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College Investigation/Judicial Process for Cases of Misconduct

Introduction:

Under Title IX, once a College discerns or reasonably identifies possible acts of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct (including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking), immediate action is required to review and determine what ensued. If acts of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct have occurred, the College must:

  • Investigate
  • Take prompt and effective steps to prohibit the misconduct
  • Prevent its reoccurrence
  • Remedy its effects

The College will make reasonable and appropriate efforts to ensure privacy to those individuals involved and protect confidentiality when conducting an investigation and resolving a complaint, except as otherwise required by law.Additionally, the College can provided interim measures to either or both the Complainant and Respondent, if requested.The need for measures is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the needs of the parties and may include assistance in changes to academic issues, matters of transportation, working situations, or protective measures such as separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, making alternate class placement or workplace arrangements, increased security or monitoring of certain areas of campus or in extreme instances where a risk exists, suspension. The College will confidentially maintain details of any accommodations or protective measures provided to the extent that such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College to provide the accommodations or protective measures.


Investigation and Resolution Process:

  1. A report of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct is received and assigned to one of the Title IX Investigators.
  2. The Title IX Investigator will conduct an initial review to determine if the alleged acts of misconduct are in violation of this Policy, and/or any other Mid Policy.
  3. The Title IX Investigator will contact the victim and/or complainant to discuss the matter, review their rights and options for moving forward with an informal or formal investigation. In cases of sexual misconduct, a Resource Guide will be provided along with information on the choice to involve law enforcement or disregard that option. Any interim measures that are needed will be established. If the victim agrees to move forward, the Investigator will open an investigation (Note: there may be instances when Mid may act as its own complainant, regardless of a victim’s willingness to participate and in these circumstances, special consideration and care will be taken).
  4. The Title IX Investigator will promptly notify both the Respondent and Complainant (if participating), either in writing (e-mail is an acceptable method of delivery) or individually, in person, the following information:
    1. Notification of the allegations of misconduct under investigation which constitute a potential violation of this policy, the specific section of the policy allegedly violated, the names of all involved parties, the date and location of the alleged incident, and the precise conduct that allegedly created the potential violation.
    2. A link or copy of the College’s Non-Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy, as well as a copy of Mid’s Code of Conduct.
    3. The contact information for the Title IX Investigator handling the matter.
    4. Information regarding behavior that could be construed as retaliation against the Complainant, Respondent, or witnesses. The College prohibits this behavior and persons that retaliate could be subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including, suspension, dismissal or termination.
    5. An outline of the Administrative Model/Investigation process
    6. A copy of the Victim’s Bill of Rights for the Complainant and have those rights clarified, as needed.
    7. A copy of the Respondent’s Bill of Rights for the Respondent and have those rights clarified, as needed
    8. Information to the Complainant and Respondent that each will be permitted to submit a list of witnesses to the Investigator, as well as relevant documentary evidence such as texts, e-mails, photographs, etc.
    9. Information regarding interim measures, how to request such measures and the assistance in implementing them.
    10. In instances of sexual misconduct, a written Resource Guide for victims of Sexual Misconduct; included in this will be information on preserving evidence, obtaining a sexual assault exam, internal and external resources for healthcare and counseling, and procedures for obtaining a Personal Protection Order.
    11. Where crimes of violence have occurred, the Complainant will be advised that in addition to pursuing remedies and/or sanctions through the College process, they have the right to include local law enforcement. It is also their right to refuse any law enforcement involvement.
    12. Information that will explain that each party will be provided with sufficient time to prepare for any interviews or meetings in order to construct a meaningful participation. Additionally within their Rights, information will be provided about the parties’ prerogative to have a support person present during any meetings and the guidelines for that support person.
    13. Information to the Respondent of possible sanctions that could be issued should the Respondent be found responsible, using the preponderance of evidence (or more likely than not standard). Included would be a list of sanctions that could be imposed based on the severity of the incident. Ranking low to high, these include: verbal warning, written warning, college No Contact Order, classroom/work reassignment, probation, social probation (limiting or removal from student group’s social activities, sports, etc), community service, restitution, recommendation for external counseling, implementation of behavior/improvement contract, program attendance/interview, internal professional development, loss of college computer use and/or network, suspension, revocation of degree, expulsion or termination.
  5. The Title IX Investigator will conduct meetings with the Complainant and Respondent. During the meetings, each individual will be afforded the opportunity to share their version of events, provide any supporting documentation and suggest any relevant witnesses. At this point, the Investigator may, if appropriate, suggest that the matter be resolved under an Informal Process. If the parties do not agree or the issue is not determined to be appropriate for an Informal Resolution, the matter will proceed under the formal administrative process.
  6. The Investigator will make contact and interview witnesses provided by the parties and review any materials submitted, such as text messages, photos etc.
  7. Employing the statements and information provided, the Title IX Investigator will prepare the preliminary Case Summary along with any attachments. A copy will be sent to both the Complainant and Respondent for review. E-mail is an acceptable method of delivery
  8. The Complainant and Respondent will be given five (5) days to prepare a written rebuttal to the information in the preliminary Case Summary, if desired. In addition, any additional information, facts or witnesses that were unavailable during the investigation can be cited but would need to have a potential effect on the outcome of the case
  9. The Title IX Investigator will consider any appropriate, additional information provided by the parties and conduct any additional interviews and/or investigations as deemed necessary. The Investigator will then compile the Final Case Summary
  10. The Title IX Investigator will submit the Final Case Summary and any rebuttal statements/ attachments to the Title IX Coordinator assigned to the case for review and determination. A copy of the Final Case Summary, as submitted to the Title IX Coordinator, will also be sent to the Parties
  11. The Title IX Coordinator will prepare a Case Resolution using both the inculpatory and exculpatory evidence submitted. When issuing the Case Resolution, determination will be made using a preponderance of the evidence standard. This determination will include the findings, rationale, and any sanctions
  12. A Final Determination Letter with the Case Resolution will be simultaneously sent to the Complainant and Respondent along with Appeal information. E-mail is an acceptable method of delivery

Appeal:

The Complainant or Respondent may file an appeal with the Appeals Board. The petition must be filed within five business days of receiving the written determination from the Title IX or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Any party that files an appeal must do so, in writing, to the Title IX or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Other parties will be notified that an appeal has been filed and forwarded to the Appeals Board, for consideration. Within 15 business days, the Appeals Board will determine if the request is timely and has merit; an Appeal decision will be rendered by the Board within an additional 15 business days. The original findings and sanctions are acknowledged to be reasonably and appropriately determined. Therefore, the only grounds for appeal are:

  • If a procedural [or substantive] error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g., substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.)
  • To consider new evidence that was unavailable during the original hearing or investigation and could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential bearing must be included.
  • The sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation. Post-investigation sanctions that are imposed by the Hearing board can be appealed by either party.
 
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