SEXUAL MISCONDUCT PROCEDURES - PROCESS FOR RESOLVING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT COMPLAINTS INVOLVING STUDENTS
Initial Steps. After receiving a report of conduct that could fall under the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Title IX Coordinator or his or her designee will take a number of initial steps. These initial steps are not an investigation. Rather, these initial steps will enable the College to assess the need to take any immediate action to address the safety and health needs of the Complainant and the College community, and to determine the next steps for investigating the reported conduct and the need for any interim measures.
- These initial steps may include, but are not limited to, the following: the Title IX Coordinator will contact the Complainant and encourage him or her to meet to discuss the nature and circumstances of the reported conduct, review relevant documentation that is available, and address his or her immediate physical safety and emotional needs, including the need for any interim measures (“Interim Measures”).
Deputy Title IX Coordinator/ Designee: Where the Title IX Coordinator is listed as the designated point of contact for any role in the Sexual Misconduct Policy, he or she may designate a Deputy Title IX Coordinator or another qualified member of the College community to assume the role at issue, as necessary and appropriate.
The Title IX Coordinator will notify the Complainant about:
- the availability of the Sexual Misconduct Policy;
- that a report to law enforcement will not change the College’s obligation to potentially investigate the matter but it may briefly delay the timing of the investigation if a law enforcement agency requests that the College delay its process for a reasonable amount of time to allow it to gather evidence of criminal conduct;
- the right to report (or decline to report) the matter to Campus Police and/or to local law enforcement if the conduct is potentially criminal in nature; and
- the available resources for seeking medic al treatment, counseling, spiritual guidance, or other interim measures.
If the Title IX Coordinator determines the reported conduct could, in any way, trigger the Sexual Misconduct Policy, he or she will contact the Complainant to discuss that determination. If, at this time, the Complainant requests that the process not move forward, the College will weigh that request against the College’s obligation to address any risk of harm to the Complainant or other individuals in the community and the nature of the incident or conduct at issue as discussed in SECTION 4.2 of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- Except in limited circumstances in which a Complainant’s request not to proceed to investigation is granted, the Title IX Coordinator will proceed to SECTION 2.
- If the Title IX Coordinator determines that the reported conduct would not, in any way, trigger the Sexual Misconduct Policy, he/she will advise the Complainant of such in writing and refer the reported conduct to the appropriate administrator for handling, consistent with any other appropriate College policy. (If new information is subsequently provided, the decision whether or not to investigate under the Sexual Misconduct Policy may be reevaluated.)
Interim Measures. Interim Measures, if issued by the Title IX Coordinator, are put in place for the protection of the Parties, and not as a sanction. The Parties agree to abide by the terms of the Interim Measures.
- Examples of Interim Measures may include no- contact orders; requests for academic adjustments; changes to living, transportation and/or working situations; and other actions to address the situations and concerns raised on an interim basis.
- The failure to abide by the Interim Measures may constitute a violation of the Morehouse Student Code.
- In the event the Interim Measures impede the ability of the Complainant or Respondent from pursuing academic endeavors, either Party may seek a reevaluation of the Interim Measures by the Title IX Coordinator. However, the discretion to amend the Interim Measures rests solely with the Title IX Coordinator, and shall not be subject to review, reevaluation, or appeal.
The Title IX Coordinator will assess the reported conduct to determine whether the circumstances pose a threat to the health or safety of the College community that warrants issuance of a timely warning (by the Morehouse College Police Department), a criminal trespass warning for any persons, or any other interim protections.
Timeframe for Completion of Investigation and Disciplinary Process.
- The College cannot promise the definitive timeframe of this process, but ordinarily will complete its investigation and disciplinary process, if any, within sixty (60) days of the delivery of the written notice of the investigation to the Parties.
- This time period does not include the time for any appeal. The U.S. Department of Education has made clear that the length of investigations may vary with the complexity and unique factors in each case.
- Examples of such factors include, without limitation, circumstances in which critical witnesses are unavailable or if law enforcement requests the College temporarily halt its investigation for a brief period of time.
- Accordingly, all timeframes set forth in this Sexual Misconduct Policy may be altered by the Title IX Coordinator for good cause. The College’s overarching goal is that all sexual misconduct complaints be investigated in a prompt, fair, and impartial manner.