such information.
- There was a lack of substantial information presented during the hearing process to support the decision on responsibility for a violation.