What to Expect During an Investigation
What to expect if in an OIE investigation.
The first thing to expect are some terms and words used by the investigator: you are the respondent and (because you are responding to a report); the other student is the complainant. The second thing to expect is that you continue to have choices in this process: you can choose to stop participating at any time. Also, at no point in the Title IX investigation process will you be asked to appear for any meeting at which the complainant is present. Although the investigation is not confidential, it is treated in a private and discreet manner.
How does the investigation start?
In an investigation, the investigator’s focus is to gather as much information as possible: from you, from the complainant, and from any individual who might have relevant information. The investigator will start with the complainant. They will be asked to provide information through a written statement or in-person interview.
When am I notified?
Next OIE will notify you that a report was made and that an investigation has been initiated. You will be asked to schedule a meeting with an investigator and learn about the investigation process, your options, and the nature of allegations.
Do I have to meet with an OIE Title IX Investigator alone?
No. You can have a support person of your choosing during any meeting with an OIE Title IX Investigator.
My guardians have questions they want to ask you. Can they speak with you?
Yes, but you need to make sure that you give us permission to speak to them – you have privacy rights under FERPA. You can waive FERPA for anyone that you want the OIE Title IX Investigator to speak with: your parents or other family members, an attorney, a faculty member who you are turning to support. If you do not waive your FERPA rights, the OIE Title IX Investigator will provide only general information related to our investigation process.
In the meeting, the investigator told me that the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSSR) was issuing a remedial measure/interim action. What are those?
Remedial measures are enacted to remedy the impacts of an alleged incident of sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, or stalking. This includes modifications to academic, living, or working situations. This also includes University No-Contact letters.
Interim actions are enacted when the information about an incident of sexual violence raises concerns about the safety of the community or its members as defined by The Golden Rule.
If a remedial measure and/or interim action has been issued, it does not mean that an investigation decision has been made, only that the information received so far supports these as an appropriate response. At the conclusion of the investigation, the remedial measures/interim actions are revisited to determine if they are still necessary.
Am I entitled to remedial measures?
Yes. Should you need modifications to academic, living, or working situations, the Title IX remedial specialist can also assist you.
When will I have an opportunity to share my side of the story?
After you are notified of the allegation and investigation, you will have the opportunity to participate in an in-person interview. If you participate in an in-person interview, the investigator will allow you to review the written summary of that meeting for accuracy.
What other information is the investigator gathering?
The investigator will identify and speak to other people, either those people that you or the complainant named as being important for the investigator to speak with, or people that we learn about during the course of our investigation. At all times, the investigator is gathering as much information as possible about the incident(s). This includes relevant text messages, phone logs, social media exchanges, emails, investigator visits to the location where incident(s) occurred and more – whatever you or anyone else involved is able to share and whatever the investigator independently is able to gather.
As the investigator is collecting all of this information, he or she may need to return to you, the respondent, or a witness to ask follow-up questions. The investigator will try to minimize the number of times they need to speak to you about your experience, but in the course of the investigation, certain moments or details become very important and additional information may be needed.
Because the investigation process can be stressful, the investigator will continue to refer you to support resources on campus and in the community.
How does the investigator make a finding? And how will I find out about it?
The investigator will review all of the information gathered during the investigation and determine if there is a preponderance of evidence – whether it is more likely than not – that you committed behaviors that could be considered an act of sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, or stalking. When the findings are complete, you will be contacted and given the outcome. The Title IX investigator will separately contact the complainant and separately provide them the outcome. OIE’s findings report will then be forwarded to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for any further action of the matter.
What does the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities process look like after a report has been filed?