Complainant FAQs

FAQs for Complainants on Title IX Reporting Process


How do I make a formal report of sexual discrimination or sexual misconduct?

To initiate a formal process, you must meet with the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Coordinator. During this meeting the Title IX Coordinator will explain the College disciplinary process. The Title IX Coordinator will ask you to briefly explain what happened (e.g. who, what, where, when). The Coordinator will also discuss the availability of supportive measures such as academic flexibility requests, residence changes or other steps to assist you during the complaint resolution process.

You have the right to have an advisor of your choice present during this meeting.

How long does the meeting take?

Although each case is unique, generally the initial meeting takes approximately one hour.

What happens after the interview with the Title IX Coordinator?

After the interview, investigators are assigned to your complaint. Depending on the nature of the case, one or two investigators will be assigned. For sexual assault cases, external investigators will be assigned to the case. Once the investigators are assigned, they will contact you to schedule an interview.

What happens during the interview with the investigator(s)?

Often there will be two investigators present during the interview. One will be primarily responsible for asking questions. The investigators will ask about what happened, requesting more details than during the intake interview with the Title IX Coordinator. They will also request the names of witnesses and other evidence that you might have, such as text messages, emails, or photos.

You will have the right to have an advisor of your choice present during the interview.

What does the advisor do during the process?

The role of the advisor is to assist the student during the process and to cross-examine witnesses during the hearing.

Will there be a hearing?

Yes, for more information about the hearing process, please see “Appendix A” of the Occidental College Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Who will be informed about my complaint?

The Title IX office shares information on a need-to-know basis; those involved in the investigation and resolution of the complaint. Generally this includes the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Coordinators, Title IX Administrative Coordinator and the investigators. During the formal complaint resolution process, the accused student (respondent) and witnesses will be informed about your complaint.

Will my professors know about my complaint?

Often complainants request academic measures such as extensions on assignments and rescheduled exams. In order to preserve the privacy of students, we work with the Office of Student Affairs, which submits academic flexibility requests to faculty on behalf of the Title IX Office. However, you may request that the Title IX Coordinator contact faculty directly.

Do I have a right to appeal the decision?

Yes, both the complainant and respondent have a right to appeal the decision. There are two grounds for appeal:

  • Significant procedural error that significantly impacted the outcome of the investigation.
  • New information that was not available or known at the time of the investigation that could significantly impact the findings.

How can the Title IX Office help me if I do not want to make a formal report?

The Title IX Coordinator can assist you even if you choose not to go through the formal college disciplinary process. The Coordinator can arrange supportive measures such as academic flexibility including note takers, changes to residence, and other steps to assist you in achieving your educational objectives.

When appropriate, cases may also be resolved through informal resolution processes. For more information about the informal resolution process, please see “Appendix A” of the Occidental
College Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy.