Intake and Consultation
A representative from OCEM will meet with you to hear your concerns. A concerted effort will be made to determine whether the issue(s) you need to discuss are those rooted in protected-class status. If they are not, you may be referred to another office.
There are internal and external options available for addressing your concerns. These will be explained to you, and you will be asked to sign a form indicating that you have been told of these options. You will be given a copy of this form.
It is possible that, because of the concerns you bring forward, you may need other assistance (for instance, the Employee Assistance Program). The OCEM representative will talk with you about available resources.
It is possible that the issue or concern you bring to OCEM is one that is not rooted in protected-class status. That is, you may describe a problem that does not have to do with civil rights. In this case, OCEM may refer you to the appropriate office and will likely give that office a call to let them know you need assistance.
If you choose to seek informal anonymous resolution to your issue, you can expect the OCEM representative to gather appropriate information and meet with the individual you believe to be engaging in inappropriate behavior. The individual will not be told that you came forward. Your name will remain confidential. The accused will be given a chance to share their side of the story, and to discuss change as necessary. Then the OCEM representative will follow up with you to let you know of the outcome. If you are satisfied, OCEM will consider the matter resolved. If you are not satisfied, you may take advantage of the other available options. Please keep in mind that this option is the least helpful of those offered due to the inability of the OCEM representative to share specific details with the accused and for the accused to respond accordingly.
If you choose to seek informal resolution to your issue, you can expect the OCEM representative to gather appropriate information and meet with the individual you believe to be engaging in inappropriate behavior. That individual will be given a chance to share their side of the story, and to discuss change if necessary. Then the OCEM representative will follow up with you to let you know of the outcome. If you are satisfied, OCEM will consider the matter resolved. If you are not satisfied, you may take advantage of the other available options.
Choosing to file a formal complaint launches an investigation into your claims. You will meet with an investigator who will hear your concerns, meet with the accused, collect documentation from all necessary sources, interview witnesses, and write a report of their findings.
If you file a formal complaint, you will be referred to throughout the process as the complainant. The person(s) you file against will be called the respondent(s). Please click the corresponding link for information OCEM provides to:
- Information about the Formal Complaint Process for Complainants and Respondents
- Information about the Formal Complaint Process for Witnesses
- The Role of An Advisor in the Formal Complaint Process
There you will find more information about what each individual can expect during the investigative process.
The investigator will remind you that OCEM's role is not that of advocate. Our office exists as the neutral fact-finder, remaining objective throughout the process. It is our goal to provide a fair and respectful investigation for all parties involved.
The Assistant to the President for Compliance and Equity Management, and Title IX Officer will determine whether policy has been violated, and will notify the complainant and respondent in writing of this decision. If there is no violation, OCEM considers the matter closed. If there is a violation, the Assistant to the President for Compliance and Equity Management, and Title IX Officer will work with the appropriate administrator to determine appropriate discipline.
The Assistant to the President for Compliance and Equity Management and Title IX Officer will review the report written by the investigator. In accordance with policy, the Dean of Students (or a designee) will receive the report and move it forward for an appropriate hearing. Following the hearing, the decision of whether a policy violation has occurred will be made using the "preponderance of evidence" standard. This means that it is more likely than not that a violation occurred. If, following the hearing, the student is found to have violated University policy, appropriate disciplinary sanctions will be determined in consultation with the Title IX Officer. The Dean of Students (or designee) will notify the respondent, the complainant, and the Title IX Officer in writing of the Dean of Students' decision. Both parties have the option to appeal the decision.
Individuals who file a formal complaint may opt to have their issue mediated. Mediation can occur if both parties agree to the mediation, OCEM agrees the issue is one appropriate for mediation (cases of sexual assault, for instance, will not be mediated), and the respondent is an individual who can actually effect the change sought by the complainant. A certified mediator will mediate such cases, and a formal agreement will be signed by both parties. If the agreement is violated, an investigation may be launched to look into the original complaint.
Occasionally, individuals visit OCEM and report egregious behavior, but for various reasons, are unwilling to file a formal complaint, and/or give OCEM the go-ahead to look into it on any level. OCEM has a duty, based on its charge to help provide a welcoming community free of discrimination and/or harassment, to examine the issue. In these cases OCEM has the authority to launch an investigation without a complainant. The procedures for a formal complaint will be followed.