Response Procedure at EFSC

If you report Sexual Misconduct, this is how the College will respond:

  1. Preliminary Inquiry: Upon receipt of credible information alleging conduct that may fall within the provisions of the College’s Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure, a preliminary inquiry will be conducted to determine an appropriate course of action. During the preliminary inquiry, various College representatives may meet with or receive statements from the reporting party, responding party, or witnesses, and gather information regarding the allegations.

    At the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry, the Title IX Compliance Coordinator (or designee) will decide an appropriate course of action in consultation, as necessary, with the reporting party, responding party, and other College officials. While the facts of each case will be different, and the Title IX Compliance Coordinator (or designee) has ultimate discretion to decide the appropriate course of action to be taken in any particular case, in general, cases will be resolved consistent with the following:
      1. If there is reasonable cause to believe the allegations, if substantiated, could constitute a violation of the College’s Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure, and the reporting party elects a resolution by the College, options for Informal Resolution and Formal Investigation will be explored.
      2. If there is reasonable cause to believe the allegations, if substantiated, could constitute a violation of the College’s Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure, but the reporting party does not elect a resolution by the College, requests that the College not investigate, requests confidentiality, refuses to cooperate, or if the allegations are made anonymously, the Title IX Compliance Coordinator shall determine the appropriate action to be taken, which may include a Formal Investigation.
      3. If there is reasonable cause to believe the allegations, if substantiated, would not constitute a violation of the College’s Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure, or if the conduct at issue would be more appropriately addressed by another College unit or official, the matter may be referred to another College unit or official.
      4. If the College does not have jurisdiction over the matter, or if the information received is insufficient to warrant further investigation, the case may be closed, subject to the right of the College to reopen it at any time for good cause.
      5. Other appropriate action to be taken as determined by the Title IX Compliance Coordinator.
  2. Informal Resolution: In appropriate instances where it is deemed possible and safe, the Title IX Compliance Coordinator (or designee) may choose to attempt to resolve certain allegations of Sexual Misconduct through Informal Resolution means. If, based on the facts of the case, it is determined that an Informal Resolution may be appropriate, the Title IX Compliance Coordinator or designee will discuss this option with the reporting party and/or the responding party during the preliminary inquiry.The College will not use the Informal Resolution process to address matters alleging any form of Sexual Violence.

    It is not necessary to pursue Informal Resolution first in order to make a request for Formal Investigation. Moreover, a reporting party may terminate the Informal Resolution process at any time and proceed with a Formal Investigation. The Title IX Compliance Coordinator may also terminate Informal Resolution at any time and order that the parties proceed with Formal Investigation instead. In such cases, statements or disclosures made by the parties in the course of the Informal Resolution process may be considered in the subsequent Formal Investigation proceedings.

    If Informal Resolution is determined to be appropriate, the Title IX Compliance Coordinator (or designee) may meet separately with both parties to present and discuss an informal resolution based on the information available. In the Informal Resolution process, the Title IX Compliance Coordinator (or designee) does not serve in the role of fact finder but rather identifies possible resolutions to the alleged conduct. If both the reporting party and responding party are satisfied with a proposed resolution and the Title IX Compliance Coordinator believes the resolution satisfies the College’s obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for the entire College community, the resolution will be implemented, and the matter will be closed.

    If these efforts are unsuccessful, the Formal Investigation process will commence as set forth below.

    The Title IX Coordinator will maintain records of all reports and conduct referred for Informal Resolution. Informal Resolution will typically be completed within thirty (30) days of receipt of the report.

  3. Formal Investigation: The College will determine whether an individual is responsible for a violation of the College’s Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure, and what, if any, disciplinary sanctions and/or remedial actions are appropriate, in accordance with the procedures described below:
      1. The individual(s) accused of Sexual Misconduct shall be provided with notice of the allegations, and a copy of the College’s Sexual Misconduct policy and this procedure.
      2. The reporting party and the responding party are both entitled to be advised about the estimated timeframe of the investigation.
      3. The College will administer a fair and impartial investigation, which may include a formal hearing at the request of the reporting party, the responding party, or Title IX Compliance Coordinator. The person conducting the investigation (“investigator”) shall be familiar with the College’s Sexual Misconduct policy and this procedure and have training or experience in conducting Sexual Misconduct investigations.
      4. Formal investigations may include, but are not limited to, conducting separate interviews with the reporting party, the responding party, and any witnesses, reviewing available law enforcement investigation documents, reviewing student and personnel files, and gathering and examining other relevant documents or evidence as appropriate. A formal investigation may also include a formal hearing, which shall afford each party the opportunity to present any relevant information to the investigator. Throughout a formal investigation, disclosure of facts to parties and witnesses shall be limited to what is reasonably necessary to conduct a fair and thorough investigation and hearing (if applicable) and in accordance with state and federal laws.
      5. Upon request, the reporting party and the responding party may each have a representative (“advisor”) present when he or she is interviewed and at any subsequent proceeding, hearing, or related meeting. Other witnesses may have a representative present at the discretion of the investigator or as required by applicable College policy or collective bargaining agreement.
      6. Requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing and received by the Title IX Compliance Coordinator (or designee) within five (5) business days of the report of Sexual Misconduct for reporting parties, and within five (5) business days of receipt of the notice of allegations for responding parties. A business day constitutes a day where the College is open for business. Any requests for a formal hearing made after these deadlines will only be granted upon showing of good cause.
      7. Any formal hearing will be conducted by the investigator, and both parties shall be given reasonable notice and an equal opportunity to present relevant information to the investigator, as well as have an advisor of their choice present, although that advisor’s role may be limited at the discretion of the investigator. The investigator shall have no authority to compel the attendance of either party or any witness, and neither party, nor their advisor, may personally question or cross-examine the other party or any witness. Any questions for cross-examination must be submitted to the investigator, who shall have the sole discretion to ask or not ask a particular question as he or she deems appropriate. Further, no questions about a reporting party’s sexual history with anyone other than the responding party shall be allowed.
      8. If requested or appropriate, alternative testimony options will be given for any formal hearing, such a placing a privacy screen in the hearing room, or allowing the reporting party or any witness to testify outside the physical presence of the responding party, such as by Skype or phone. While these options are intended to help make the reporting party or witness more comfortable, they are not intended to work to the disadvantage of the responding party. Any requests for alternative testimony options must be received by the investigator at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the formal hearing.
      9. If any party or witness fails to appear for a formal hearing, the hearing will be conducted in their absence.
      10. Any hearings may be recorded (audio or video), transcribed, or otherwise documented at the discretion of the investigator and/or Title IX Compliance Coordinator.
      11. At the conclusion of the formal investigation, a written report shall be prepared and contain, at a minimum, a statement of the allegations and issues, the positions of the parties, a summary of the evidence, the findings of fact, and a determination as to whether the College’s Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure has been violated.
      12. The “preponderance-of-the-evidence” standard (i.e. more likely than not) shall be used in determining whether or not there has been a violation of the College’s Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure.
      13. The reporting party and the responding party will be informed in writing of:
          1. The result of the formal investigation (i.e. whether the College’s Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure was violated);
          2. The procedures for appealing the result of the investigation;
          3. Any change to the result that occurs prior to the time that such result becomes final; and
          4. When the result becomes final.
          5. In addition to the above, the reporting party shall also be informed in writing of any individual remedies offered or provided to the reporting party, and/or any sanctions imposed on the responding party, whether or not they directly relate to the reporting party. Further, the reporting party shall be informed of steps the College has taken to eliminate the hostile environment, if the College finds one to exist, and steps taken to prevent recurrence. The responding party shall not be notified of the individual remedies offered or provided to the reporting party.
      14. The reporting party and the responding party may request a copy of the investigative report pursuant to College policy governing privacy and access to personal information. However, the report shall be redacted to protect any confidential information in accordance with College policy and state law.
      15. The reporting party and/or the responding party may appeal the result of the formal investigation. Any appeal must be submitted in writing to the College’s Title IX Compliance Coordinator within seven (7) days of the result becoming final. All appeals shall be based upon one or more of the following: (1) improper procedures materially affected the result of the investigation; (2) newly discovered material information or evidence was obtained that was not available at time of the investigation or hearing (if applicable) and would have a significant impact on the result; or (3) the sanction imposed was inappropriate for the offense in question. Dissatisfaction with the result is not grounds for appeal. Any sanctions imposed will not be stayed during the appeals process.
      16. The appeal shall consist of a plain, concise, and complete written statement outlining the grounds for appeal. Upon receipt of the appeal, the College’s Title IX Compliance Coordinator or designee will provide the other party notice of the appeal and the opportunity to respond in writing to the appeal. Any response must be submitted within seven (7) days from the notice of appeal. In the event both parties initially appeal the result, each party will be provided notice and a copy of the other party’s appeal or response.
      17. Any appeal will be conducted in an impartial manner by an assigned appeals officer, which may include oral argument at the sole and absolute discretion of the appeals officer.
      18. In any appeal, the burden of proof lies with the party requesting the result and/or sanction be modified in some respect, as the original result and sanction are presumed to be decided reasonably and appropriately. The appeal is not a new review of the underlying matter. The appeals officer shall consider the merits of an appeal only on the basis of the three stated grounds for appeal (as identified in paragraph 15 above).
      19. The appeals officer can affirm the original result, alter the result, and/or alter the sanctions, depending on the basis of the requested appeal. If the appeal is based on improper procedures, the appeals officer can ask that a new investigation and/or adjudication, or other appropriate action, occur. In the case of newly discovered material information or evidence, the appeals officer can recommend that the case be returned to the investigator to assess the weight and effect of the newly discovered information or evidence and render a determination after considering the new information or evidence.
      20. The appeals officer will communicate the result of the appeal to the parties within fourteen (14) days from the date of the submission of all appeal documents by both parties, or the date of oral argument (if any), whichever is later. The decision of the appeals officer is final.

Additional information about college policies and procedures related to sexual misconduct can be found in the College's Annual Security Report.