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. 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 meeting with the Title IX Coordinator, an investigator is assigned to your complaint. Once the investigator is assigned, they will contact you to schedule an interview.

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

The investigator 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” or "Appendix B" 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,the Title IX Administrative Coordinator, and the investigator. During the formal complaint resolution process, the accused student (respondent) and witnesses will also be notifyed.

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 often 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 outcome of the investigation. There are multiple grounds for appeal:

  • Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
  • New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter;
  • The Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter; and/or
  • The decision of the decision-maker was arbitrary or capricious.

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 D” of the Occidental
College Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy.