4.7.2 Interpersonal Violence Response and Complaint Resolution Process
If it is determined by the Title IX Office that a report of Sex Discrimination will be addressed under the Interpersonal Violence policies, the following information applies
Role of the Title IX Office
The Title IX Office is responsible for overseeing all application of Xavier's Interpersonal Violence policies. Matters of Interpersonal Violence will be handled in accordance with this HCAP. With respect to violations of the HCAP, the Title IX Office will work with the Affirmative Action Officer in Human Resources to oversee the HCAP process - from complaint to resolution - of any allegation that, if proven true, would constitute Interpersonal Violence. This includes conducting a fair, impartial, thorough investigation of the complaints, producing an investigation report, and providing the report and collected materials to the Affirmative Action Officer (or the whoever is acting as AAO in the case of Section 5.6 Pattern of Harassment), and monitoring Interim Measures and sanctions.
The Title IX Office will promptly investigate all complaints of Interpersonal Violence. This investigation will be adequate, reliable and impartial. Title IX Office plays a neutral, information-gathering role as an investigator. The time it takes to conduct an investigation depends on the particular facts and circumstances; however, most investigations will begin within 10 business days of a complaint being made and the Title IX Office will take all reasonable steps to conduct the investigation in a timely manner. Timelines may expand or contract depending on many factors including, but not limited to, the complexity of the matter, the availability of witnesses or evidence, or the time in the school year when the investigation takes place. In general, the Title IX Office's investigation will include talking to the parties involved, other witnesses, members of law enforcement (if applicable), other individuals and collecting any materials or information that may be related to the allegations.
In matters involving allegations of Interpersonal Violence, the Complainant and Respondent have the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by the advisor of their choice. Information on advisor participation and role in Harassment Panel Hearings in Interpersonal Violence matters is described in Section 5.9.7. Harassment Panel Hearing Procedures.
In cases of Interpersonal Violence, the Title IX Office will conduct a preliminary investigation of the complaint to make a threshold assessment using the definitions above. If the Title IX Office concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe a HCAP Interpersonal Violence policy may have been violated, the Title IX Office will continue the investigation or, if there are no additional investigation steps to take and the investigation is concluded, will provide the Investigation Report to the Affirmative Action Officer, who will take the next steps in the complaint resolution process.
If the Title IX Office does not find there is reasonable cause, it will notify the Complainant (and Respondent if applicable) that the investigation has been concluded and file closed.
Reasonable cause is defined as some credible information to support each element of the offense, even if that information is merely a credible witness or a Complainant's statement.
Title IX Office Report
After concluding the investigation, the Title IX Office shall prepare a written report, summarizing the facts, materials or other information collected and any observations made during the investigation. The report is intended to be factual in nature and not draw conclusions or give opinions about whether a violation occurred. The report and any other collected materials are provided by the Title IX Office to the Affirmative Action Officer who facilitates the complaint resolution process under the HCAP. The Title IX Office is charged with ensuring that the process is compliant with the HCAP through its conclusion.
If upon completing the investigation the Title IX Office concludes that the facts of the allegation do not meet and/or rise to the level of meeting the definition of any form of Interpersonal Violence under this policy, the Complainant will be notified of this conclusion and other options (for example, to pursue the complaint under the general Harassment provisions of the HCAP rather than the Interpersonal Violence provisions or to seek assistance from Human Resources to address the concerns outside of the HCAP) will be reviewed and other relevant resources provided.
Compliance With Law Enforcement
To the extent consistent with Xavier's obligation under the HCAP and Interpersonal Violence policies, Xavier will comply with law enforcement requests for cooperation. Such cooperation may require Xavier to temporarily delay the start of or suspend an ongoing investigation while the law enforcement agency is in the process of gathering evidence (not the ultimate outcome of the criminal investigation or the filing or disposition of any criminal charges). If Xavier has temporarily delayed or suspended its investigation, Xavier will promptly resume its investigation as soon as it is notified by the law enforcement agency that it has completed the evidence gathering process. Law enforcement agencies typically take three to ten calendar days for their evidence gathering process, although the delay in Xavier's Interpersonal Violence investigation may be shorter or longer in certain circumstances. In any case, Xavier will implement appropriate Interim Measures during the law enforcement agency's investigation period to provide for the safety of the Complainant and the campus community and to avoid retaliation. For additional information about Interim Measures by Xavier, see Section 5.5.
The role of an attorney throughout the HCAP process is limited by the terms of this HCAP. Individuals involved in HCAP matters that may also be criminal matters are encouraged to seek legal counsel. The Cincinnati Bar Association has a referral service and can be contacted at 513-381-8359 or further information can be found at http://www.cincybar.org/news-resources/find-lawyer/index.
Because the University views it professionally unethical, because the potential for abuse or the appearance of abuse is so great, and because of the inherent differential in authority, the University prohibits the following relationships and acts, whether they are consensual or not:
Every non-student member of the University Community is prohibited from engaging in romantic and/or sexual relationships or in romantic and/or sexual conduct with any student currently enrolled as an undergraduate at the University.
Every member of the University Community is prohibited from engaging in romantic and/or sexual relationships or in romantic and/or sexual conduct with anyone whom he or she educates, counsels, coaches, supervises or evaluates in any way.
For application of the provisions contained in this section to mixed-status individuals, see Section 5.2.1.
Even when both parties have consented at the outset to the development of such a relationship, it is the officer, instructor or other person in the relative position of power who, by reason of authority conferred by the University, bears the burden of accountability.
It should be noted that exceptions to any of these prohibitions will be considered by the Affirmative Action Officer on a limited, case-by-case basis. Some examples of acceptable relationships may include:
A recent Xavier graduate, hired by the University, continuing a relationship that began while both individuals were students. An employee's spouse enrolling as a graduate or non- traditional undergraduate student.
Similarity to one of the situations does not automatically deem the relationship acceptable. If an individual has any questions about the application or effect of this policy to an existing or potential relationship, it is their duty to consult with their supervisor and/or the Affirmative Action Officer.
In keeping with this University policy, if charges of harassment are made, the existence of a consensual relationship in any of the contexts stated above shall not be a defense in any proceeding brought under the HCAP. If the relationship in questions does not constitute Harassment under the HCAP, the Affirmative Action Officer will take appropriate action under other relevant University policies.
Disciplinary penalties for individuals who violate these provisions may include written reprimand, formal warning, suspension, termination or dismissal, or such other penalties, as the University deems appropriate and consistent with the gravity of the offense. In the case of faculty, violation of these prohibitions may constitute grounds for dismissal of a tenured or untenured faculty member. See Xavier University Faculty Handbook.
While nothing in this policy should be construed to infringe upon the exercise of academic freedom, academic freedom does not include the freedom to harass.
Retaliation by the University, its employees, or its students against any of the following individuals is prohibited.
Against the Complainant
It is a violation of this HCAP to attempt to penalize, intimidate, or retaliate against a Complainant for filing a charge of harassment. Retaliation against an individual making a complaint of Interpersonal Violence is a separate violation of this HCAP, and will be investigated and resolved as such.
Against the Respondent
Filing of a complaint of harassment is not proof of prohibited conduct. A complaint shall not be taken into account during reappointment, tenure, promotion, performance review, merit increases, or other evaluation or review unless a final determination has been made that the University's HCAP has been violated, in which case it shall only be taken into account to the extent allowed under these procedures.
Against Others Because of Their Connection to an Incident of Alleged Harassment
It is a violation of this HCAP to attempt to penalize, intimidate, or retaliate in any way against a witness or panel member in a harassment hearing, anyone seeking guidance concerning a harassment matter, or any individual who provides information related to or is otherwise involved in any informal or formal procedure for investigating or addressing an alleged claim of harassment.
Claim of Retaliation
A complaint of retaliation may be pursued against any individual violating this section using the steps followed for a complaint of harassment. Such a complaint will be treated as a separate incident of harassment and will be adjudicated accordingly. When necessary, the appropriate dean or other University officer may monitor student grading or administrative/faculty/staff reappointment, tenure, promotion, performance review, merit increases, or other decisions to strive to ensure that prohibited retaliation does not occur. When necessary and appropriate, the appropriate dean or other University officer may determine that such decisions may be deferred until the claim is resolved.
Knowingly Filing False Complaints
Knowingly filing a false complaint of harassment or of retaliation, or knowingly providing false statements regarding a claim of harassment or retaliation is a violation of Xavier's HCAP. Such conduct may be pursued using the steps followed for a complaint of harassment. A complaint under this provision does not constitute prohibited retaliation.
Any employee who knowingly files a false complaint of harassment or who knowingly provides false statements shall be subject to discipline in accordance with the provisions of this HCAP. Any student who knowingly files a false complaint of harassment or who knowingly provides false statements shall be subject to discipline in accordance with the provisions of the Student Handbook.
Sex Offender Registration
The Federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, enacted on October 28, 2000, requires institutions of higher education to issue a statement advising the campus community where law enforcement agency information provided by a State concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. It also requires sex offenders, already required to register in a State, to provide notice, as required under State law, of each institution of higher education in that State at which the person is employed, carries on a vocation, volunteers services, or is a student.
In Ohio, information on registered sex offenders can be accessed using the website for the Ohio Office of the Attorney General, which is here: http://www.communitynotification.com/cap_main?office=55149.