A District/College official will assist the reporting party with making choices and accessing resources. Assuming the reporting party chooses to move forward with a campus resolution, the next step is a preliminary inquiry.
All resolutions will be conducted by campus officials who receive annual training on issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and on how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.
The resolution process is confidential. The institution will protect the confidentiality of victims, consistent with federal law. Title IX-related resolutions are not subject to publicly available recordkeeping provisions. Any release of information about a resolution will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the victim, to the extent permissible by law.
An initial determination is made about the allegations and whether to move them forward to a formal investigation. This decision is made by the Title IX campus coordinator, taking into account the nature of the allegations and the reporting party's wishes. If the decision is made to move forward, the coordinator refers the allegations to investigators.
An investigative model is used to resolve allegations. Trained investigators will provide an investigation that is prompt, thorough, reliable, equitable, fair, and impartial. They will interview reporting and responding parties and witnesses, and prepare reports with their findings and sanctioning recommendations. Information about all the steps in the investigative process is available here.
The hearing officer will have the opportunity to question the investigator(s) during hearings. The officer may accept or reject investigators' recommendations. If the officer rejects the recommendations, it must do so within the framework of the policy, citing clear evidence to support its decisions. The hearing officer may additionally return the report to investigators for modification.
Standard of Evidence
The College uses a preponderance of evidence standard. Decision-makers consider whether, given the available credible evidence, it is more likely than not that a violation occurred.
The past sexual history or character of an individual is not considered unless it is determined to be highly relevant. All such information sought to be entered for consideration by a party or the College will be presumed irrelevant until evidence of its relevance is offered. The existence of a pattern of behavior by a responding party may be relevant to the finding and sanction imposed. Both parties will be notified in advance if such information has been deemed relevant and will be considered during the process.
The parties will be informed in writing of the outcome of the resolution, without significant delay between the notifications to each party. This notice will include the procedures for appealing the decision, any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final, and when results are considered to be final.
All (student, faculty, and staff) parties involved in sexual misconduct proceedings may appeal decisions according to the procedure described in AP 3435. All parties are included in any appeal reconsideration and have equal rights of participation.