The University’s procedures for responding to notification of sexual misconduct are intended to eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. Upon receipt of a report of sexual misconduct, the University’s initial response will consist of notifying the appropriate University officials, providing information and support to alleged victims of sexual misconduct, and taking steps to promote the safety of the campus. Generally, the University will need to investigate reports of sexual misconduct to determine what occurred and take appropriate steps to resolve the situation, even if a victim does not wish to make a formal complaint, and even if there is an investigation by the police and/or by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
Notifying University Officials
After the Title IX Coordinator receives a report of alleged sexual misconduct, other University officials may also be notified as needed to accomplish the purposes of SPU’s nondiscrimination and Title IX policies. Reports of sexual misconduct may also be shared with the Office of Safety and Security, which will evaluate the risk presented to campus safety, determine whether local law enforcement needs to be notified, and incorporate the information into federally required campus crime records and aggregate statistics (i.e., without personal information).
Providing Complainants with Information and Support
Once the Title IX Coordinator receives notice of alleged sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will promptly contact the alleged victim (the complainant) to provide a description of supportive measures and resources available to them and written information about available grievance procedures and protective measures.
Supportive measures means non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to a complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the University’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment. Supportive measures may include counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures.
The University will attempt to maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to a complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the University to provide the supportive measures. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures. The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will provide written notification to complainants about options for, available assistance in, and how to request changes to academic, living, transportation, and working situations or protective measures, if such accommodations are reasonably available, regardless of whether the complainant chooses to report the crime to campus security or local law enforcement, and regardless of whether the complainant files a formal complaint.
The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will provide the complainant with written notification of existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa/immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services for complainants on and off campus. Complainants may also contact on-campus resources directly.
University complaint process
The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will explain to the complainant the options to pursue informal or formal action under University grievance procedures. If the complainant decides to pursue a formal complaint process, the complainant will be asked to submit a written complaint. The University may need to pursue an investigation even if the complainant does not want an investigation. The complainant will be notified if the University decides to make its own investigation.
Reporting to law enforcement:
The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will notify the complainant of the right to file a criminal complaint and that the Office of Safety and Security is available to assist in such process.
The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will tell the complainant that the ability to maintain confidentiality and not disclose identifying information may be limited, the University will protect the complainant's confidentiality as much as reasonably possible but can't ensure complete confidentiality, and restrictions to promote confidentiality may limit the investigation.
The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will tell the complainant that federal law and school policy prohibit retaliation, that school officials will take steps to prevent retaliation and take strong responsive action if it occurs, and that the complainant should report any incidents of retaliation.
The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will provide a complainant with written explanation of the information described above (whether the offense occurred on or off campus), as well as the information listed on the “What To Do If You Are a Victim of Sexual Misconduct” webpage, which may involve directing the complainant to the website where such rights and options are described.
Promoting Campus Safety
University officials will determine whether the information provided about alleged sexual misconduct presents an ongoing threat. The University may determine it is necessary to issue a warning to the campus community about potential dangers, but will protect the confidentiality of the complainant as far as reasonably possible. If there is evidence that a respondent’s continued presence may constitute a threat to others or to the continuance of normal University operations, interim suspension, eviction, and/or other restrictions may be imposed. The University reserves the right to respond with the measures it deems appropriate to promote the safety and well-being of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, the University is permitted to disclose information about any report, allegation, complaint, investigation, decision, sanction, or other aspect of a claim or grievance procedure related to sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct to the extent the University believes it is required by law to do so. This may include, but is not limited to, disclosing information pursuant to subpoenas, warrants, discovery requests in litigation, or background check requests.
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