INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE POLICY

I. Policy

John Carroll University seeks to provide a community for students that promotes personal growth and development. The University asserts that respect for the rights and dignity of all people must be protected. This goal is an integral part of all aspects of University life, rooted in our Jesuit Catholic identity, and is essential to our academic community.

John Carroll University is committed to providing a learning environment free from harassment, discrimination, and violence. Interpersonal violence is a serious issue on college campuses and is not tolerated at John Carroll. Interpersonal violence includes all forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, including gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, gender-based stalking and relationship abuse.

It is the policy of John Carroll University, consistent with the aforementioned beliefs and values, that any interpersonal violence offenses (Relationship Violence, Stalking, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Non-Consensual Sexual Contact, and Sexual Exploitation) are prohibited and will not be tolerated. Thus, the University reserves the right to pursue disciplinary action for interpersonal violence offenses against John Carroll community members and others without regard to prosecution by criminal justice authorities. The Interpersonal Violence Policy covers violations committed by John Carroll University students.

All students should be aware of the consequences for interpersonal violence offenses. The University urges persons who believe an interpersonal violence offense has been committed against them to seek assistance from any of the available on-campus or    off-campus resources.

Relationship Violence, Stalking, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Non-Consensual Sexual Contact, and/or Sexual Exploitation can be committed by a person or group against a person or persons regardless of sex or sexual orientation. These offenses can be committed by strangers, current or former partners, friends, and acquaintances.

 

II. DEFINITIONS

Relationship Violence is behavior used to establish power and control over another individual using fear, intimidation, violence and/or threat of violence. These behaviors can include, but are not limited to, physical, verbal, emotional, financial or sexual abuse. Examples of abuse may include, but are not limited to, hitting, punching, slapping, throwing objects, biting, yelling, name-calling, belittling, threatening violence, stealing money, destroying possessions, isolating, or committing sexual violence. Relationship violence can occur between casual or intimate partners (regardless of sex or sexual orientation), former partners, roommates, or family members.

Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, offensive references to sex, sexual orientation, or other conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Toleration of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, professional or student status; or
  2. Toleration of or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions; or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, educational experience, or living environment, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, educational, or living environment.
  4. Sexual harassment can be verbal, written, physical or pictorial in nature.

Sexual Assault is engaging in, or attempting to engage in anal, oral, or vaginal penetration however slight by anyone with any body part or object without the effective consent of the other person

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any unwelcome intentional sexual touching.  This includes any contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other bodily orifice of another, as well as the touching of another with any of these body parts, by a person upon any other person, without effective consent.

Stalking is a pattern of two or more incidents of unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or other misconduct directed at a specific person based on sex or sexual orientation that would cause reasonable persons to fear harm to their physical health, mental or emotional health, safety, friends, family or property. Stalking may take many forms, including, but not limited to, persistent calling, texting, instant messaging, posting on a social networking site, monitoring behavior, and taking pictures as well as physical stalking.  When the content of the messages or the nature of the physical stalking is of a sexual nature, sexual misconduct has occurred.

Sexual Exploitation is taking sexual advantage of another for their own advantage or benefit, regardless of whether such behavior constitutes one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.  Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Non-consensual recording. Non-consensual digital, video or audio recording of sexual activity or nakedness (full or partial).  This includes the unauthorized sharing or distribution of digital, video or audio recording of sexual activity or nakedness (full or partial).
  • Compelling Prostitution. Forcing or inducing another individual to engage in sexual activity for hire.
  • Voyeurism. This is a form of sexual exploitation in which one individual engages in secretive observation of another for personal sexual pleasure or engages in nonconsensual video or audio recording of sexual acts or nakedness.  This behavior is a form of sexual misconduct and violates the dignity of affected party(ies), even if the person secretively viewed or recorded may be unaware of the observation or recording.
  • Exposure. Disrobing or exposure of one’s breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals without the consent of the other person, or inducing another to disrobe or to expose their breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals to another person without their consent.

University Consent Standard

Whether sexual misconduct (as detailed in the definitions above) has occurred depends in part on whether “effective consent” exists.  Effective consent is granted when a person freely, actively and knowingly agrees at the time to participate in a particular sexual act with a particular person.  Effective consent exists when mutually understandable words and/or actions demonstrate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon activity at every stage of that sexual activity.  Consent is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words and/or actions of the parties to have reached agreement to engage in the particular sexual activity.  In the absence of mutually understandable affirmative words or actions, it becomes the responsibility of the initiator (the person who wants to engage in a specific sexual activity) to obtain effective consent from the other partner.  Effective consent has time boundaries.  Consent at one time does not imply consent at any other time.  The existence of a dating/romantic relationship between the persons involved or the fact of a previous sexual relationship does not automatically establish effective consent for future sexual activity.  There is no consent when agreement is only inferred from a person’s silence or lack of resistance; there is threat of physical force, harm or intimidation; or there is coercion.

There is no consent when the person is under the age of 16.  There is no consent when someone engaging in sexual behavior knew or should have known that the other person was incapacitated.  Regardless of the state of the respondent, the University will use the perspective of a “sober and reasonable person” in determining whether one should have known about the impact of the use of alcohol, drugs, mental illness, etc. on another’s ability to give consent.  Because incapacitation may be difficult to discern, the person seeking the sexual behavior is strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution; i.e., when in doubt, assume the other person is incapacitated and therefore unable to give effective consent.

Incapacitation exists when a person is unaware, blacked out, unconscious, unable to make rational/reasonable decisions and/or otherwise physically or mentally helpless to give effective consent.  Indicators of incapacitation include, but are not limited to: outrageous/unusual behavior, inability or diminished ability to accurately discern one’s environment (who, what, where, when and/or how), slurred speech, vomiting, severe intoxication, loss of voluntary motor skills, loss of involuntary motor skills, disjointed speech patterns (unable to follow a conversation or verbalize complete thoughts), and/or sleepiness that demonstrates an inability to control one’s ability to stay awake.

Coercion exists when a person engages in threats, sexual pressuring or oppressive behavior to force another person to engage in unwanted sexual activity.  Real or perceived power differentials between the individuals involved may create an atmosphere conducive to coercion.  (Coercion can be differentiated from seduction by a repetition of the coercive activity in the face of resistance, the degree of pressure applied or the initiator’s knowledge that the pressure is unwanted.)

III. Applicability

This policy applies to all John Carroll University students. All students are encouraged to report alleged interpersonal violence offenses as soon as possible. Interpersonal violence offenses may be reported whether they occurred on campus, at a University sponsored event, or off campus including study abroad, internships, and immersion experiences.

IV. Confidentiality and Reporting

The university encourages those who have experienced interpersonal violence to report these incidents to the Title IX Coordinator, a Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or the John Carroll Police Department and local law enforcement. Contact information for the Title IX Coordinator is:

Title IX Coordinator contact information:

David J. Sipusic, J.D.Title IX Coordinator
John Carroll University
Administration Bldg. Room 128B
1 Carroll Blvd.
University Heights, OH 44118
(216) 397-6699
dsipusic@jcu.edu

Recipients of the behavior have the right, however, not to provide a statement to the Title IX Coordinator, JCUPD or local law enforcement.

To the extent possible, the University will maintain the confidentiality of all parties involved in alleged interpersonal violence offenses. Confidentiality, however, cannot be guaranteed.

Those who wish to discuss a situation in complete confidence should notify only a counselor in the University Counseling Center, a doctor in the University Health Center (or a nurse in the University Health Center acting at a doctor’s direction), or a priest acting in the capacity of pastoral counselor since they are not required to disclose knowledge of crimes reported to them except when necessary to prevent harm to the individual or to others.

Students who experience interpersonal violence can meet with the Program Coordinator for the Violence Prevention and Action Center (VPAC) to discuss a situation privately, which means that the University will not pursue an investigation on the basis of private information shared with the VPAC Coordinator if the student does not wish to do so.  The VPAC Coordinator is required to report basic non-identifying information on crimes to law enforcement and to the Title IX Coordinator.

Under Ohio law, persons who know that a felony has been committed must report that information to law enforcement. All University employees (including Faculty, Staff, Graduate Assistants, Resident Assistants, and Resident Ministers) and contract employees (including Cleaning staff and JCU Dining Staff) excluding licensed professionals from the University Counseling Center and pastoral counselors (i.e. priests acting as pastoral counselors) must comply with this policy. Therefore, employees must report allegations of interpersonal violence offenses to the Title IX Coordinator or law enforcement authorities, which can include the John Carroll Police Department and/or the University Heights Police Department. It is the practice of JCUPD to report all felonies/serious crimes to UHPD or the appropriate jurisdiction.

V. Immunity Provision

Individuals (recipients of the behavior, those assisting recipients, and respondents) who report incidents of interpersonal violence which occur while they are engaged in underage drinking or illicit drug use will not be held responsible for violating the University Alcohol or Drug Policies.  For more information on this provision go to: http://sites.jcu.edu/deanofstudents/pages/community-standards/good-samaritan-policy/

VI. Retaliation

The University strictly prohibits retaliation by, for, or against any participant (complainant, recipient of the behavior, respondent, or witnesses) for making a good faith report of any conduct, act, or practice believed to be interpersonal violence, for resisting such behavior, for participating in an investigation of the allegation, and/or for participating in the conduct process.  Prohibited behavior includes any form of intimidation, threats, or harassment by the individual or friends, family, or other persons acting in support of or on behalf of that individual.  Retaliation can be verbal, written, graphic, electronic, or physical.  Acts of retaliation are, by themselves, cause for disciplinary action.  Concerns of retaliation can be reported to the Title IX Coordinator, JCUPD, or the Dean of Students Office.

VII. Consequences

Any student found responsible for a violation of the Interpersonal Violence Policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to, and including, expulsion. Specific conduct procedures related to violations of the Interpersonal Violence Policy may be found below and at http://sites.jcu.edu/deanofstudents/pages/community-standards/interpersonal-violence-policy.  Even if John Carroll University members are not criminally prosecuted, the University can pursue disciplinary action.

In accordance with the Student Code, the University reserves the right depending on the circumstances and potential safety issues to impose an interim suspension on any student accused of an interpersonal violence offense pending the outcome of an investigation, panel review, and/or appeal process. The University reserves the right to issue a no contact directive during any part of this process.

PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE

John Carroll University encourages those who have experienced interpersonal violence to report the incident promptly, to seek all available assistance, and to pursue university discipline proceedings and criminal prosecution of the offender.

A. Immediate Action
Those who have experienced sexual misconduct, including sexual violence, are
encouraged to take the following immediate actions:

  1. Tell a trusted person about the act of interpersonal violence.
  2. Preserve any evidence of the act. Depending on the type of interpersonal violence offense, evidence may include, but is not limited to, text messages, voice mail messages, bodily fluids, etc. Physical evidence such as clothing, bed sheets, etc. should be placed in a secure area.
  3. Contact the John Carroll Police Department at 216- 397-1234 and/or the University Heights Police Department at 216-932-1800 and/or the JCU 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 216-397-CALL. JCUPD can provide immediate referral information, access to the university counselor on-call, investigative assistance, and assistance with notifying local law enforcement agencies. The JCU 24-hour hotline can provide immediate support and crisis intervention, educate recipients of the behavior and/or others who support them about reporting options and medical care, and coordinate an in-person advocacy response when appropriate.
  4. Seek immediate medical attention at a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Unit, depending on the type of interpersonal violence offense. If possible, do not bathe, urinate, douche, brush teeth, or consume liquids or food before seeking medical attention. A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner is a registered nurse with expertise in forensic evidence collection and medical care following trauma, such as sexual assault or relationship violence. The six 24-hour SANE Units in Cuyahoga County are located at Hillcrest Hospital, Fairview Hospital, MetroHealth Hospital, University Hospitals, Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, and Southwest General. Hillcrest Hospital is the closest in proximity to John Carroll University. For more information, use the following link:  http://www.clevelandrapecrisis.org/resources/hospital-medical-resources/hospitals-in-cuyahoga-county-with-a-sane-unit. At the hospital, an advocate may be offered from the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. Advocates can provide support and information about the medical exam, reporting options, and victim rights. If an advocate is not offered, the individual can request to have an advocate or other support person present throughout the exam. Individuals under the age of 18 are able to receive medical attention and evidence collection without a parent present. However, the hospital is required to notify parents/guardians and the Department of Child and Family Services of the hospital visit. Hospital personnel are mandated to report felony crimes. However, if the individual is over the age of 18, the person’s name does not have to be disclosed. Individuals may choose whether or not to speak to the police at the hospital. Regardless of whether an individual makes a report with law enforcement at the hospital, the option to file charges at a later date still exists. When possible, do not disturb the crime scene before law enforcement completes an investigation.

B. Support Services

The following supportive services are available to individuals who have experienced interpersonal violence:

  1. Counseling: Students who have experienced interpersonal violence and their supportive friends/family members may receive free and confidential counseling at the:
  • University Counseling Center (216-397-4283) and/or
  • Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s 24 hour hotline (216-619-6192) and/or
  • Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center’s 24 hour hotline (216-391-HELP)
  1. VPAC: VPAC coordinates an immediate and supportive response to incidents of interpersonal violence by providing a range of responses, including crisis intervention, safety planning, transportation, accompaniment to the hospital and/or to speak with law enforcement, assistance in obtaining a No Contact Directive and/or civil protection order/restraining order, resources/information, and referrals. Students can access these services by contacting the VPAC Program Coordinator through the JCU 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 216-397-CALL (2255).
  1. Protective Measures: When the recipient of the behavior and the respondent participate in the same class(es) and/or reside in the same university residence or are in close proximity to one another (i.e. share the same athletic facilities, service sites, working situations, or transportation), the Title IX Coordinator will consult with the appropriate individuals in making a determination regarding an appropriate alternative(s).

C. Procedures

1. Pre-Complaint Resolution Efforts and Information

In the Jesuit spirit of community, before pursuing the complaint process, every reasonable effort should be made to constructively and amicably resolve issues among the parties.  Whenever possible, appropriate, and safe, the University encourages anyone experiencing an issue to first attempt discussing the issue with the party(ies) involved.  Such discussions may also help prevent tense situations from escalating to an actual hostile environment.  The Title IX office can facilitate such discussions, upon request, and monitor them for safety. You are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator if, prior to taking the step of filing a formal complaint, you have questions regarding the process, you are uncertain as to whether your problem is appropriate for pre-complaint resolution efforts, or you are interested in counseling or ways to discuss the issue with the other person, etc.

Pre-complaint resolution procedures are voluntary, and the parties have a right to end the process at any time and initiate the formal complaint process.  The University does not require a party to contact the person involved if doing so is impracticable, or if the party believes that the conduct cannot be effectively addressed through informal means.  Additionally, some reports of discrimination or harassment – such as reports involving violent behavior – may not be appropriate for pre-complaint resolution, and all cases involving allegations of sexual assault are not appropriate for pre-complaint resolution even on a voluntary basis.

If satisfactory resolution is not reached after discussion with the other individual(s), the University complaint process may be initiated.

Please do not wait to contact the Title IX Coordinator or another University official until behavior becomes sufficiently serious (i.e., severe, pervasive, or persistent) to create a hostile environment.  The University will take a proactive approach to preventing and addressing harassment.

2. Filing a Complaint and Mandatory Reporting
Any member of the community, guest or visitor who believes that they have been the recipient of harassment or some other form of discrimination prohibited by the Interpersonal Violence Policy, and wishes to make a complaint against a student should contact the Title IX Coordinator in person, by email or by phone. This also applies to students who believe they have been the recipient of behavior prohibited by this policy when the accused is any member of the community, guest or visitor.

It is also possible for students to notify an academic advisor or faculty member, or for any member of the community to notify JCUPD or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator of their desire to make a complaint.  These individuals will in turn notify the Title IX Coordinator to initiate the formal complaint process.

Any member of the community, guest or visitor who believes that the Interpersonal Violence Policy may have been violated and wishes to file a report on behalf of another person should contact the Title IX Coordinator.

Most employees receiving reports of a potential violation of this policy are mandatory reporters and are therefore expected to promptly contact the Title IX Coordinator, within one (1) business day of becoming aware of a report or incident.  Only employees with a legal obligation to maintain confidentiality, such as counselors at the University Counseling Center, doctors (or nurses acting at a doctor’s direction) at the University Health Center, and a priest acting in the capacity of pastoral counselor are expected to maintain confidentiality consistent with their professional and legal obligations, and those individuals are exempt from the reporting requirement.  All other University employees are mandatory reporters for purposes of the Interpersonal Violence Policy and this process.

All reports and complaints will be treated with the utmost respect for the privacy of the parties involved.  Subject to the University’s obligation to redress violations, a reasonable effort will be made to maintain the privacy of those initiating a complaint or report of a possible violation.  In all cases, the University will give consideration to the disclosing party with respect to how a possible violation is pursued, but reserves the right, when necessary, to protect the community and University, to investigate and pursue a resolution when the disclosing party chooses not to initiate or participate in a formal complaint.

No person shall make an allegation that one knows to be untrue or knowingly provide false information during the course of an investigation.  Making a false complaint or giving false information is a violation of the Interpersonal Violence Policy and may be a basis for discipline, including expulsion.  Evidence of false complaints or false information shall be referred by the Title IX Coordinator to the Dean of Students Office.

3. Complaint Intake
All complaints and reports will be reviewed and/or investigated and acted upon promptly. The scope of the investigation will be at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator.  Normally, within three (3) business days, an initial investigation in the form of an inquiry or review will be done to determine if the complaint on its face alleges a policy violation, and, if so, what policy violations are raised  as part of the complaint.  If the complaint does allege a possible policy violation, the complainant and respondent (if known) will be notified in writing and informed as to the next steps.  If the complaint does not allege a policy violation, the case will be closed with no further action, and the complainant and respondent (if known) will be so notified in writing.

Note that the University’s ability to move forward in reviewing or investigating any matter depends on a number of factors including, but not limited to: knowledge of the alleged recipient’s identity and/or the alleged recipient’s willingness to initiate and pursue a formal investigation.  Thus, if the complaint is filed anonymously, the University’s ability to investigate will be limited, and an investigatory team likely will not be assigned.  Additionally, if the complainant does not wish to proceed, an investigation will not follow unless the safety of the University community or legal compliance is jeopardized.  In considering such requests, the Title IX Coordinator must weigh the request against the University’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all members of our community, including the complainant.

The inquiry may differ based on whether the complaint is an informal or a formal complaint.  Typically, the informal complaint and resolution procedure involves a basic fact-finding inquiry (see Section 5(a) of this Complaint Process,) while the formal complaint and resolution procedure involves a more extensive inquiry into the facts and circumstances (see Section 5(b) of this Complaint Process).

If any member of the University has reason to believe that a felony crime has been committed, they are obligated to report such information to JCUPD or the Title IX Coordinator, who will report the information about the alleged felony to JCUPD.   JCUPD will report the information on the alleged felony to University Heights Police Department.   In cases where a police investigation has been conducted or is being conducted, law enforcement may be able to provide some information to the Title IX Coordinator.  The University’s investigation may be delayed for a short period of time upon a request from law enforcement, but it will promptly resume the investigation as soon as possible.

The investigation and resolution shall be completed as promptly as possible and in most cases within 60 business days of the date the complaint was received, unless extenuating circumstances interfere with such timely completion.  During the course of an investigation, the parties will be notified at regular intervals and/or upon request of the status of the investigation.  In the event that an investigation and resolution cannot be completed within 60 business days, the parties shall be notified in writing.

4. Interim Remedies/Actions
At any time during the process, the Title IX Coordinator may recommend that interim protections or remedies for the complainant, respondent, or witnesses be provided by appropriate university officials. These protections or remedies may include, but are not limited to: separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, interim suspensions, referral to counseling or health services, or making alternative workplace or student housing arrangements.  Failure to comply with the terms of interim remedies/actions may be considered a separate violation of this policy.

5. Formal and Informal Complaint Resolution Procedures
The University has developed informal and formal complaint resolution procedures to respond to alleged violations of the Interpersonal Violence Policy. The use of the informal complaint resolution procedure is optional. In instances where parties involved do not wish to engage in the informal procedure, where informal resolution is not appropriate, or in situations where attempts at the informal procedure are unsuccessful, the formal procedure will be followed

a. Informal Complaint Resolution Procedure
The University encourages informal resolution options when the parties desire to resolve the situation cooperatively and expeditiously. The complainant may seek assistance in informally resolving certain alleged violations of the Interpersonal Violence Policy.  The Title IX Coordinator will determine if informal resolution is appropriate, based on the willingness of the parties, the nature of the conduct at issue, and the susceptibility of the conduct to informal resolution.

Informal resolution procedures may involve a multitude of interventions and remedies.  Some of these may include mediation with a third party, targeted or broad-based educational programming or training for relevant groups or individuals, one-on-one discussions with the respondent, and/or any other remedial or protective measures that can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of the Interpersonal Violence Policy.

Regardless of whether the informal resolution or formal resolution procedure is chosen, the respondent will be advised of the substance of the allegations made against them.  Where the parties opt to attempt informal resolution, a formal investigation will begin (to be conducted simultaneously with the ongoing informal process), if the parties have failed to achieve resolution within 15 business days.

Please be advised that the informal resolution process is completely voluntary, and that a complainant has the right to end the informal resolution process at any time and initiate the Formal Complaint Resolution Procedure.  Also, some complaints of discrimination and sexual misconduct, particularly complaints involving violent behavior, may not be appropriate for informal complaint resolution, but may require use of the Formal Complaint Resolution Procedure described below. Additionally, cases involving allegations of sexual assault cannot be addressed through informal complaint resolution procedures.

b. Formal Complaint Resolution Procedure
In response to reports of policy violations in cases where the complainant does not wish to engage in informal resolution, where informal resolution is not appropriate, or in cases where attempts at informal resolution are unsuccessful, the Title IX Coordinator will implement a formal complaint resolution procedure, which will consist of two parts: the investigation and the disposition/resolution.

i. Investigatory Team

The Title IX Coordinator will appoint an investigatory team to conduct a thorough, reliable and impartial investigation of the complaint.  The investigators shall be members of the University community who have received training and/or possess experience in the investigation and resolution of sexual discrimination and harassment complaints, including complaints relating to sexual violence.  Any real or perceived conflict of interest between an investigator and a party must be disclosed to the Title IX Coordinator; whether an investigator with a real or perceived conflict of interest can nonetheless serve on an investigatory team will be assessed on a case-by-case basis (where appointment as an investigator in such circumstances requires, at a minimum, that protective measures be put in place to ensure fairness in the investigation).  The investigatory team will act under the supervision of the Title IX Coordinator and/or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

a. Process for Employees as Respondents

When employees are accused of a policy violation, the situation will be forwarded to the Sexual Harassment Board for investigation and disposition as provided in the Sexual Harassment Policy governing faculty and staff respondents   http://sites.jcu.edu/title-ix/ .

b. Process for Students as Respondents
When students are accused of a policy violation, the investigatory team serves as both the investigatory body and recommends a finding. It is tasked with investigating the complaint, preparing a written investigatory report, making a recommendation as to a determination of responsibility, and forwarding the report to the Associate Dean of Students, who will convene a Complaint Review Panel (“CRP”) to determine responsibility and disciplinary actions.

ii. The Formal Investigation
The investigation generally will include interviews with the parties, if available; interviews with other witnesses as needed; and a review of relevant documents as appropriate. Disclosure of facts to witnesses shall be limited to what is reasonably necessary to conduct a fair and thorough investigation.  Participants in an investigation are encouraged to maintain confidentiality so as to protect the integrity of the investigation; however, such is not meant to impinge on any legal rights they may have otherwise.

Both the complainant and the respondent will be asked to provide oral (through an interview) and written statements.  A complainant or respondent may opt not to participate at all in the investigation or to provide a written statement in lieu of or in addition to any interview(s) with the investigators.  However, it is important to note that any decision by a party not to participate or to limit participation in turn limits the ability of the University to discover facts that may support their version of the key events.

Both the complainant and the respondent will be asked to provide a list of possible witnesses as well as to provide any written or physical evidence (e.g., texts, social media, emails, photos, medical reports, etc.) that they wish to be considered by the investigatory team.  Each party will have the opportunity to suggest questions they wish the investigator to ask of the other party and witnesses.

The prior sexual history of a Complainant or Respondent will never be used to prove character or reputation.  Moreover, evidence related to the prior sexual history of either of the parties is generally not relevant to the determination of a Policy violation and will be considered only in limited circumstances. For example, if the existence of consent is at issue, the sexual history between the parties may be relevant to help understand the manner and nature of communications between the parties and the context of the relationship, which may have bearing on whether consent was sought and given during the incident in question. However, even in the context of a relationship, consent to one sexual act does not, by itself, constitute consent to another sexual act, and consent on one occasion does not, by itself, constitute consent on a subsequent occasion. In addition, prior sexual history may be relevant to explain the presence of a physical injury or to help resolve another question raised by the report. The Title IX Coordinator will determine the relevance of this information and both parties will be informed if evidence of prior sexual history is deemed relevant.

iii.   Support Persons
Both the complainant and the respondent have a right to be accompanied by one support person of their choosing during any meeting or interview.

The support person may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney or any other person a party chooses; however, the support person cannot be someone who may be called as a witness.  The role of the support person is to serve as an advisor.  The support person may be present at interviews and any other proceedings the student attends, but may not speak on behalf of the advisee.  The parties are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf.  Support persons may confer quietly with their advisees or in writing as necessary, as long as they do not disrupt the process.

Support persons are expected to refrain from interfering with the investigation and resolution.  Any support person who steps out of their role in any meeting will be warned once and only once.  If the support person continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the support person role, they may be asked to leave the meeting.

The University expects that the parties will wish the University to share documentation related to the allegations with their support person.  The University provides a consent form that authorizes such sharing.  The party must complete this form before the University is able to share records with a support person.  The parties are not otherwise restricted from discussing and sharing information relating to allegations with others who may support or assist them in preparing and presenting.  Support persons are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them by the University.  These records may not be shared with third parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by the University.  The University may seek to restrict the role of any support person who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by the University’s privacy expectations.

The parties must advise the investigators of the identity of their support person two (2) business days prior to the first meeting with the investigator where they desire the presence of that support person. The parties must provide subsequent timely notice to the investigators if they change support persons at any time or if they choose to add a support person after the investigation has begun.  No audio or video recording of any kind is permitted during meetings with the investigatory team or other campus officials.

iv. The Disposition/Resolution

At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigatory team will prepare a written investigation report.  The investigation report will include a statement of the allegations and issues, a description of the applicable violations, a summary of the information considered, findings of fact when necessary, and a recommended finding using the preponderance of the evidence standard as to whether a University policy may have been violated.  That is, whether it is more likely than not that a violation of the Interpersonal Violence Policy has occurred.  The investigative report will also contain a description of the contested and uncontested facts.

In all matters, before the investigation report is finalized, the parties will each have the opportunity to meet with the investigators to review and discuss a redacted copy of the draft investigation report.  The draft report will not contain any findings or recommendations from the investigatory team.  After the parties have reviewed the draft investigation report, the parties will then have three (3) business days to provide the investigatory team with any additional information, evidence, or witnesses they wish to be considered, as well as the opportunity to submit a written statement in response to the content of the draft report that was reviewed and discussed with the investigators.  Prior to finalizing the investigation report, the investigators may incorporate into the report any additional information or evidence provided by the parties, as appropriate.

The parties may also submit an impact statement in writing to the Investigative Team.  The impact statement will be reviewed by the Complaint Review Panel, only if a finding of “Responsible” is made.

The investigatory team will then finalize the report, and forward to the Associate Dean of Students, who will convene a Complaint Review Panel (“CRP”) to determine responsibility and appropriate disciplinary actions.  The CRP will be made up of a three-person panel consisting of the Dean of Students or designee and two trained members of the University Hearing Board who have not participated in the investigation.

Only relevant information (e.g., testimony, witness lists, physical evidence, etc.) that was first presented to the investigatory team will be forwarded to the CRP.

The parties will be notified on the date that the investigative report is forwarded to the CRP for review.  Typically, within five (5) business days of receiving the investigative report, the CRP will convene to determine responsibility and related disciplinary actions, if applicable.  The investigators will be present and available to answer any questions the CRP may have about the investigative report, but will not be present during any deliberations when the CRP determines responsibility or related disciplinary actions.  The CRP will base the determination(s) on a preponderance of the evidence, that is, whether it is more likely than not that the responding party violated the policy as alleged.  The possible findings are:

A. Responsible – Finding that information available to the University indicates that it is more likely than not that the respondent violated the policy as alleged.

B. Not responsible – Finding that information available to the University indicates that it is more likely than not that the respondent did not violate the policy as alleged.

Disciplinary actions to resolve the complaint, may include, but are not limited to, educational programs, mentoring, mediation, suspension, expulsion, and remedies for the complainant, as appropriate.  Factors considered when deciding disciplinary action may include:

  • The nature, severity of, and circumstances surrounding the violation;
  • An individual’s conduct history;
  • Previous allegations or allegations involving similar conduct;
  • Any other information deemed relevant by the investigatory team;
  • The need for disciplinary actions to bring an end to the discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation;
  • The need for disciplinary actions to prevent the future recurrence of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation;
  • The need to remedy the effects of the discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation on the complainant and the community.

Generally speaking, the University considers sexual assault violations to be the most serious and therefore typically imposes the most severe sanctions on such violations, including suspension or expulsion.

Should a student withdraw while a formal investigation is pending, the resolution process will continue, and the individual will not be permitted to return to the University until the matter has been fully resolved and all disciplinary actions (if any) have been satisfied.

The CRP will then provide the Title IX Coordinator with a written determination on responsibility and on disciplinary actions, if applicable.

Once the Title IX Coordinator receives notice of the determination on disciplinary actions from the CRP, the parties will then be simultaneously informed, in writing, by the Title IX Coordinator or designee via a “Notice of Outcome”.  The Notice of Outcome will specify the finding on each alleged policy violation, any disciplinary actions that may result which the University is permitted to share according to state or federal law, and the rationale supporting the essential findings to the extent the University is permitted to share under state or federal law. The notice will also include information on when the results are considered by the University to be final, any changes that occur prior to finalization, and any appeal options that are available.

Any accommodation or remedy will be consistent with the seriousness of the offense and will be designed and imposed in a manner reasonably calculated to end the harassment and to prevent future unlawful or unacceptable conduct.

In instances where sexual harassment has been found to have occurred, the Title IX Coordinator and/or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will document and monitor the implementation of any accommodation or remedy.  The Title IX Coordinator and/or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will also follow-up with the parties to ensure that the accommodation or remedy is effectively preventing recurrence of the harassment and serving as the proper remedy for any discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, as appropriate.  All situations are subject to follow-up after a period of time to ensure that accommodations, remedies and any other resolution measures have been implemented effectively.

v. The Appeal Process
Any party may request an appeal of the findings by completing and submitting an Appeal Request Form http://sites.jcu.edu/deanofstudents/pages/student-conduct/request-for-appeal. The appealing party must submit the Appeal Request Form and all supporting documentation within five (5) business days of receiving notice from the Title IX Coordinator of the outcome of the investigation.

The three grounds for appeal are as follows:

  • A procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacts the outcome of the investigation (e.g., substantial bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.). Specific procedures and procedural errors must be cited; and/or
  • To consider new information, unknown or unavailable during the original investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or disciplinary action. A summary of this new information and its potential impact must be included.  (Note: Failure to participate or provide information during an investigation, even if based on concern over a pending criminal or civil proceeding, does not make information “unavailable” during the original investigation.); and/or
  • The disciplinary action(s) imposed are substantially outside the parameters or guidelines set by the University for this type of violation or the cumulative conduct record of the respondent.

A properly filed and timely appeal will generally stay any action(s) imposed unless doing so would be inconsistent with the University’s Title IX obligations and/or it is determined by the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the Dean of Students, that this action would present an unreasonable danger to any person or property or be disruptive to the University’s living/learning environment.

Upon receiving an appeal request, the Title IX Coordinator will designate a three-member “Appeal Review Panel” (“ARP”), which will consist of the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee; a Deputy Title IX Coordinator who did not participate in the investigation; and a member of the University Hearing Board who was not involved in the investigation or CRP .

Generally, within five (5) business days after receipt of the Appeal Request Form, the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee appointed to the ARP will conduct an initial review of the appeal request(s) to determine whether the appeal is timely and satisfies the grounds for appeal.  Should the time to review a party’s Appeal Request Form require more than five (5) business days, the parties will be notified in writing.  If the appeal request is not timely or does not satisfy the grounds for appeal, the appeal request will be denied, the individual who submitted the appeal request will be notified, and the disciplinary action will stand.  The decision not to accept an appeal request is final and is not subject to further appeal.

If the appeal request is timely and meets the grounds for appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will notify both parties that the appeal has been accepted.  The Title IX Coordinator will then share the appeal request with the other party (complainant or respondent), and that individual may file a response within three (3) business days.  The response (if any) will be shared with the other party.

The ARP will then convene to deliberate over the issues presented.  Appeals are not full re-hearings of the allegation(s).  The ARP can take one of four possible actions:

1) Affirm the original findings;

2) Remand the case to the original investigators for consideration of new evidence or to remedy a procedural error or omission;

3) Remand the case to a new investigatory team.  In a rare case where an error or omission cannot be cured by the original investigators (as in a case of bias), the ARP may order a new investigation with a new investigatory team; or

4) Administratively alter the findings and/or disciplinary actions if new evidence, unknown or unavailable during the original investigation, substantially impacts the original finding, and the associated disciplinary actions.  The ARP may refer the assigning of disciplinary actions to the CRP, with advisement, who will in turn, adjust the disciplinary actions and inform the Title IX Coordinator.

Decisions rendered by the ARP or actions taken following the ARP’s decision are final and not subject to further appeal.  Cases that are sent back to the investigatory team or another step in the complaint review process are not eligible for a second appeal.  Both parties will be simultaneously informed, in writing, of the outcome of the appeal and/or when the results of the outcome of the investigation are deemed final by the Title IX Coordinator.

6. Records

In implementing this process as the means of enforcing the University’s Interpersonal Violence Policy, records of all reports, complaints, investigations, and resolutions will be confidentially maintained by the Title IX Coordinator for a period of seven (7) years as part of their records and maintained in accordance with federal laws and guidelines, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).  Records of all reported complaints, regardless of whether resolved through formal or informal processes, will be kept by the Title IX Coordinator.  Records maintained by the Dean of Students Office will be kept by that office consistent with the practices for other student conduct records.

7. Statement of Students’ Rights

Complainant’s Rights

a. To be treated with respect by University officials.

b. To an investigation and appropriate resolution of all complaints of discrimination and/or harassment made in good faith to the appropriate University official(s).

c. To receive written notification that the respondent has been officially notified of the allegation of violating the Interpersonal Violence Policy.

d. To be notified of the substance of respondent’s response, if any, to the allegations.

e. To be informed of and have access to campus support resources (such as Campus Ministry, the University Health and Counseling Centers, and VPAC.)

f. To experience a safe living, educational and work environment.

g. To bring a support person of their choosing, including, but not limited to, a licensed attorney, during any meeting or interview. The support person cannot be someone who may be called as a witness.  The role of the support person is to serve as an advisor.  They may be present at any meeting or interview related to this process but the advisor is not permitted to speak.

h. To decline to participate in conflict resolution procedures as the means for resolving an allegation.

i. To receive amnesty for minor student misconduct (such as alcohol or drug violations) that is ancillary to the incident.

j. To be free from retaliation for making a complaint or otherwise participating in an investigation in good faith.

k. To have complaints heard in substantial accordance with these procedures.

l. To full participation in this process, whether the injured party is the actual party or the University has brought the complaint.

m. To be informed in writing of the outcome/resolution of the complaint, disciplinary actions where permissible, and the rationale for the outcome where permissible.

n. The right to be informed by University officials of options to notify proper law enforcement authorities and the option to receive assistance in notifying those authorities, if the individual so chooses.

o. For residential students, the ability to request housing and living accommodations, if appropriate.

p. A “no contact directive,” if appropriate. A no contact directive is an order from a University Official to have no contact with a particular person or persons.  (Contact is considered any verbal, written, electronic, non-verbal gesture, third party messages, indirect loud talking in the vicinity of the person and could include indirect actions that appear to the University to be intimidating.) The University may add to the terms of a no contact to address aspects of the reported incident or concerns that have arisen during the investigation.

q. The right to submit an impact statement in writing to the Investigative Team. The impact statement will be reviewed by the Complaint Review Panel, only if a finding of “Responsible” is made.  These documents should be provided during or prior to the conclusion of the investigatory process.

r. The right to regular updates on the status of the investigation and/or resolution.

Respondent’s Rights

a. To be treated with respect by University officials.

b. To an investigation and appropriate resolution of all complaints of discrimination and/or harassment made in good faith to the appropriate University official(s).

c. To receive written notification if officially accused of violating the Interpersonal Violence Policy.

d. To be notified of the substance of the allegations made by the complainant.

e. To be informed of and have access to campus support resources (such as Campus Ministry, and the University Health and Counseling Centers.).

f. To experience a safe living, educational and work environment.

g. To bring a support person of their choosing, including, but not limited to, a licensed attorney, during any meeting or interview. The support person cannot be someone who may be called as a witness. The role of the support person is to serve as an advisor.  They may be present at any meeting or interview related to this process, but the advisor is not permitted to speak.

h. To decline to participate in conflict resolution procedures as the means for resolving an allegation.

i. To receive amnesty for minor student misconduct (such as alcohol or drug violations) that is ancillary to the incident.

j. To be free from retaliation for participating in an investigation, in good faith.

k. To have complaints heard in substantial accordance with these procedures.

l. To full participation in this process, whether the injured party is the actual party or the University has brought the complaint.

m. To be informed in writing of the outcome/resolution of the complaint and the rationale for the outcome, where permissible.

n. For residential students, the ability to request housing and living accommodations, if appropriate.

o. A “no contact directive,” if appropriate. A no contact directive is an order from a University Official to have no contact with a particular person or persons. (Contact is considered any verbal, written, electronic, non-verbal gesture, third party messages, indirect loud talking in the vicinity of the person and could include indirect actions that appear to the University to be intimidating. The University may add to the terms of no contact to address aspects of the reported incident or concerns that have arisen during the investigation).

p. The right to submit an impact statement in writing to the Investigative Team. The impact statement will be reviewed by the Complaint Review Panel, only if a finding of “Responsible” is made.  These documents should be provided during or prior to the conclusion of the investigatory process.

q. The right to regular updates on the status of the investigation and/or resolution.

8. Revision

These procedures will be reviewed and updated annually, if necessary, by the Title IX Coordinator.  The presumption is that such review and update will be concluded each summer, with appropriate input reviewed throughout the preceding academic year.  The Title IX Coordinator may make minor modifications to procedure that do not materially jeopardize the fairness owed to any party.  However, the Title IX Coordinator may also vary procedures materially with notice (on the University’s website, with appropriate date of effect identified) upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations not reflected in this policy and procedure.  Procedures in effect at the time of its implementation will apply.  Policy in effect at the time of the offense will apply even if the policy is changed subsequently, unless the parties consent to be bound by the current policy.

9. Discretion

Where an issue is encountered at any juncture of a case that is not addressed specifically by this Complaint Process or the Interpersonal Violence Policy, the University has the discretion to determine, in a good faith effort to comply with applicable legal requirements, how to address such an issue.

10. Conclusion

The University encourages all members of its community, as well as visitors, to embrace and abide by the concepts of fairness reflected in this document.  Accordingly, the University encourages honesty and candor on the part of anyone participating in any investigatory process.  Further, where the investigatory process finds that no policy violation occurred yet wounds nonetheless are known to exist, the University encourages the parties involved to participate in attempts to bring healing to the fractured relationship, and in so doing, to exercise patience, cooperation and compassion.

Where an issue arises that is outside the scope of this Complaint Process – i.e., an issue not related to misconduct involving sex/gender or interpersonal violence –students should contact the Dean of Students Office at (216) 397-3010 or by email at deanofstudents@jcu.edu.

 

D. Additional Resource Information

University Resources

Information on student sexual harassment by a faculty or staff member can be found at http://sites.jcu.edu/hr/pages/resourcespolicies/title-ix/ .

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the University’s response to complaints of gender misconduct. The Coordinator ensures that all campus constituencies receive appropriate training. Individuals may meet with the Title IX Coordinator to learn more about the resources available and the processes followed or to voice any concerns about possible violations of Title IX, which include all allegations of sexual discrimination in the educational arena including but not limited to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

 

Effective August 16, 2016