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Title IX- Formal Grievance Process

Formal Grievance Process

The Formal Grievance Process involves an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence obtained, including evidence which supports that the Respondent engaged in a policy violation and evidence which 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 College 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 of preponderance of the evidence.

For Title IX grievance procedures, 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. For Civil Rights and non-Title IX sexual misconduct, the Investigator(s) along with other members of the investigative team make determinations, engage in policy analysis, make determinations of findings and recommend sanctions.

Filing a Complaint

A formal complaint requires a document filed/signed by the Complainant or signed by the Assistant Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion alleging a policy violation by a Respondent and requesting that the College investigate the allegation(s). The document filed by a Complainant can be a document or electronic submission that contains the Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the Complainant is the person filing the complaint. A complaint may be filed with the Assistant Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in person, by mail, or by electronic mail. 

Upon receipt of a complaint or notice to the Assistant Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion of an alleged violation of the Policy, College initiates a prompt initial assessment to determine the next steps the College needs to take.

The College will initiate at least one of three responses:

  1. Offering supportive measures because the Complainant does not want to proceed formally
  2. An informal resolution
  3. A Formal Grievance Process including an investigation and a hearing

The investigation and grievance process will determine whether or not the Policy has been violated. If so, the College will promptly implement effective remedies designed to ensure that it is not deliberately indifferent to harassment or discrimination, their potential recurrence, or their effects.

If a Formal Grievance Process is preferred, the Assistant Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion determines if the misconduct alleged falls within the scope of Title IX:

  • If it does, the Assistant Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 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 not, the Assistant Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion determines that Title IX does not apply, assesses which College policies may apply, and refers the matter for resolution under the Civil Rights and Non-Title IX grievance procedures or to the appropriate College processes. Please note that dismissing a complaint under Title IX is just procedural and does not limit the College’s authority to address a complaint with an appropriate process and remedies.

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