Any student filing a complaint of gender-based misconduct with a member of RSU faculty or staff will be notified of receipt of the complaint and the actions the RSU official will take. A student filing such a complaint is known as a complainant. The student(s) accused of gender-based misconduct will be known as the respondent(s).
An RSU official will meet with the student to discuss the complaint submitted, review the investigation and hearing process, and answer any questions the student may have. The investigation of complaints will be adequate, reliable and impartial. This investigation will include: meeting personally with the complainant, the student(s) accused, and any witnesses. The Title IX Investigator will also review any documentary evidence. The Title IX Investigator will complete an investigation report.
This process can take up to 60 days. If at any point either party (the complainant or respondent) would like an update of the investigation process all they need to do is ask and an update will be provided. The Title IX Coordinator will determine if a conduct hearing is possible based on the available information. Informal resolution may be available, except in cases of sexual assault. If it is determined that RSU will proceed with a formal conduct hearing, the complainant and responding student(s) will be notified of the hearing date.
University Investigation Process
The University’s investigation process is intended to be fair, unbiased, and prompt. A trained investigator will attempt to gather as much evidence as possible, by interviewing the complainant, respondent, and relevant witnesses, before making a determination about whether there was policy violation.
An investigation is started when a person filed a report of gender-based misconduct and states they would like an investigation into the misconduct to occur. Anyone can file a report – a victim, witness, or other individual with information regarding the misconduct. There may be instances in which the University will pursue an investigation without a willing complainant. This may occur when there are concerns about the ongoing safety of the campus community and ongoing danger posed by an alleged perpetrator.
The University process is an administrative process and is not the same as a criminal process. The University process may occur before, during, or after a criminal process. There are several differences between a criminal and administrative process. The University process uses a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ standard to determine if a violation of the University’s Gender-Based Misconduct Policy occurred. This is a lower standard than the criminal standard, “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means that there may be differences in finding between the University and criminal processes.
Rights of the Complainant and Respondent
- Both the complainant and respondent have the right to present their sides of the story and present relevant evidence.
- Both the complainant and respondent have the right to have someone accompany them at all points of the process, including any interviews with the investigator, conduct hearings, and appeals. The individual may be a supportive friend, trusted faculty member, or attorney.
- Both complainant and respondent may request an update, at any time, of the investigator.
- Both complainant and respondent will be notified of the outcome of the investigation.
- Both complainant and respondent have the right to appeal the finding.