Minutes of the 10/26/15 Meeting


I.      Call to order

Ruth Jones called to order the meeting of the Campus Committee on Sexual Responsibility & Misconduct (CCSRM) at 3:00PM on October 26, 2015 in Hameetman Science Room #225.

II.      Members Attending

The following persons were present: Victor Clay, Marianne Frapwell, Heather Lukes, Anne Schell, Brian Erickson, Katelyn Fink, Olivia Sabbins, Maureen McRae Goldberg, Jordan Brown, Ruth Jones, Veronika Barsegyan

III.      Administrative Matters

A. Review minutes from 10/29/15 meeting

B. Review how we will share community feedback on policy changes

C. Provide update on 10/26 meeting with the community

i. Discussion ensued regarding the feedback process and how this needs to be a full campus effort. One topic that needs to be discussed more on campus and be made clearer to the community is the major change from the hearing model to the investigative model. Now that we have the prepared draft policy and procedure documents, we need to ask the community what questions they have and what topics they would like to discuss further. An idea was to add a survey question to the online feedback form that assesses general attitudes on the policy changes. Furthermore, students in particular need to be made more aware of the online feedback form.

ii. One important goal for this committee – with the help of the entire campus – is to help create a healthy sexual community at Oxy. This can be made possible by involving more individuals in the policy revision process and making everyone more aware of some of the key elements in our policy (incapacitation, affirmative consent, etc.).

IV.      Discussion of Review Panel

A. Membership and Conflicting Roles

The Review Panel will be comprised of faculty, staff and administrators on campus. Ideally, there will be a pool of approximately 9 individuals who are adequately trained, and each case Review Panel will be composed of 3 individuals total. In the case that either the complainant or respondent requests a change because of bias or conflict of interest in the Review Panel, we need to have enough available review panelists to quickly make a case Review Panel change. We will also need to find a delicate balance between the review panelists having an opportunity to gain adequate experience, while also avoiding being overwhelmed by the number of cases. It would be ideal to have the review panelists serve on no more than one or two cases per semester.

Review panelists will be selected by consulting with the faculty and staff councils and reaching out to various departments on campus. Potential review panelists will only be considered if they have not been found responsible of any Title IX misconduct at Oxy.

During service on the Review Panel, individuals will be unable to serve in other roles in the complaint resolution process (e.g. discrimination investigator, advisor, deputy Title IX Coordinator)  There are also positions that are inconsistent with serving on a Review Panel (e.g. Survivor Advocate,  Project SAFE, )

B. Multi-Year Commitment

Ideally, the Review Panel members will commit to serving for three (3) years total. This time commitment is requested to ensure that these individuals are adequately trained and experienced with reviewing Title IX complaints. Training is important, but training coupled with experience is invaluable.

C. On-Going Training

The Review Panel members will receive on-going training during their 3-year commitment. This training will give them the tools and resources they need to make well-informed decisions, and will also meet OCR’s training guidelines and requirements.

D. Protect against Bias/Privacy of Students

In order to protect the privacy of both complainants and respondents, the review panelists will view redacted documents only. The investigation report, witness summaries, impact statements, etc. will all be scrubbed of any identifying information also so the review panelists are able to review the case in a more objective matter, in case they know either of the students. Redactions will be completed by the Title IX Office.

E. Feedback from Review Panelists         

Since this will be the first time that Oxy has employed an investigative model, it is important that the Title IX Office receive feedback from the review panelists. We will identify ways in which we can solicit feedback from the panelists and how we can continuously improve the process.

V.      Discussion of Appeal Panel

A. Many appeals in the current Title IX complaint resolution process are due to either the complainant/respondent essentially arguing, "I do not agree with this decision," and thus, are denied because they assert inappropriate grounds for appeal. In the draft revised Student Grievance Process, written appeals must be based on one of two grounds:  (1) Significant Procedural Error; or (2) New Information.  Each ground is explained in greater detail:

· Significant Procedural Error:  A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the investigation as it applies to the Appellant (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.).  A description of the error and its impact on the outcome of the case must be included in the written appeal; or

· New Information:  New information has arisen that was not available or known to the Appellant during the investigation and that could significantly impact the findings.  Information that was known to the Appellant during the investigation but which s/he chose not to present is not new information.  A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact on the investigation findings must be included in the written appeal.

B. Appeals Officers will receive on-going training

C. Our current policy assigns appeals to the Dean or her designee.

D. One appeal officer will be assigned to each case