Respondent FAQs

FAQs for Respondents on Title IX Reporting Process

What information will I receive about the complaint?  

You will receive a letter from the Title IX Office notifying you about the complaint. That letter will tell you:

  • The complainant’s name
  • The specific policy violation alleged
  • Date(s) of the alleged policy violation(s)
  • Approximate time(s) of the alleged policy violation(s)
  • Location(s) of alleged policy violation(s)
  • Brief description of allegation(s)

This letter will also invite you to a meeting with the Title IX Coordinator.

What happens during the meeting with the Title IX Coordinator?

The Title IX Coordinator will explain the College disciplinary process and your rights during the process. The Coordinator will discuss any changes to your courses and residence that may be necessary during the process. 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 a right to have an advisor of your choice present during this meeting.

How long does the initial meeting with the Title IX Coordinator take?

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

What happens after the meeting with the Title IX Coordinator?

After the meeting, you will be informed of the names of the investigators assigned to the 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 also will request the names of witnesses and other evidence that you might have, such as text messages, emails and 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 the complaint?

The Title IX office shares information on a need-to-know basis, e.g. those involved in the investigation and resolution of the complaint. Generally those that need to know include the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Coordinators, Title IX administrative assistant and the investigators. During the formal complaint resolution process, witnesses will be informed about the complaint against you.

Will my professors know about the complaint?

Often respondents 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.

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.