Section 1: Introduction
Chaminade University of Honolulu (“Chaminade University” or “University”) recognizes the inherent dignity of all people and is committed to providing an educational and work environment that is free from sexual misconduct and harassment in any form including, but not limited to, sex or gender discrimination, including sexual misconduct such as sexual harassment and sexual assault, stalking, domestic and dating violence. These behaviors are harmful to the well-being of our community members, the learning/working environment, and collegial relationships among our students, faculty, and staff. All forms of prohibited conduct under this policy are regarded as serious University offenses, and violations will result in discipline, including the possibility of separation from Chaminade University. State and federal laws also address conduct that may meet Chaminade University’s definitions of prohibited conduct, and criminal prosecution may take place independently of any disciplinary action instituted by Chaminade University.
This policy is not intended to inhibit or prohibit educational content or discussions inside or outside of the classroom that include relevant, but controversial or sensitive, subject matters protected by academic freedom. Definitions of the specific forms of harassment that this policy is intended to prohibit are provided below.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing federal regulations prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in the University’s programs and activities. Chaminade University will respond to complaints or reports about prohibited conduct with measures designed to stop the behavior, eliminate any such sex or gender discrimination, prevent the recurrence of the prohibited conduct, and remediate any adverse effects of such conduct on campus or in University-related programs or activities.
Individuals who feel that they are victims of conduct that may fall within the definitions of prohibited conduct under state law are encouraged to file a police report with outside law enforcement agencies. All individuals also have access to Confidential Resources both on-campus and off campus that they may use for support and guidance without initiating University action.
Section 2: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 addresses all forms of discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment. Chaminade University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, or gender identity in its educational, extracurricular, athletic, or other programs or in the context of admissions or employment in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the regulations found in Part 106 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Title IX).
Title IX is a federal law that provides that, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Chaminade University, as an educational community, will promptly and equitably respond to all reports of sex discrimination in order to eliminate the misconduct and/or harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects on any individual or the community. This policy applies to all members of the University community including: students, employees, volunteers, independent contractors, visitors, and any individuals regularly or temporarily employed, studying, living, visiting, conducting business, or having any official capacity at the University.
Section 3: Definitions
Actual Knowledge: Actual Knowledge is notice of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment to the University’s Title IX Coordinator who is the University official with authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University.
Advisor: The term “Advisor” means any person who is invited by the Respondent or Complainant, or who is assigned by the University, to attend any meetings, investigative sessions, hearings, or conferences. For the purposes of hearings, the Advisor must conduct a cross-examination on all issues of credibility.
Complainant: A reporting party is defined as an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment as defined in 34 C.F.R. § 106.30(a).
Complaint (formal): Means a document submitted or signed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging harassment or discrimination based on a protected class or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity against a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation.
Confidential Resource: An employee who is not a Mandated Reporter of notice of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation.
Consent: An informed, freely given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity. General guidance for consent:
- Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance.
- A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
- When consent is requested verbally, absence of any explicit verbal response constitutes lack of consent. A verbal “no” constitutes lack of consent, even if it sounds insincere or indecisive.
- By definition, there is no consent when there is a threat of force or violence or any other form of coercion or intimidation, physical or psychological.
- Either person may withdraw consent at any time. Withdrawal of consent should be outwardly demonstrated by words or actions that clearly indicate a desire to end sexual activity. Once withdrawal of consent has been expressed, sexual activity must cease.
- A person who is the object of sexual aggression is not required to physically or otherwise resist the aggressor; the lack of informed, freely given consent to sexual contact constitutes sexual misconduct. Intoxication is not an excuse for failure to obtain consent.
- A person incapacitated by alcohol or drug consumption, or who is unconscious or asleep or otherwise physically or mentally impaired, is incapable of giving consent.
- A person who is below the legal age of consent is incapable of giving consent.
Day: Means a business day when the University is in normal operation.
Directly Related Evidence: Evidence connected to the complaint, but which is neither inculpatory (tending to prove a violation) nor exculpatory (tending to disprove a violation) and cannot be relied upon by the investigation report or Hearing Officer. Compare to Relevant Evidence, below.
Education Program or Activity: Means locations, events, or circumstances over which the University exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs.
Final Determination: A conclusion by the standard of proof that the alleged conduct did or did not violate policy.
Finding: A conclusion by the standard of proof that the conduct did or did not occur as alleged (as in a “finding of fact”).
Formal Grievance Process: A method of formal resolution designated by the University to address conduct that falls within the policies included below, and which complies with the requirements of the Title IX regulations (34 CFR §106.45).
Grievance Process Pool: Includes any investigators, Hearing Officers, appeal officers, and Advisors who may perform any or all of these roles (though not at the same time or with respect to the same case).
Hearing Officer: The person who hears evidence, determines relevance and credibility, and makes the Final Determination of whether this Policy has been violated.
Investigator: The person or persons charged by the University with gathering facts about an alleged violation of this Policy, synthesizing the evidence, and compiling this information into a final investigation report.
Mandated Reporter: means an employee of the University who is obligated to share knowledge, notice, and/or reports of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation with the Title IX Coordinator.
Notice: Means that an employee, student, or third-party informs the Title IX Coordinator or other Official with Authority of the alleged occurrence of harassing, discriminatory, and/or retaliatory conduct.
Official with Authority (“OWA”): means an employee of the University explicitly vested with the responsibility to implement corrective measures for harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation on behalf of the University. At Chaminade University of Honolulu, the OWA is the Title IX Coordinator.
Parties: includes the Complainant and Respondent collectively.
Relevant Evidence: Evidence that tends to prove (inculpatory) or disprove (exculpatory) an issue in the complaint.
Remedies: Post-Finding actions directed to the Complainant and/or the community as mechanisms to address safety, prevent recurrence, and restore access to the University’s educational program.
Respondent: Respondent is defined as an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment as defined in 34 C.F.R. § 106.30(a).
Resolution: Means the result of an informal or Formal Grievance Process.
Sanction: Means a consequence imposed by the University on a Respondent who is found to have violated this policy.
Supportive Measures: Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or 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:
- 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;
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus; and
- Other similar measures.
Title IX Sexual Harassment: Conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
- Quid Pro Quo – When an employee of the University conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
- Hostile Environment – Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity; or
- Sexual assault – a forcible or non-forcible sex offense as classified under the Uniform Crime Reporting system of the FBI, to include:
- Rape (Under Hawaii Law-Sexual Assault)– The carnal knowledge of a person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. Carnal knowledge is defined as the slightest penetration of the sexual organ of the female (vagina) by the sexual organ of the male (penis). Attempts or assaults to commit rape are considered rape under this policy.
- Sodomy – Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Sexual Assault with An Object – To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. An object or instrument is anything used by the offender other than the offender’s genitalia, e.g., a finger, bottle, handgun, stick.
- Fondling– The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Incest– Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
- Statutory Rape – Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
- Dating violence – means the use of physical, sexual or emotional abuse or threats to control another person who is, or has been involved in, a sexual, dating, or other intimate relationship with the Complainant. Whether there was such a relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of the interaction.
- Domestic Violence – is any crime of violence, including misdemeanors or felonies committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence laws in Mississippi.
- Stalking – is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.
- Sexual Harassment: is any unwelcome conduct, determined by a reasonable person, to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program and/or activities.
- Unwelcomeness is subjective and determined by the Complainant.
- Severity, pervasiveness, and objective offensiveness are evaluated based on the totality of the circumstances from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances (“in the shoes of the Complainant”, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar previous patterns that may be evidenced.
Title IX Coordinator: The official designated by the University to ensure compliance with Title IX and the University’s Title IX program. References to the Coordinator throughout this policy may also encompass a designee of the Coordinator for specific tasks.
Section 4: Prohibited Conduct & Jurisdiction
Prohibited Conduct: Chaminade University defines sexual harassment as conduct committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved.
Chaminade University’s policy prohibits the following offenses which are defined above in “Section 3: Definitions”:
- Quid Pro Quo
- Hostile Environment
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault-forcible and non-forcible
- Rape (or Sexual Assault as defined by Hawaii Revised Statutes)
- Sexual assault with an object
- Statutory Rape
- Dating Violence
- Domestic Violence
- Online and Cyber harassment as defined below.
Retaliation: Protected activity under this policy includes reporting an incident that may implicate this policy, participating in the grievance process, supporting a Complainant or Respondent, assisting in providing information relevant to an investigation, and/or acting in good faith to oppose conduct that constitutes a violation of this Policy.
Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator and will be promptly investigated. Chaminade University is prepared to take appropriate steps to protect individuals who fear that they may be subjected to retaliation.
It is prohibited for the University or any member of Chaminade University’s community to take materially adverse action by intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any rights or privilege secured by law or policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy and procedure.
Charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report of complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, constitutes retaliation.
Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this policy and procedure does not constitute retaliation.
Jurisdiction: This policy applies to the education program and activities of Chaminade University, to conduct that takes place on the campus or on property owned or controlled by Chaminade University, and conduct that takes place at University-sponsored events. The Respondent must be a member of the University community (student or employee) in order for this policy to apply.
This policy can also apply to off-campus misconduct that effectively deprives someone of access to the University’s educational program. The University may also exert jurisdiction to off-campus and/or to online conduct when the Title IX Coordinator determines that the conduct affects substantial interests of the University.
Regardless of where the conduct occurred, the University will address complaints to determine whether the conduct occurred in the context of its employment or educational program or activity and/or has continuing effects on campus or in an off-campus sponsored program or activity.
A substantial University interest includes:
- Any action that constitutes a criminal offense as defined by law. This includes but is not limited to, single or repeated violations of any local, state, or federal law;
- Any situation in which it is determined that the Respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual;
- Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property, or achievements of oneself or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder; and/or
- Any situation that is detrimental to the educational interest or mission of the University.
If the Respondent is unknown or not a member of the University community, the Title IX Coordinator may assist the Complainant:
- Identify appropriate resources and support options;
- Contact law enforcement to file a police report;
- Other actions such as barring individuals from University property or events;
- Liaison with other universities in the event the Respondent does not attend Chaminade University; and
- Advocate for a complainant who experiences discrimination and/or harassment in an externship, study abroad program, or other environment external to the University where sexual harassment or nondiscrimination policies and procedures of the host organization may give recourse to the Complainant.
Online Harassment and Misconduct: This policy is written and interpreted broadly to include online and cyber manifestations of any conduct prohibited by this policy and defined in Section 3 above when those behaviors occur in or have an effect on the University’s education program and activities and/or use University networks, technology, or equipment (whether it is located on University property or elsewhere).
Online postings or other electronic communication by students or employees, including cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, cyber-harassment, etc. are prohibited and fall under this policy when such online conduct can be shown to cause a substantial in-program disruption. Off-campus harassing speech by employees, whether online or in person, fall within this policy only when such speech is made in an employee’s official or work-related capacity.
While Chaminade University may not control websites, social media, and other venues in which harassing communications can be made, when such communications are reported to the University, it will engage in a variety of means to address and mitigate the effects.
Members of the community, both students and employees, are encouraged to be good digital citizens and are to refrain from online misconduct, including but not limited to: feeding anonymous gossip sites, sharing inappropriate content via social media, unwelcome sexting, revenge porn, breaches of privacy, or otherwise using the ease transmission and/or anonymity of the Internet or other technology to harm another member of the University community.
Section 5: Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator is the employee at the University, designated and authorized to coordinate the institution’s efforts to comply with Title IX. The Title IX Coordinator oversees the implementation of grievance procedures, which includes notification, investigation and disposition of complaints of sex discrimination and sexual harassment. The Title IX Coordinator will coordinate the provision of educational materials and training for the campus community. Additionally, the Title IX Coordinator will ensure a fair and neutral process for all parties and monitor all other aspects of the University’s Title IX compliance.
Reports of sex discrimination or sexual harassment to the University Title IX Coordinator can be made in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information listed for the Title IX Coordinator, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. A report may be submitted at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the telephone number or electronic mail address, or by mail to the office address listed for the Title IX Coordinator.
The Title IX Coordinator can be contacted by telephone, email, or in person at:
Title IX Coordinator
Roxana A. Jimenez
Director of Compliance & Title IX Coordinator
3140 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816
Office of Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303-8909
Phone: (404) 331-2867
Section 6: Notice or Complaints of Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and/or Retaliation
Notice or complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation may be made using any of the following options:
- File a complaint with, or give verbal notice to, the Title IX Coordinator. Such a report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the telephone number or email address, or by mail to the office address, listed above for the Title IX Coordinator.
- Report online, using the reporting form posted at: Chaminade Campus Incident Reporting Form . Anonymous reports are accepted but can give rise to a need to investigate. The University tries to provide supportive measures to all Complainants, which is impossible with an anonymous report.
Because reporting carries no obligation to initiate a formal response, and as the University respects Complainant requests to dismiss complaints unless there is a compelling threat to health and/or safety, the Complainant is largely in control and should not fear loss of privacy by making a report that allows the University to discuss and/or provide supportive measures.
- Report incident(s) to a mandated reporter of the University (supervisor, faculty member, Dean, staff member, etc.)
A Formal Complaint means a document filed/signed by the Complainant and/or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging a policy violation by a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation(s). A complaint may be filed in-person and/or as described in this section above. As used in this paragraph, the phrase “document filed by Complainant” means a document or electronic submission (such as by electronic mail or through the online Campus Incident Report link found on the bottom of the University’s web page (Chaminade Campus Incident Reporting Form) However, if the online incident report form is used, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the Complainant to ensure that the information is correct and have the Complainant sign the report.
Supportive Measures: The University will offer and implement appropriate and reasonable supportive measures as defined above to the parties upon notice of alleged harassment and/or retaliation. Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the parties to restore or preserve access to the University’s education program or activities, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the University’s educational environment, and/or to deter harassment and/or retaliation.
The Title IX Coordinator promptly works with other departments/resources to make supportive measures available to the parties upon receiving notice or a complaint. At the time that supportive measures are offered, the University will inform the Complainant, in writing, that they may file a formal complaint either at that time or in the future, if they have not done so already. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will work with the Complainant to ensure that their wishes are taken into account with respect to the supportive measures that are planned and implemented.
The University will maintain the privacy of the supportive measures, provided that privacy does not impair the University’s ability to provide supportive measures. The University will act to ensure that there is as minimal educational impact on the parties as possible. The supportive measures that the University will implement as appropriate are listed in the definition above in Section 3.
Emergency Removal: The University can act to remove a Respondent entirely or partially from its education program and/or activities on an emergency basis when an individualized safety and risk assessment has determined that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual justifies removal. The risk analysis is performed by the Title IX Coordinator in conjunction with the CARE team using its standard objective violence risk assessment procedures.
In all cases in which an emergency removal is imposed, the student or employee will be given notice of the action and the option to request to meet with the Title IX Coordinator, with the Director of Campus Security present at the meeting, prior to such action/removal being imposed, or as soon thereafter as reasonably practicable, to show cause why the action/removal should not be implemented or should be modified.
This meeting is not a hearing on the merits of the allegation(s), but rather is an administrative process intended to determine solely whether the emergency removal is appropriate. When this meeting is not requested within five (5) days of either the date that the removal is to go into effect or the day it did go into effect, any objections to the emergency removal will be deemed waived. If deemed equitable and necessary by the Title IX Coordinator, the input or participation of the Complainant and their Advisor may be permitted. There is no appeal process for emergency removal decisions.
A Respondent may be accompanied by an Advisor of their choice when meeting with the Title IX Coordinator for the show cause meeting. The Respondent will be given access to a written summary of the basis for the emergency removal prior to the meeting to allow for adequate preparation.
The Title IX Coordinator has sole discretion under this policy to implement or stay an emergency removal and to determine the conditions and duration. Violation of an emergency removal under this policy will be grounds for discipline, which may include expulsion or termination.
The University will implement the least restrictive actions possible in light of the circumstances and safety concerns. As determined by the Title IX Coordinator, these actions could include, but are not limited to: removing a student from a residence hall, temporarily reassigning an employee, restricting a student’s or employee’s access to use of facilities or equipment, allowing a student to withdraw or take grades of incomplete without financial penalty, authorizing administrative leave with pay for employees, remote working, alternative coursework options, and suspending a student’s participation in extracurricular activities, student employment, student organizational leadership, or intercollegiate/intramural athletics.
Promptness: All allegations are acted upon promptly by the University once it has received notice or a formal complaint. Complaints can take 60-90 business days to resolve, typically. There are always exceptions and extenuating circumstances that can cause a resolution to take longer, but the University will avoid all undue delays within its control.
Any time the general timeframes for resolution outlined in University procedures will be delayed, the University will provide written notice to the parties of the delay, the cause of the delay, and an estimate of the anticipated additional time that will be needed as a result of the delay.
Privacy: To the greatest extent possible, the University will treat all reported violations of this policy as private and confidential. If a Complainant requests confidentiality or asks that the incident not be pursued, the University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the incident consistent with the request for confidentiality or the request not to pursue an investigation. If the Complainant asks that his or her name or other identifiable information not be revealed, the University will evaluate that request in the context of its responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the community.
Equitable Treatment: Both parties are eligible for Supportive Measures as defined within this policy. The University will not impose disciplinary sanctions against a respondent unless a determination of responsibility for sexual harassment has been made against the respondent.
The University will provide an equal opportunity for the parties to participate in the investigative process and/or present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.
The University will conduct an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence – including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. The University will not require, allow, rely upon, evaluate, or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected by a legally recognized privilege (e.g., attorney client), unless the person holding such privilege has waived the privilege.
The parties will have an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in a formal complaint, including the evidence upon which the University does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a party or other source. The University will not consider or provide for inspection and review evidence which the University knows was illegally or unlawfully created or obtained. The University may impose on the parties and party advisors, restrictions or require a non-disclosure agreement not to disseminate any of the evidence subject to inspection and review.
Bias and Conflicts of Interest: Any individual designated by the University as a Title IX Coordinator, investigator, hearing officer, or any person designated by a University to facilitate an informal resolution process, must not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents, generally, or any individual complainant or individual respondent.
The following will not be considered evidence of bias:
- The Title IX Coordinator’s initiation of a formal complaint, or;
- An individual’s decision that allegations warrant an investigation.
The University will apply an objective (whether a reasonable person would believe bias exists), common sense approach to evaluating whether a particular person serving in a Title IX role is biased, and will exercise caution not to apply generalizations that might unreasonably conclude that bias exists. An individual’s current job title, professional qualifications, past experience, identity, or sex will not alone indicate bias.
Presumption of Not Responsible: There is a presumption that a respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process.
Mandated Reporters: All University employees (faculty, staff, and administrators) are expected to report actual or suspected harassment under this policy to the Title IX Coordinator immediately, though there are some limited exceptions.
In order to make informed choices, it is important to be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements when consulting campus resources. On campus, some resources may maintain confidentiality and are not required to report actual or suspected harassment. They may offer options and resources without any obligation to inform an outside agency or campus official unless a Complainant has requested that the information be shared.
If a Complainant expects formal action in response to their allegation(s), reporting to any Mandated Reporter can connect them with resources to report crimes and/or policy violations, and these employees will immediately pass reports to the Title IX Coordinator, who will take action when an incident is reported to them.
The following sections describe the reporting options at Chaminade University for a Complainant or third-party (including parents/guardians when appropriate):
1. Confidential Resources
If a Complainant would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, the Complainant may speak with:
- Counselors at the University Counseling Center:
- Chaminade University Chaplain:
- Father Marty Solma, S.M.
- [email protected]
- Chaminade University Rector:
- Br. Edward Brink, S.M.
- [email protected]
2. Anonymous Notice to Mandated Reporters
At the request of a Complainant, notice may be given by a Mandated Reporter to the Title IX Coordinator anonymously, without identification of the Complainant. The Mandated Reporter cannot remain anonymous themselves.
If a Complainant has requested that a Mandated Reporter maintain the Complainant’s anonymity, the Mandated Reporter may do so unless it is reasonable to believe that a compelling threat to health or safety could exist. The Mandated Reporter can consult with the Title IX Coordinator on that assessment without revealing personally identifiable information.
Anonymous notice will be investigated by the University to the extent possible, both to assess the underlying allegation(s) and to determine if supportive measures or remedies can be provided. However, anonymous notice typically limits the University’s ability to investigate, respond, and provide remedies, depending on what information is shared.
When a Complainant has made a request for anonymity, the Complainant’s personally identifiable information may be withheld by a Mandated Reporter, but all other details must be shared with the Title IX Coordinator. Mandated Reporters may not be able to maintain requests for anonymity for Complainants who are minors or disabled, depending whether the incident alleged places a legal burden on the University as a mandated reporter under applicable Hawaii state child abuse laws.
3. Mandated Reporters and Formal Notice/Complaints
All employees of the University, including student employees, with the exception of those who are designated as Confidential Resources, are Mandated Reporters and must promptly share with the Title IX Coordinator all known details of a report made to them in the course of their employment. Employees must also promptly share all details of behaviors under this policy that they observe or have knowledge of, even if not reported to them by a Complainant or third-party.
Complainants may want to carefully consider whether they share personally identifiable details with non-confidential Mandated Reporters, as those details must be shared with the Title IX Coordinator.
Generally, disclosures in climate surveys, classroom writing assignments or discussions, human subjects research, or at events such as “Take Back The Night” marches or speak-outs do not provide notice that must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator by employees, unless the Complainant clearly indicates that they desire a report to be made or seek a specific response from the University. Supportive measures may be offered as the result of such disclosures without formal University action.
Failure to Report by a Mandated Reporter: Failure of a Mandated Reporter, as described above in this section, to report an incident of harassment of which they become aware of is a violation of this policy and can be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply.
When a Mandated Reporter is engaged in harassment or other violations of this policy, they still have a duty to report their own misconduct, though the University is technically not on notice when a harasser is also a Mandated Reporter unless the harasser does in fact report themselves.
It is important to clarify that a Mandated Reporter who is themselves a target of harassment or other misconduct under this policy is not required to report their own experience, though they are strongly encouraged to do so.
When a Complainant Does Not Wish to Proceed: If a Complainant does not wish for their name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not want a formal complaint to be pursued, they may make such a request to the Title IX Coordinator, who will evaluate that request in light of the duty to ensure the safety of the campus and to comply with state or federal law.
The Title IX Coordinator has ultimate discretion over whether the University proceeds when the Complainant does not wish to do so, and the Title IX Coordinator may sign a formal complaint to initiate a grievance process upon completion of an appropriate violence risk assessment. When the Title IX Coordinator executes the written complaint, they do not become the Complainant. The Complainant is the individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute a violation of this policy.
The Title IX Coordinator’s decision should be based on results of the violence risk assessment that show a compelling risk to health and/or safety that requires the University to pursue formal action to protect the community. A compelling risk to health and/or safety includes but is not limited to: evidence of patterns of conduct, predatory conduct, threats, abuse of minors, use of weapons, and/or violence. The University may be compelled to act on alleged employee misconduct irrespective of a Complainant’s wishes.
The Title IX Coordinator must also consider the effect that non-participation by the Complainant may have on the availability of evidence and the University’s ability to pursue a Formal Grievance Process fairly and effectively.
The University’s ability to remedy and respond to an allegation of a violation of this Policy may be limited if the Complainant does not want the University to proceed with an investigation and/or the grievance process. The goal is to provide the Complainant with as much control over the process as possible, while balancing the University’s obligation to protect its community.
Federal Timely Warning Obligations: Parties reporting sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking should be aware that under the Clery Act, the University must issue timely warnings for reported incidents that pose a serious or continuing threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community.
The University will ensure that a Complainant’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the potential danger.
False Allegations and Evidence: Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations under this Policy are a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. This does not include allegations that are made in good faith but are ultimately shown to be erroneous or do not result in a policy violation determination.
Additionally, witnesses and parties knowingly providing false evidence, tampering with or destroying evidence, or deliberately misleading an official conducting an investigation can be subject to discipline under appropriate University policies.
Section 7: Interim Resolution Process for Alleged Violations of this Policy
The University strongly supports and encourages prompt reporting of sex discrimination and harassment so that resources can be provided and the community can remain safe. All University community members (students, faculty, and staff) should help ensure that violations of this policy are promptly reported. Most University employees are mandatory reporters as described in the Importance of Reporting section below. Normally, this means reporting any witnessed violations or violations learned about through the disclosure of a reporting party. Reporting is not the same as filing a formal complaint (although for some purposes a formal complaint may also serve as a report).
If a person believes they or someone they directly know has been the victim of sex discrimination and harassment, it should promptly be reported to the University’s Title IX Coordinator. This could be done in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail using the contact information listed above for the Title IX Coordinator. Such a report can be made at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the telephone number, email address, or by sending mail to the office address listed in this policy.
A person filing a complaint will be provided with information regarding the University’s Title IX policy and procedures as well as confidential resources and information for reporting criminal offenses to campus and local law enforcement. Instances of sex discrimination may violate both the University’s sex discrimination policy and the law. As a result, the University encourages victims to pursue their complaints through both the University’s process for sex discrimination and through the criminal justice system. To file a police report with the Honolulu Police Department, call 9-1-1.
Upon receipt of a complaint or notice to the Title IX Coordinator of an alleged violation of this policy, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate a prompt initial assessment (explained below) to determine the next steps to be taken. At least one of the following three responses will be initiated after an initial assessment of the complaint:
- Offering supportive measures because the Complainant does not want to proceed formally; and/or
- An informal resolution; and/or
- A Formal Grievance including an investigation and a hearing.
The Formal Grievance process will be used to determine whether or not the policy has been violated. If so, the University will promptly implement effective remedies designed to ensure that it is not deliberately indifferent to harassment or discrimination, their potential recurrence, or their effects.
Initial Assessment: Following the receipt of notice or a complaint of alleged violation of this policy, the Title IX Coordinator engages in an initial assessment, which is typically one to five business days in duration. The steps of an initial assessment may include:
- If notice is given, the Title IX Coordinator seeks to determine if the person impacted wishes to make a formal complaint, and will assist them in doing so, if that assistance is desired.
- If they do not wish to make a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator determines whether to initiate a complaint because a violence risk assessment indicates a compelling threat to health and/or safety.
- If a formal complaint is received, the Title IX Coordinator assesses its sufficiency and works with the Complainant to make sure it is correctly completed.
- The Title IX Coordinator reaches out to the Complainant to offer supportive measures.
- The Title IX Coordinator works with the Complainant to ensure they are aware of their right to have an Advisor.
- The Title IX Coordinator works with the Complainant to determine whether the Complainant prefers a supportive and remedial response, an informal resolution option, or a formal investigation and grievance process.
- If supportive and remedial response is preferred, the Title IX Coordinator works with the Complainant to identify their wishes then seeks to facilitate implementation. No Formal Grievance Process is initiated, though the Complainant can elect to initiate one later, if desired.
- If an informal resolution option is preferred, the Title IX Coordinator assesses whether the complaint is suitable for informal resolution, which informal resolution mechanism may serve the situation best or is available, and may seek to determine if the Respondent is also willing to engage in an informal resolution.
- If a Formal Grievance Process is preferred, the Title IX Coordinator determines if the misconduct alleged falls within the scope of Title IX:
- If it does, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate the formal investigation and grievance process, directing the investigation to address:
- An incident, and/or
- A pattern of alleged misconduct, and/or
- A culture/climate issue, based on the nature of the complaint.
- If it does, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate the formal investigation and grievance process, directing the investigation to address:
- If it does not fall within the scope of this policy, the Title IX Coordinator will either dismiss the complaint in its entirety or only dismiss the portions of the complaint that are not within the scope of Title IX and/or assess if other policies or resolutions may apply. Dismissing a complaint does not limit the University’s authority to address the complaint with appropriate processes or remedies. See “Dismissal of a Formal Complaint” below.
Violence Risk Assessment: In many cases, the Title IX Coordinator may determine that a violence risk assessment (“VRA”) should be conducted by the University’s Care Team as part of the initial assessment. If the Care Team identifies that there is a risk to the health and safety of any individual(s), a recommendation for appropriate action will be made to the University official with the authority to implement the Care Team’s recommendations. Appropriate action includes but is not limited to:
- Emergency removal of a Respondent on the basis of immediate threat to physical health and safety;
- Whether the Title IX Coordinator should sign a formal complaint absent a willing and/or able Complainant;
- Whether it is reasonable to try to resolve a complaint through informal resolution, and what modality may be most successful;
- Whether to permit a voluntary withdrawal by the Respondent;
- Trespass warnings;
- Stay away orders;
- Assessment of appropriate sanctions/remedies (to be applied post-hearing); and/or
- Any other remedy to maintain the health and safety of the University community.
Dismissal of a Formal Complaint: The University, through the Title IX Coordinator, must dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations therein, if, at any time during the investigation or hearing, it is determined that:
- The conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute sexual harassment as defined in this policy, even if it were proven; and/or
- The conduct did not occur in an educational program or activity controlled by the University, and/or the University does not have control over the Respondent (i.e., the Respondent is not a University student or employee); and/or
- The conduct did not occur against a person in the United States; and/or
- At the time of the filing of the formal complaint, the complainant(s) are not participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the University.
The University, through the Title IX Coordinator, may dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations therein if, at any time during the investigation or hearing:
- The Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator that the Complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein; or
- The Respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the University; or
- Specific circumstances prevent the University from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.
Upon any dismissal, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly send written notice of the dismissal and the rationale for doing so simultaneously to the Parties. The Complainant who withdraws a complaint may later request to reinstate the complaint at which time the Title IX Coordinator will assess whether or not the evidence is sufficient and/or still accessible so that an investigation and hearing can proceed (i.e., witnesses are still available).
If the Title IX Coordinator determines that other University policies are applicable, the notice of the dismissal of the Formal Complaint will state which University policies are applicable and what course of action will be taken to investigate and remedy any alleged violations remaining.
Counterclaims: The University is obligated to ensure that the grievance process is not abused for retaliatory purposes. The University permits the filing of counterclaims but uses an initial assessment, described above, to assess whether the allegations in the counterclaim are made in good faith. Counterclaims by a Respondent may be made in good faith, but are on occasion made for purposes of retaliation, instead. Counterclaims made with retaliatory intent will not be permitted.
Counterclaims determined to have been reported in good faith will be processed using the grievance procedures below. Investigation of such claims may take place after resolution of the underlying initial allegation, in which case a delay may occur.
Counterclaims may also be resolved through the same investigation as the underlying allegation, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator. When counterclaims are not made in good faith, they will be considered retaliatory and may constitute a violation of this policy.
Right to an Advisor: The Parties may each have an Advisor of the choice present with them for all meetings and interviews within the resolution process, if they so choose. The Parties may select whoever they wish to serve as their Advisor so long as the Advisor is eligible and available.
Choosing an Advisor who is also a witness in the process creates a potential for bias and conflict of interest. A party who chooses an Advisor who is also a witness can anticipate that an issue of potential bias will be explored by the hearing Decision-maker.
- Who can serve as an Advisor: The Advisor may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney, or any other individual a party chooses to advise, support, and/or consult with them from inside or outside the University community.
The Title IX Coordinator will also offer to assign a trained Advisor for any party if the party so chooses. If the parties choose and Advisor from the pool available from the University, the Advisor will be trained by the University and be familiar with the University’s resolution process.
- Advisor’s Role in Meetings and Interviews
The parties may be accompanied by their Advisor in all meetings and interviews at which the party is entitled to be present, including intake and interviews. Advisors should help the parties prepare for each meeting and are expected to advise ethically, with integrity, and in good faith.
The University cannot guarantee equal Advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an Advisor who is an attorney, but the other party does not or cannot afford an attorney, the University is not obligated to provide an attorney.
- Advisors in Hearings/University-Appointed Advisor
Under U.S. Department of Education regulations for Title IX a form of indirect questioning is required during the hearing but must be conducted by the parties’ Advisors. The parties are not permitted to directly question each other or any witnesses. If a party does not have an Advisor for a hearing, the University will appoint a trained Advisor for the limited purpose of conducting any questioning of the other party(ies) and witnesses.
- Pre-Interview Meetings
Advisors and their advisees may request to meet with the investigators conducting interviews/meetings in advance of these interviews or meetings. This pre-meeting allows Advisors to clarify and understand their role and the University’s policies and procedures.
- Advisor Violations of University Policy
All Advisors are subject to the same University policies and procedures, whether they are attorneys or not, and whether they are selected by a party or assigned by the University. Advisors are expected to advise their advisees without disrupting proceedings. Advisors should not address University officials or investigators in a meeting or interview unless invited to do so (e.g., asking procedural questions). The Advisor may not make a presentation or represent their advisee during any meeting or proceeding and may not speak on behalf of the advisee to the Investigator(s) or other Hearing Officer except during a hearing proceeding during questioning.
The parties are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf throughout the investigation phase of the resolution process. Although the Advisor generally may not speak on behalf of their advisee, the Advisor may consult with their advisee, either privately as needed, or by conferring or passing notes during any resolution process meeting or interview. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their Advisors should ask for breaks to allow for private consultation.
Any Advisor who oversteps their role as defined by this policy will be warned only once. If the Advisor continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the Advisor role, the meeting/interview/hearing will be ended, or other appropriate measures implemented. Subsequently, the Title IX Coordinator will determine how to address the Advisor’s non-compliance and future role.
- Sharing Information with the Advisor
The University expects that the parties may wish to have the University share documentation and evidence related to the allegations with their Advisors. The University provides a consent form (FERPA Form in the Student Portal) that authorizes the University to share such information directly with a party’s Advisor. The parties must either complete and submit this form to the Title IX Coordinator before the University is able to share records with an Advisor.
If a party requests that all communication be made through their attorney Advisor, the University will not comply with that request.
- Privacy of Records Shared with Advisor
Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them. These records may not be shared with third parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by the University. Advisors will be asked to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). The University may restrict the role of any Advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by the University’s privacy expectations.
- Expectations of an Advisor
The University generally expects an Advisor to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend University meetings when planned, but the University may change scheduled meetings to accommodate an Advisor’s inability to attend, if doing so does not cause an unreasonable delay.
The University may also make reasonable provisions to allow an Advisor who cannot be present in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video conferencing, or other similar technologies as may be convenient and available.
- Expectations of the Parties with Respect to Advisors
A party may elect to change Advisors during the process and is not obligated to use the same Advisor throughout. The parties are expected to inform the Investigator(s) of the identity of their Advisor at least two (2) business days before the date of their first meeting with Investigators (or as soon as possible if a more expeditious meeting is necessary or desired).
The parties are expected to provide timely notice to the Title IX Coordinator if they change Advisors at any time. It is assumed that if a party changes Advisors, consent to share information with the previous Advisor is terminated, and a release for the new Advisor should be secured. Parties are expected to inform the Title IX Coordinator of the identity of their hearing Advisor at least two (2) business days before the hearing.
- Assistance in Securing an Advisor
University can provide attorneys, faculty, or graduate students as Advisors in the resolution process. For representation, Respondents may wish to contact organizations such as:
- FACE (facecampusequality.org)
- SAVE (http://www.saveservices.org)
- Complainants may wish to contact organizations such as:
Resolution Process: Resolution proceedings are private. All persons present at any time during the resolution process are expected to maintain the privacy of the proceedings in accordance with University Policy.
Although there is an expectation of privacy around what Investigators share with parties during interviews, the parties have discretion to share their own knowledge and evidence with others if they so choose, with the exception of information the parties agree not to disclose as part of an Informal Resolution, discussed below. The University encourages parties to discuss with their Advisors any sharing of information before doing so.
The Formal Grievance Process is the University’s primary resolution approach, unless Informal Resolution is elected by all parties and the University. Three options for Informal Resolution are detailed in this section, and the Formal Grievance Process is detailed starting in the next section.
Informal Resolution: Informal resolution can result in the following ways:
- Supportive Resolution. When the Title IX Coordinator can resolve the matter informally by providing supportive measures (only) to remedy the situation.
- Alternative Resolution. When the parties agree to resolve the matter through an alternative resolution mechanism as described below, [including mediation, restorative practices, facilitated dialogue, etc.], usually before a formal investigation takes place; see discussion in b., below.
- Accepted Responsibility. When the Respondent accepts responsibility for violating policy, and desires to accept a sanction(s) and end the resolution process; see discussion in c., below.
To initiate Informal Resolution, a Complainant must submit a formal complaint, as defined above. A Respondent who wishes to initiate Informal Resolution should contact the Title IX Coordinator. The parties may agree as a condition of engaging in Informal Resolution that statements made or evidence shared during the Informal Resolution process will not be considered in the Formal Grievance Process unless all parties consent.
It is not necessary to pursue Informal Resolution first in order to pursue a Formal Grievance Process, and any party participating in Informal Resolution can stop the process at any time and begin or resume the Formal Grievance Process.
Prior to implementing Informal Resolution, the University will provide the parties with written notice of the reported misconduct and any sanctions or measures that may result from participating in such a process, including information regarding any records that will be maintained or shared by the University.
The University will obtain voluntary, written confirmation that all parties wish to resolve the matter through Informal Resolution before proceeding and will not pressure the parties to participate in Informal Resolution.
Alternative Resolution Approaches: Alternative Resolution is an informal approach, including mediation, restorative practices, facilitated dialogue, etc. by which the parties reach a mutually agreed upon resolution of an allegation. All parties must consent to the use of an Alternative Resolution approach.
The Title IX Coordinator may look to the following factors to assess whether Alternative Resolution is appropriate, or which form of Alternative Resolution may be most successful for the parties:
- The parties’ amenability to Alternative Resolution;
- Likelihood of potential resolution, taking into account any power dynamics between the parties;
- The parties’ motivation to participate;
- Civility of the parties;
- Results of a violence risk assessment/ongoing risk analysis;
- Disciplinary history;
- Whether an emergency removal is needed;
- Skill of the Alternative Resolution facilitator with this type of allegation;
- Complaint complexity;
- Emotional investment/capability of the parties;
- Rationality of the parties;
- Goals of the parties;
- Adequate resources to invest in Alternative Resolution (time, staff, etc.)
The ultimate determination of whether Alternative Resolution is available or successful is to be made by the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is authorized to negotiate a resolution that is acceptable to all parties, and/or to accept a resolution that is proposed by the parties, usually through their Advisors.
The Title IX Coordinator maintains records of any resolution that is reached, and failure to abide by the resolution agreement may result in appropriate responsive/disciplinary actions. Results of complaints resolved by Informal Resolution or Alternative Resolution are not appealable.
Respondent Accepts Responsibility for Alleged Violations: The Respondent may accept responsibility for all or part of the alleged policy violations at any point during the resolution process. If the Respondent indicates an intent to accept responsibility for all of the alleged misconduct, the formal process will be paused, and the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether Informal Resolution can be used according to the criteria above.
If Informal Resolution is applicable, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether all parties and the University are able to agree on responsibility, sanctions, and/or remedies. If so, the Title IX Coordinator implements the accepted finding that the Respondent is in violation of University policy and implements agreed-upon sanctions and/or remedies, in coordination with other appropriate administrator(s), as necessary.
This result is not subject to appeal once all parties indicate their written assent to all agreed upon terms of resolution. When the parties cannot agree on all terms of resolution, the Formal Grievance Process will resume at the same point where it was paused.
When a resolution is accomplished, the appropriate sanction or responsive actions are promptly implemented in order to effectively stop the harassment or discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects of the discriminatory conduct, both on the Complainant and the community.
Section 8: Formal Grievance Process: Notice of Investigation and Allegations
The Title IX Coordinator will provide written notice of the investigation and allegations (the “NOIA”) to the Respondent upon commencement of the Formal Grievance Process. This facilitates the Respondent’s ability to prepare for the interview and to identify and choose an Advisor to accompany them. The NOIA is also copied to the Complainant, who will be given advance notice of when the NOIA will be delivered to the Respondent.
The NOIA will include:
- A meaningful summary of all allegations;
- The identity of the involved parties (if known);
- The precise misconduct being alleged;
- The date and location of the alleged incident(s) (if known);
- The specific policies implicated;
- A description of the applicable procedures;
- A statement of the potential sanctions/responsive actions that could result;
- A statement that the University presumes the Respondent is not responsible for the reported misconduct unless and until the evidence supports a different determination;
- A statement that determinations of responsibility are made at the conclusion of the process and that the parties will be given an opportunity to inspect and review all directly related and/or relevant evidence obtained during the review and comment period;
- A statement about the University’s policy on retaliation;
- Information about the confidentiality of the process;
- Information on the need for each party to have an Advisor of their choosing and suggestions for ways to identify an Advisor;
- A statement informing the parties that the University’s Policy prohibits knowingly making false statements, including knowingly submitting false information during the resolution process;
- Detail on how the party may request disability accommodations during the interview process;
- The name(s) of the Investigator(s), along with a process to identify to the Title IX Coordinator, in advance of the interview process, any conflict of interest that the Investigator(s) may have; and
- An instruction to preserve any evidence that is directly related to the allegations.
Amendments and updates to the NOIA may be made as the investigation progresses and more information becomes available regarding the addition or dismissal of various allegations.
Notice will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person, [mailed to the local or permanent address(es) of the parties as indicated in official University records] , or emailed to the parties’ University-issued email or designated accounts. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
Resolution Timeline: The University will make a good faith effort to complete the resolution process within a sixty-to-ninety (60-90) business day time period, including appeal if any, which can be extended as necessary for appropriate cause by the Title IX Coordinator, who will provide notice and rationale for any extensions or delays to the parties as appropriate, as well as an estimate of how much additional time will be needed to complete the process.
Appointment of Investigators: Once the decision to commence a formal investigation is made, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint an investigator usually within two (2) business days of determining that an investigation should proceed. The Title IX Coordinator may conduct the investigation themself, appoint an internal staff member qualified to conduct investigations, or may hire an outside private investigator.
Ensuring Impartiality: Any individual materially involved in the administration of the resolution process (including the Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), and Hearing Officer) may neither have nor demonstrate a conflict of interest or bias for a party generally, or for a specific Complainant or Respondent.
The Title IX Coordinator will vet the assigned Investigator(s) for impartiality by ensuring there are no actual or apparent conflicts of interest or disqualifying biases. At any time during the resolution process, the parties may raise a concern regarding bias or conflict of interest, and the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the concern is reasonable and supportable. If so, another investigator will be assigned and the impact of the bias or conflict, if any, will be remedied. If the source of the conflict of interest or bias is the Title IX Coordinator, concerns should be raised with the President of the University.
The Formal Grievance Process involves an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence obtained, including evidence that supports that the Respondent engaged in a policy violation and evidence that supports that the Respondent did not engage in a policy violation. Credibility determinations may not be based solely on an individual’s status or participation as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.
The University operates with the presumption that the Respondent is not responsible for the reported misconduct unless and until the Respondent is determined to be responsible for a policy violation by the applicable standard of proof.
Investigation Timeline: Investigations are completed expeditiously, normally within thirty (30-60) business days, though some investigations may take weeks or even months, depending on the nature, extent, and complexity of the allegations, availability of witnesses, police involvement, etc.
The University will make a good faith effort to complete investigations as promptly as circumstances permit and will communicate regularly with the parties to update them on the progress and timing of the investigation.
Delays in the Investigation Process and Interactions with Law Enforcement: The University may undertake a short delay in its investigation (several days to a few weeks) if circumstances require. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to, a request from law enforcement to temporarily delay the investigation, the need for language assistance, the absence of parties and/or witnesses, and/or accommodations for disabilities or health conditions.
The University will communicate in writing the anticipated duration of the delay and reason to the parties, and provide the parties with status updates if necessary. The University will promptly resume its investigation and resolution process as soon as feasible. During such a delay, the University will implement supportive measures as deemed appropriate.
The University’s action(s) or processes are not typically altered or precluded on the grounds that civil or criminal charges involving the underlying incident(s) have been filed or that criminal charges have been dismissed or reduced.
Steps in the Investigation Process: All investigations are thorough, reliable, impartial, prompt, and fair. Investigations involve interviews with all relevant parties and witnesses; obtaining available, relevant evidence; and identifying sources of expert information, as necessary.
All parties have a full and fair opportunity, through the investigation process, to suggest witnesses and questions, to provide evidence and expert witnesses, and to fully review and respond to all evidence on the record. Recordings of interviews are an investigative tool that will be utilized when needed and will be provided to the parties once the investigation report is compiled.
The Investigator(s) typically take(s) the following steps, if not already completed (not necessarily in this order):
- Determine the identity and contact information of the Complainant
- Identify all policies implicated by the alleged misconduct and notify the Complainant and Respondent of all of the specific policies implicated
- Assist the Title IX Coordinator, if needed, with conducting a prompt initial assessment to determine if the allegations indicate a potential policy violation
- Commence a thorough, reliable, and impartial investigation by identifying issues and developing a strategic investigation plan, including a witness list, evidence list, intended investigation timeframe, and order of interviews for all witnesses and the parties
- Meet with the Complainant to finalize their interview/statement, if necessary
- Work with the Title IX Coordinator, as necessary, to prepare the initial Notice of Investigation and Allegation (NOIA). The NOIA may be amended with any additional or dismissed allegations
- Notice should inform the parties of their right to have the assistance of an Advisor of their choosing present for all meetings attended by the party
- Make good faith efforts to notify the parties of any meeting or interview involving the other party, in advance when possible
- When participation of a party is expected, provide that party with written notice of the date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as the expected participants and purpose
- Interview all available, relevant witnesses and conduct follow-up interviews as necessary
- Allow each party the opportunity to suggest witnesses and questions they wish the Investigator(s) to ask of the other party and witnesses, and document in the report which questions were asked, with a rationale for any changes or omissions
- Complete the investigation promptly and without unreasonable deviation from the intended timeline
- Provide regular status updates to the parties throughout the investigation
- Write a comprehensive investigation report fully summarizing the investigation, all witness interviews, and addressing all relevant evidence. Appendices including relevant physical or documentary evidence will be included
- The Investigator(s) gather, assess, and synthesize evidence, but make no conclusions, engage in no policy analysis, and render no recommendations as part of their report
- The Investigator may elect to follow up on responses from the Parties to the Final Investigation Report and provide a supplemental addendum to the Final Investigation Report outlining the Investigator’s findings of the new evidence and if it changes the findings and conclusion of the Final Investigation Report.
The Investigator will incorporate any relevant feedback, and the final report is then shared with the Title IX Coordinator, all parties and their Advisors through secure electronic transmission or hard copy at least ten (10) business days prior to a hearing. The parties and advisors are also provided with a file of any directly related evidence that was not included in the report
Role and Participation of Witnesses in the Investigation: Witnesses (as distinguished from the parties) who are employees of the University are strongly encouraged to cooperate with and participate in the University’s investigation and resolution process. Student witnesses and witnesses from outside the University community are encouraged to cooperate with the University investigations and to share what they know about a complaint.
Although in-person interviews for parties and all potential witnesses are ideal, circumstances (e.g., study abroad, summer break) may require individuals to be interviewed remotely. Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, WebEx, or similar technologies may be used for interviews if the Investigator(s) determine that timeliness, efficiency, or other reasons dictate a need for remote interviewing. The University will take appropriate steps to reasonably ensure the security/privacy of remote interviews. Recordings of interviews conducted via technological means will be utilized to preserve an accurate record and to ensure timeliness of the investigative process.
Witnesses may also provide written statements in lieu of interviews or choose to respond to written questions, if deemed appropriate by the Investigator(s), though not preferred. If a witness submits a written statement but does not intend to be and is not present for questioning at a hearing, their written statement may not be used as evidence.
Recording of Interviews: Hawaii is a one-party consent state which means that only one party to a conversation, including the individual recording the conversation, is needed to consent to the recording. Notwithstanding this, if anyone wishes to record an investigative meeting, they shall inform the investigator who will then also record the meeting. If Investigator(s) elect to audio and/or video record interviews, all involved parties should be made aware of audio and/or video recording and allowed to record the meeting if they so desire.
Evidentiary Considerations in the Investigation: The investigation does not consider:
- incidents not directly related to the possible violation, unless they evidence a pattern; or
- questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition; or
- questions and evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior, unless such questions and evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent.
Within the boundaries stated above, the investigation can consider character evidence generally, if offered, but that evidence is unlikely to be relevant unless it is fact evidence or relates to a pattern of conduct.
Referral for Hearing: Provided that the complaint is not resolved through Informal Resolution, once the final investigation report is shared with the parties, the Title IX Coordinator will refer the matter for a hearing. The Title IX Coordinator will select the person to conduct the hearing from a pool of retired judges and/or attorneys, mediators, or arbitrators as outside independent contractors to conduct hearings. Any professional hired by the University to conduct a hearing will have the requisite experience in sexual harassment/assault cases (either civil or criminal) and will be informed of and will follow all University’s policies pertaining to conducting hearings, role of advisors, cross examination, etc.
The person selected by the Title IX Coordinator to conduct the hearing (“the Hearing Officer”) will be the finder of fact and the decision maker as to whether or not the allegation occurred and if it was a violation of University policies. The findings of fact and conclusion of the hearing will be reduced to writing and provided to the Title IX Coordinator who will send it to the parties.
If an employee is the Respondent, the Title IX Coordinator will send the Final Investigation Report and the findings and conclusions of the Hearing Officer to the Supervisor of the Respondent. The Supervisor will provide the Respondent with an opportunity to respond to the conclusion of the Hearing Officer prior to the Supervisor making a decision about disciplinary action, if any, to be taken. The Supervisor will inform the Title IX Coordinator of the disciplinary action to be taken. The Title IX Coordinator will assist the Supervisor in drafting a letter to the Respondent informing the Respondent about the discipline that will be taken.
If a student is the Respondent, the Title IX Coordinator will send the Final Investigation Report and the findings and conclusions of the Hearing Officer to the Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA). The VPSA will provide the Respondent with an opportunity to respond to the conclusion of the Hearing Officer prior to the VPSA making a decision about disciplinary action, if any, to be taken. The VPSA will inform the Title IX Coordinator of the disciplinary action to be taken. The Title IX Coordinator will assist the VPSA in drafting a letter to the Respondent informing the Respondent about the discipline that will be taken.
Whether or not the Respondent is an employee or a student, the Title IX Coordinator will send the Final Investigation Report and findings and conclusions of the Hearing Officer to the Complainant. The Complainant may send any objections to either the Final Investigation Report or the findings and conclusions of the Hearing Officer to the Title IX Coordinator who will forward them to the Supervisor or VPSA, depending on if the Respondent is a student or employee.
Hearing Officer: The Hearing Officer, appointed by the Title IX Coordinator, will not have had any previous involvement with the investigation. Those who have served as Investigators will be witnesses in the hearing and therefore may not serve as a Hearing Officer. Those who are serving as Advisors for any party may not serve as a Hearing Officer in that matter.
The Title IX Coordinator may not serve as a Hearing Officer in the matter but may serve as an administrative facilitator of the hearing if their previous role(s) in the matter do not create a conflict of interest (i.e., the Title IX Coordinator conducted the investigation). Otherwise, a designee may fulfill this facilitator role. The hearing will convene at a time and venue determined by the Hearing Officer and mutually agreed upon by the Parties. Neither Party shall be unreasonable in scheduling a hearing time so that an unreasonable delay is created.
Evidentiary Considerations in the Hearing: Any evidence that the Hearing Officer determines is relevant may be considered. The hearing does not consider: 1) incidents not directly related to the possible violation, unless they evidence a pattern; 2) questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition; or 3) questions or evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior, unless such questions and evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent.
Within the boundaries stated above, the hearing can consider character evidence generally, if offered, but that evidence is unlikely to be relevant unless it is fact evidence or relates to a pattern of conduct. Previous disciplinary action of any kind involving the Respondent may be considered in determining an appropriate sanction upon a determination of responsibility, assuming the University uses a progressive discipline system. This information is only considered at the sanction stage of the process, and is not shared until then.
The parties may each submit a written impact statement prior to the hearing for the consideration of the Supervisor or VPSA at the sanction stage of the process when a determination of responsibility is reached.
After post-hearing deliberation, the Hearing Officer renders a determination based on [the preponderance of the evidence; whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Policy as alleged.
Notice of Hearing: No less than ten (10) business days prior to the hearing , the Title IX Coordinator or the Hearing Officer with the assistance of the Title IX Coordinator will send notice of the hearing to the parties. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
The notice will contain:
- A description of the alleged violation(s), a list of all policies allegedly violated, a description of the applicable hearing procedures, and a statement of the potential sanctions/responsive actions that could result.
- The time, date, and location of the hearing.
- Description of any technology that will be used to facilitate the hearing.
- Information about the option for the live hearing to occur with the parties located in separate rooms using technology that enables the Hearing Officer and parties to see and hear a party or witness answering questions. Such a request must be raised with the Title IX Coordinator at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing.
- A list of all those who will attend the hearing, along with an invitation to object to any Hearing Officer on the basis of demonstrated bias or conflict of interest. This must be raised with the Title IX Coordinator at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing.
- Information on how the hearing will be recorded and on access to the recording for the parties after the hearing.
- A statement that if any party or witness does not appear at the scheduled hearing, the hearing may be held in their absence, and the party’s or witness’s testimony and any statements given prior to the hearing will not be considered by the Hearing Officer. For compelling reasons, the Hearing Officer may reschedule the hearing.
- Notification that the parties may have the assistance of an Advisor of their choosing at the hearing and will be required to have one present for any questions they may desire to ask. The party must notify the Title IX Coordinator if they do not have an Advisor, and the University will appoint one. Each party must have an Advisor present. There are no exceptions.
- A copy of all the materials provided to the Hearing Officer about the matter, unless they have been provided already.
- An invitation to each party to submit to the Hearing Officer an impact statement pre-hearing that the Supervisor or VPSA will review during any sanction determination.
- An invitation to contact the Title IX Coordinator to arrange any disability accommodations, language assistance, and/or interpretation services that may be needed at the hearing, at least seven (7) business days prior to the hearing.
- Whether parties can/cannot bring mobile phones/devices into the hearing.
Hearings for possible violations that occur near or after the end of an academic term (assuming the Respondent is still subject to this Policy) and are unable to be resolved prior to the end of term will typically be held immediately after the end of the term or during the summer, as needed, to meet the resolution timeline followed by the University and remain within the 60-90 business day goal for resolution.
Alternative Hearing Participation Options: If a party or parties prefer not to attend or cannot attend the hearing in person, the party should request alternative arrangements from the Title IX Coordinator or the Hearing Officer at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing.
The Title IX Coordinator or the Hearing Officer can arrange to use technology to allow remote testimony without compromising the fairness of the hearing. Remote options may also be needed for witnesses who cannot appear in person. Any witness who cannot attend in person should let the Title IX Coordinator or the Hearing Officer know at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Pre-Hearing Preparation: After any necessary consultation with the parties, the Hearing Officer will provide the names of persons who will be participating in the hearing, all pertinent documentary evidence, and the final investigation report to the parties at least ten (10) business days prior to the hearing.
Any witness scheduled to participate in the hearing must have been first interviewed by the Investigator or have proffered a written statement or answered written questions during the investigative process, unless all parties and the Hearing Officer assent to the witness’s participation in the hearing. The same holds for any evidence that is first offered at the hearing. If the parties and Hearing Officer do not assent to the admission of evidence newly offered at the hearing, the Hearing Officer may delay the hearing and/or instruct that the investigation needs to be re-opened to consider that evidence.
The parties will be given the name of the assigned Hearing Officer at least five (5) business days in advance of the hearing. All objections to the Hearing Officer must be raised in writing, detailing the rationale for the objection, and must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible and no later than two days prior to the hearing. Hearing Officer will only be removed if the Title IX Coordinator concludes that their bias or conflict of interest precludes an impartial hearing of the allegation(s).
The Title IX Coordinator will give the Hearing Officer a list of the names of all parties, witnesses, and Advisors at least five (5) business days in advance of the hearing. Any Decision-maker who cannot make an objective determination must recuse themselves from the proceedings when notified of the identity of the parties, witnesses, and Advisors in advance of the hearing. If a Decision-maker is unsure of whether a bias or conflict of interest exists, they must raise the concern to the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible.
During the ten (10) business day period prior to the hearing, the parties have the opportunity for continued review and comment on the final investigation report and available evidence. That review and comment can be shared with the Hearing Officer at a pre-hearing meeting or at the hearing and will be exchanged between each party by the Hearing Officer.
Pre-Hearing Meetings: The Hearing Officer may convene a pre-hearing meeting(s) with the parties and/or their Advisors and invite them to submit the questions or topics they (the parties and/or their Advisors) wish to ask or discuss at the hearing, so that the Hearing Officer can rule on their relevance ahead of time to avoid any improper evidentiary introduction in the hearing or to provide recommendations for more appropriate phrasing.
However, this advance review opportunity does not preclude the Advisors from asking a question for the first time at the hearing or from asking for a reconsideration on a pre-hearing ruling by the Hearing Officer based on any new information or testimony offered at the hearing. The Hearing Officer must document and share with each party their rationale for any exclusion or inclusion at a pre-hearing meeting.
The Hearing Officer, only with full agreement of the parties, may decide in advance of the hearing that certain witnesses do not need to be present if their testimony can be adequately summarized by the Investigator(s) in the investigation report or during the hearing.
At each pre-hearing meeting with a party and their Advisor, the Hearing Officer will consider arguments that evidence identified in the final investigation report as relevant is, in fact, not relevant. Similarly, evidence identified as directly related but not relevant by the Investigator(s) may be argued to be relevant. The Hearing Officer may rule on these arguments pre-hearing and will exchange those rulings between the parties prior to the hearing to assist in preparation for the hearing. The Hearing Officer may consult with legal counsel and/or the Title IX Coordinator, or ask either or both to attend pre-hearing meetings.
The pre-hearing meeting(s) will/will not be recorded. The pre-hearing meetings may be conducted as separate meetings with each party/advisors, with all parties/advisors present at the same time, remotely, or as a paper-only exchange. The Hearing Officer will work with the parties to establish the format.
Hearing Procedures: At the hearing, the Hearing Officer has the authority to hear and make determinations on all allegations of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation and may also hear and make determinations on any additional alleged policy violations that occurred in concert with the discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation, even though those collateral allegations may not specifically fall within the Policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination.
Participants at the hearing will include the Hearing Officer, any additional panelists, the hearing facilitator, the Investigator(s) who conducted the investigation, the parties, Advisors to the parties, any called witnesses, the Title IX Coordinator if not serving as the hearing facilitator, and anyone providing authorized accommodations, interpretation, and/or assistive services.
The Hearing Officer will answer all questions of procedure. Anyone appearing at the hearing to provide information will respond to questions on their own behalf.
The Hearing Officer will allow witnesses who have relevant information to appear at a portion of the hearing in order to respond to specific questions from the Hearing Officer and the parties, and the witnesses will then be excused.
Joint Hearings: In hearings involving more than one Respondent or in which two (2) or more Complainants have accused the same individual of substantially similar conduct, the default procedure will be to hear the allegations jointly.
However, the Title IX Coordinator may permit the investigation and/or hearings pertinent to each Respondent to be conducted separately if there is a compelling reason to do so. In joint hearings, separate determinations of responsibility will be made for each Respondent with respect to each alleged policy violation.
The Order of the Hearing – Introductions and Explanation of Procedure: The Hearing Officer explains the procedures and introduces the participants. This may include a final opportunity for challenge or recusal of the Hearing Officer on the basis of bias or conflict of interest. The Hearing Officer will rule on any such challenge unless the Hearing Officer is the individual who is the subject of the challenge, in which case the Title IX Coordinator will review and decide the challenge.
At the hearing, recording, witness logistics, party logistics, curation of documents, separation of the parties, and other administrative elements of the hearing process are managed by a non-voting hearing facilitator appointed by the Title IX Coordinator or the Title IX Coordinator serving as the hearing facilitator. The hearing facilitator may attend to: logistics of rooms for various parties/witnesses as they wait; flow of parties/witnesses in and out of the hearing space; ensuring recording and/or virtual conferencing technology is working as intended; copying and distributing materials to participants, as appropriate, etc.
Investigator Presents the Final Investigation Report: The Investigator will then present a summary of the final investigation report, including items that are contested and those that are not, and will be subject to questioning by the Hearing Officer and the parties (through their Advisors). The Investigator will be present during the entire hearing process, but not during deliberations.
Neither the parties nor the Hearing Officer should ask the Investigator their opinions on credibility, recommended findings, or determinations, and Advisors and parties will refrain from discussion of or questions for Investigators about these assessments. If such information is introduced, the Hearing Officer will direct that it be disregarded.
Testimony and Questioning: Once the Investigator presents(s) the report and is questioned, the parties and witnesses may provide relevant information in turn, beginning with the Complainant, and then in the order determined by the Hearing Officer. Questioning of parties and witnesses by the Hearing Officer and then by the parties through their Advisors will occur. All questions are subject to a relevance determination by the Hearing Officer.
The Advisor, who will remain seated during questioning, will pose the proposed question orally, electronically, or in writing (orally is the default, but other means of submission may be permitted by the Hearing Officer upon request if agreed to by all parties and the Hearing Officer), the proceeding will pause to allow the Hearing Officer to consider the question (and state it if it has not already been stated aloud), and the Hearing Officer will determine whether the question will be permitted, disallowed, or rephrased.
The Hearing Officer may invite explanations or persuasive statements regarding relevance with the Advisors, if the Hearing Officer so chooses. The Hearing Officer will then state their decision on the question for the record and advise the party/witness to whom the question was directed, accordingly. The Hearing Officer will explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant, or to reframe it for relevance.
The Hearing Officer will limit or disallow questions on the basis that they are irrelevant, unduly repetitious (and thus irrelevant), or abusive. The Hearing Officer has final say on all questions and determinations of relevance. The Hearing Officer may ask Advisors to state why a question is or is not relevant from their perspective but will not entertain arguments from the Advisors on relevance once the Hearing Officer has ruled on a question.
If the parties raise an issue of bias or conflict of interest of an Investigator at the hearing, the Hearing Officer may elect to address those issues and/or refer them to the Title IX Coordinator, and/or preserve them for appeal. If bias is not in issue at the hearing, the Hearing Officer should not permit irrelevant questions that probe for bias.
Refusal to Submit to Questioning: Cross-examination is an all or nothing proposition, meaning that if any relevant question is refused, no statements of that party or witness are admissible. Only if a party or witness is willing to submit to cross-examination, and answers all questions, will their statements prior to or at the hearing be fully admissible. If a party or witness chooses not to submit to cross-examination at the hearing, either because they do not attend the meeting, or they attend but refuse to participate in questioning, then the Hearing Officer may not rely on any prior statement made by that party or witness at the hearing (including those contained in the investigation report) in the ultimate determination of responsibility.
The Hearing Officer must disregard all such statements.
Evidence provided that is something other than a statement by the party or witness may be considered. Whether a party or witness does or does not answer questions from the Hearing Officer, their statements will be admissible as long as they are willing to submit to cross-examination questions, even if they are not asked such questions. The Hearing Officer may not draw any inference solely from a party’s or witness’s absence from the hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.
If collateral charges of policy violations other than sexual harassment are considered at the same hearing, the Hearing Officer may consider all evidence it deems relevant, may rely on any relevant statement as long as the opportunity for questioning is afforded to all parties through their Advisors, and may draw reasonable inferences from any decision by any party or witness not to participate or respond to questions.
If a party’s Advisor of choice refuses to comply with the University’s established rules of decorum for the hearing, the University may require the party to use a different Advisor. If a University-provided Advisor refuses to comply with the rules of decorum, the University may provide that party with a different Advisor to conduct questioning on behalf of that party.
An Advisor may not be called as a witness at a hearing to testify to what their advisee has told them during their role as an Advisor unless the party being advised consents to that information being shared. It is otherwise considered off-limits, and an Advisor who is an institutional employee is temporarily alleviated from mandated reporter responsibilities related to their interaction with their advisee during the resolution process.
Recording Hearings: Hearings (but not deliberations) are recorded by the University for purposes of review in the event of an appeal. The parties may not record the proceedings and no other unauthorized recordings are permitted.
The Hearing Officer, the parties, their Advisors, and appropriate administrators of the University will be permitted to listen to the recording or review a transcript of the recording in a controlled environment determined by the Title IX Coordinator, upon request. No person will be given or be allowed to make a copy of the recording without permission of the Title IX Coordinator.
Deliberation, Decision-making, and Standard of Proof: At the conclusion of the hearing and the collection of evidence presented at hearing, the Hearing Officer will be provided 10-15 business days to consider all evidence presented at hearing to determine whether the Respondent is responsible or not responsible for the policy violation(s) in question. The preponderance of the evidence standard of proof is used. The Hearing Officer will provide written findings of fact and conclusions to the Title IX Coordinator that will include the determination, rationale, the evidence used in support of its determination, the evidence not relied upon in its determination, and credibility assessments.
When there is a finding of responsibility on one or more of the allegations, the person responsible for sanctions (supervisor or Vice President of Student Affairs) may then consider the previously submitted party impact statements in determining appropriate sanction(s). These statements are not binding. The Title IX Coordinator will ensure that each of the parties has an opportunity to review any impact statement submitted by the other party(ies). The Hearing Officer may, at their discretion, consider the statements, but they are not binding.
Notice of Outcome: Using the findings of fact and conclusions of the Hearing Officer, the Title IX Coordinator will prepare a Notice of Outcome letter. The Title IX Coordinator will then share the letter, including the final determination, rationale, and any applicable sanction(s) with the parties and their Advisors within seven business days of receiving the Hearing Officer’s findings and conclusions.
The Notice of Outcome will be shared with the parties simultaneously. Notification will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person, mailed to the local or permanent address of the parties as indicated in official University records, or emailed to the parties’ University-issued email or otherwise approved account. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
The Notice of Outcome will articulate the specific policy(ies) reported to have been violated, including the relevant policy section, and will contain a description of the procedural steps taken by the University from the receipt of the misconduct report to the determination, including any and all notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to obtain evidence, and hearings held.
The Notice of Outcome will specify the finding on each alleged policy violation; the findings of fact that support the determination; conclusions regarding the application of the relevant policy to the facts at issue; a statement of, and rationale for, the result of each allegation to the extent the University is permitted to share such information under state or federal law; any sanctions issued which the University is permitted to share according to state or federal law; and whether remedies will be provided to the Complainant to ensure access to the University’s educational or employment program or activity.
The Notice of Outcome will also include information on when the results are considered by the University to be final, any changes that occur prior to finalization, and the relevant procedures and bases for any available appeal options.
Sanctions: Factors considered when determining a sanction/responsive action may include, but are not limited to:
- The nature, severity of, and circumstances surrounding the violation(s)
- The Respondent’s disciplinary history
- The need for sanctions/responsive actions to bring an end to the discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation
- The need for sanctions/responsive 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
- The impact on the parties
- Any other information deemed relevant by the Decision-maker(s)
The sanctions will be implemented as soon as is feasible, either upon the outcome of any appeal or the expiration of the window to appeal without an appeal being requested.
The sanctions described in this policy are not exclusive of, and may be in addition to, other actions taken or sanctions imposed by external authorities.
Student Sanctions: The following are the usual sanctions that may be imposed upon students or organizations singly or in combination:
- Warning: A formal statement that the conduct was unacceptable and a warning that further violation of any University policy, procedure, or directive will result in more severe sanctions/responsive actions.
- Required Counseling: A mandate to meet with and engage in either University-sponsored or external counseling to better comprehend the misconduct and its effects.
- Probation: A written reprimand for violation of institutional policy, providing for more severe disciplinary sanctions in the event that the student or organization is found in violation of any institutional policy, procedure, or directive within a specified period of time. Terms of the probation will be articulated and may include denial of specified social privileges, exclusion from co-curricular activities, exclusion from designated areas of campus, no-contact orders, and/or other measures deemed appropriate.
- Suspension: Termination of student status for a definite period of time not to exceed two years and/or until specific criteria are met. Students who return from suspension are automatically placed on probation through the remainder of their tenure as a student at University.
- Expulsion: Permanent termination of student status and revocation of rights to be on campus for any reason or to attend University-sponsored events. This sanction will be noted permanently as a Conduct Expulsion on the student’s official transcript.
- Withholding Diploma: The University may withhold a student’s diploma for a specified period of time and/or deny a student participation in commencement activities as a sanction if the student is found responsible for an alleged violation.
- Revocation of Degree: The University reserves the right to revoke a degree previously awarded from the University for fraud, misrepresentation, and/or other violation of University policies, procedures, or directives in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
- Organizational Sanctions: Deactivation, loss of recognition, loss of some or all privileges (including University registration) for a specified period of time.
- Other Actions: In addition to or in place of the above sanctions, the University may assign any other sanctions as deemed appropriate.
Employee Sanctions/Responsive/Corrective Actions: Responsive actions for an employee who has engaged in harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation include:
- Warning – Verbal or Written
- Performance Improvement Plan/Management Process
- Enhanced supervision, observation, or review
- Required Counseling
- Required Training or Education
- Denial of Pay Increase/Pay Grade
- Loss of Oversight or Supervisory Responsibility
- Delay of tenure track progress
- Assignment to new supervisor
- Restriction of stipends, research, and/or professional development resources
- Suspension with pay
- Suspension without pay
- Other Actions: In addition to or in place of the above sanctions/responsive actions, the University may assign any other responsive actions as deemed appropriate.
Withdrawal or Resignation While Charges Pending:
Students: Should a Respondent decide not to participate in the resolution process, the process proceeds absent their participation to a reasonable resolution. Should a student Respondent permanently withdraw from the University, the resolution process ends with a dismissal, as the University no longer has disciplinary jurisdiction over the withdrawn student.
However, the University will continue to address and remedy any systemic issues or concerns that may have contributed to the alleged violation(s), and any ongoing effects of the alleged harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation. The student who withdraws or leaves while the process is pending may not return to the University in any capacity . Admissions and Human Resources will be notified, accordingly.
If the student Respondent only withdraws or takes a leave for a specified period of time (e.g., one semester or term), the resolution process may continue remotely and that student is not permitted to return to University unless and until all sanctions, if any, have been satisfied.
Employees: Should an employee Respondent resign with unresolved allegations pending, the resolution process ends with dismissal, as the University no longer has disciplinary jurisdiction over the resigned employee.
However, the University will continue to address and remedy any systemic issues or concerns that contributed to the alleged violation(s), and any ongoing effects of the alleged harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation.
The employee who resigns with unresolved allegations pending is not eligible for admission or rehire with the University and the records retained by the Title IX Coordinator will reflect that status.
Appeals: Any party may file a request for appeal (“Request for Appeal”), but it must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within five days of the delivery of the Notice of Outcome. A single Appeal Decision-maker (the Appeal Chair) will be chosen by the Title IX Coordinator from a pool of retired judges and/or attorneys, mediators, or arbitrators as outside independent contractors to review the findings and conclusions of the Hearing Officer.
The Request for Appeal will be forwarded to the Appeal Chair or designee for consideration to determine if the request meets the grounds for appeal (a Review for Standing). This review is not a review of the merits of the appeal, but solely a determination as to whether the request meets the grounds and was timely filed.
Grounds for Appeal: Appeals are limited to the following grounds:
- Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
- New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; and/or
- The Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), or Decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the specific Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.
If any of the grounds in the Request for Appeal do not meet the grounds in this Policy, that request will be denied by the Appeal Chair, and the parties and their Advisors will be notified in writing of the denial and the rationale.
If any of the grounds in the Request for Appeal meet the grounds in this Policy, then the Appeal Chair will notify the other party(ies) and their Advisors, the Title IX Coordinator, and, when appropriate, the Investigators and/or the original Decision-maker(s).
The other party(ies) and their Advisors, the Title IX Coordinator, and, when appropriate, the Investigators and/or the original Hearing Officer will be mailed, emailed, and/or provided a hard copy of the request for an appeal with the approved grounds and then be given seven business days to submit a response to the portion of the appeal that was approved and involves them. All responses, if any, will be forwarded by the Appeal Chair to all parties for review and comment.
The non-appealing party (if any) may also choose to raise a new ground for appeal at this time. If so, that will be reviewed to determine if it meets the grounds in this Policy by the Appeal Chair and either denied or approved. If approved, it will be forwarded to the party who initially requested an appeal, the Investigator(s) and/or original Hearing Officer, as necessary, who will submit their responses, if any, in seven business days, which will be circulated for review and comment by all parties. If not approved, the parties will be notified accordingly, in writing.
Neither party may submit any new requests for appeal after this time period. The Appeal Chair will collect any additional information needed and all documentation regarding the approved grounds for appeal, and the subsequent responses and will render a decision in no more than seven business days, barring exigent circumstances. All decisions will apply the preponderance of the evidence.
A Notice of Appeal Outcome will be sent to all parties and the Title IX Coordinator simultaneously including the decision on each approved ground and rationale for each decision. The Notice of Appeal Outcome will specify the finding on each ground for appeal, any specific instructions for remand or reconsideration, any sanctions 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.
Notification will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person, mailed to the local or permanent address of the parties as indicated in official institutional records, or emailed to the parties’ University-issued email or otherwise approved account. Once mailed, emailed and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
Sanctions Status During the Appeal: Any sanctions imposed as a result of the hearing are stayed during the appeal process. Supportive measures may be reinstated, subject to the same supportive measure procedures above.
If during the stay of sanctions there is a need to continue any emergency removal remedies that were in place, then at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, those emergency removal remedies/procedures will continue to be in effect.
If the original sanctions include separation in any form, the University may place a hold on official transcripts, diplomas, graduations, and course registration pending the outcome of an appeal. The Respondent may request a stay of these holds from the Title IX Coordinator within two (2) business days of the notice of the sanctions. The request will be evaluated by the Title IX Coordinator or designee, whose determination is final.
- Appeals are not intended to provide for a full re-hearing (de novo) of the allegation(s). In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original hearing and pertinent documentation regarding the specific grounds for appeal.
- Decisions on appeal are to be deferential to the original decision, making changes to the finding only when there is clear error and to the sanction(s)/responsive action(s) only if there is a compelling justification to do so.
- An appeal is not an opportunity for Appeal Decision-makers to substitute their judgment for that of the original Hearing Officer merely because they disagree with the finding and/or sanction(s).
- The Appeal Chair may consult with the Title IX Coordinator on questions of procedure or rationale, for clarification, if needed. Documentation of all such consultation will be maintained.
- Appeals granted should normally be remanded (or partially remanded) to the original Investigator(s) and/or Hearing Officer for reconsideration.
- Once an appeal is decided, the outcome is final: further appeals are not permitted, even if a decision or sanction is changed on remand (except in the case of a new hearing).
- In rare cases where an error cannot be cured by the original Hearing Officer (as in cases of bias), the appeal Chair may order a new investigation with new investigators and/or a new hearing with a new Decision-maker(s).
- The results of a remand to a Decision-maker(s) cannot be appealed. The results of a new hearing can be appealed, once, on any of the three available appeal grounds.
- In cases in which the appeal results in reinstatement to the University or resumption of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the Respondent to their prior status, recognizing that some opportunities lost may be irreparable in the short term.
Long-Term Remedies/Other Actions: Following the conclusion of the resolution process, and in addition to any sanctions implemented, the Title IX Coordinator may implement additional long-term remedies or actions with respect to the parties and/or the campus community that are intended to stop the harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation, remedy the effects, and prevent reoccurrence.
These remedies/actions may include, but are not limited to:
- Referral to counseling and health services
- Referral to the Employee Assistance Program
- Education to the individual and/or the community
- Permanent alteration of housing assignments
- Permanent alteration of work arrangements for employees
- Provision of campus safety escorts
- Climate surveys
- Policy modification and/or training
- Provision of transportation accommodations
- Implementation of long-term contact limitations between the parties
- Implementation of adjustments to academic deadlines, course schedules, etc.
At the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, certain long-term support or measures may also be provided to the parties even if no policy violation is found. When no policy violation is found, the Title IX Coordinator will address any remedies owed by the University to the Respondent to ensure no effective denial of educational access. The University will maintain the confidentiality of any long-term remedies/actions/measures, provided confidentiality does not impair the University’s ability to provide these services.
Failure to Comply with Sanctions and/or Responsive Actions: All Respondents are expected to comply with the assigned sanctions, responsive actions, and/or corrective actions within the timeframe specified by the final Decision-maker (including the Appeal Chair).
Failure to abide by the sanction(s)/action(s) imposed by the date specified, whether by refusal, neglect, or any other reason, may result in additional sanction(s)/action(s), including suspension, expulsion, and/or termination from the University.
A suspension will only be lifted when compliance is achieved to the satisfaction of the Title IX Coordinator.
Recordkeeping: The University will maintain for a period of seven years records of:
- Each sexual harassment investigation including any determination regarding responsibility and any audio or audiovisual recording or transcript required under federal regulation;
- Any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Respondent;
- Any remedies provided to the Complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity;
- Any appeal and the result therefrom;
- Any Informal Resolution and the result therefrom;
- All materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, Investigators, the Hearing Officer, Decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an Informal Resolution process; and
- Any actions, including any supportive measures, taken in response to a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, including:
- The basis for all conclusions that the response was not deliberately indifferent;
- Any measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity; and
- If no supportive measures were provided to the Complainant, document the reasons why such a response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.
University will also maintain any and all records in accordance with state and federal laws.
Section 10: Revision of this Policy and Procedures
If government laws or regulations change – or court decisions alter – the requirements in a way that impacts this document, this document will be construed to comply with the most recent government laws or regulations or court holdings.
This document does not create legally enforceable protections beyond the protections of the background state and federal laws which frame such policies and codes, generally.
Section 11: Expectations Regarding Unethical Relationships
There are inherent risks in any romantic or sexual relationship between individuals in unequal positions (such as faculty member and student or supervisor and employee). These relationships may, in reality, be less consensual than perceived by the individual whose position confers power or authority. Similarly, the relationship also may be viewed in different ways by each of the parties, particularly in retrospect. Circumstances may change, and conduct that was once welcome may, at some point in the relationship, become unwelcome.
Even when both parties have initially consented to romantic or sexual involvement, the possibility of a later allegation of a relevant Policy violation still exists. The University does not wish to interfere with private choices regarding personal relationships when these relationships do not interfere with the goals and policies of the University. However, for the personal protection of members of this community, the University does not condone relationships in which power differentials are inherent (e.g., faculty-student, staff-student, supervisor-employee). They may also violate standards of professionalism and/or professional ethics.
Consensual romantic or sexual relationships in which one party maintains a direct supervisory or otherwise evaluative role over the other party are inherently problematic. Therefore, persons with direct supervisory or otherwise evaluative responsibilities who are involved in such relationships must bring these relationships to the timely attention of their supervisor and/or the Title IX Coordinator. The existence of this type of relationship will likely result in removing the supervisory or evaluative responsibilities from the employee or shifting a party from being supervised or evaluated by someone with whom they have established a consensual relationship. When an affected relationship existed prior to adoption of this policy, the duty to notify the appropriate supervisor still pertains.
This type of relationship includes Resident Advisors (RAs) and students over whom the RA has direct responsibility. While no relationships are specifically prohibited by this policy, failure to timely self-report such relationships to a supervisor as required can result in disciplinary action for an employee.