5.7 Beginning the Process of Resolution of a Complaint
Once a complaint is filed, the Affirmative Action Officer (and/or any resource person listed in Section 4.4 above with whom the Complainant has counseled) will assist the Complainant to end conduct that they believe violates this HCAP. Within 10 days after the filing of a complaint, the Affirmative Action Officer will arrange a meeting with the Complainant and other resource persons, as is appropriate. At this meeting, the Affirmative Action Officer and/or resource persons will work with the Complainant to determine and then implement the best approach(es) to satisfactorily resolve the matter. This shall include deciding whether to proceed informally or formally. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event that the Complainant is a student or, regardless of the student or employee status of the Complainant, if the conduct reported is Rape, Sexual Assault, or Sexual Exploitation, the resolution methods described in Section 5.8 Resolution Through the Informal Process and Mediation described in Section 5.9 Resolution Through the Formal Process, will not be permitted. In all situations in which the informal process may be used, the Complainant has the right to reject the use of the informal process.
Subject to the foregoing, the Complainant's wishes will be respected to the fullest extent possible in determining the appropriate course of action.
5.7.1. Time Limits
- All complaints of harassment are to be filed with the Affirmative Action Officer as soon after the offending conduct as possible. Notwithstanding Title IX Sexual Harassment complaints by students, formal procedures will only be used with respect to complaints filed no more than two (2) years after the most recent conduct alleged to constitute harassment. The Affirmative Action Officer may grant a reasonable extension of any time period established in these guidelines, except where otherwise noted.
- The University's two year time limit on the filing of claims of harassment for which formal procedures may be used is intended to encourage Complainant to come forward as soon as possible after the offending conduct and to protect responding parties against complaints that are too old to be effectively investigated. Further, delay may make addressing the harassment difficult as witnesses may no longer be able to recall events, witnesses may have gone on to other programs or employment, corroborating evidence may not be available, and/or intervening events may have occurred.
- Although a complaint that is filed after the two year time period cannot be pursued under the formal procedures, informal procedures may be used at any time. Additionally, if sufficient evidence is available, disciplinary action under other judicial processes may be available to address the improper behavior.