Confidentiality & Retaliation

Confidentiality and Privacy

Complainants have the right to request confidentiality of a complaint of sexual misconduct. The responsibility of the Designated Reporting Representative(s) is to weigh requests for confidentiality against the need to investigate and protect the university community. In reviewing a complainant’s request for confidentiality, the Designated Reporting Representative will weigh the request against other factors such as the seriousness of the alleged misconduct; the risk that the respondent may commit additional acts of sexual misconduct; whether the report indicates a pattern of sexual misconduct including whether other complaints or findings of sexual misconduct or violence have been made against the respondent or at a particular location; whether the complainant is a minor; and whether the University has other means to obtain relevant evidence about the alleged sexual misconduct. The Designated Reporting Representative will advise the complainant that the request for confidentiality will limit the University’s ability to investigate and to take appropriate action regarding the complaint, but that the University will attempt to limit the effects of the misconduct and prevent its recurrence (i.e. increased monitoring or appropriate training and education), while adhering to the request for confidentiality. If the Designated Reporting Representative cannot grant a complainant’s request to maintain confidentiality of the complaint and/or the complainant’s identity, the Designated Reporting Representative will discuss with the complainant this determination and what information will be disclosed and to whom it will be disclosed as necessary to conduct an investigation or take appropriate action.

The Designated Reporting Representative(s) will attempt to keep complaints private to the extent possible and consistent with legal requirements and/or the university’s requirement to investigate allegations and take appropriate action. Information about sexual misconduct complaints and investigations will be shared with those responsible for handling the complaint and those with a need-to-know the information to meet the University’s obligations under this Policy.

In order to protect the integrity of the inquiry, investigation, and resolution through the use of this policy, all parties and witnesses are expected to maintain the confidentiality of the process. However, confidentiality is not required if disclosure is required by law, or if disclosure is necessary to report a crime or violation of law or to engage in concerted activity regarding terms or conditions of employment, or in relation to the right of a student respondent or complainant to re-disclose the outcome of the process under FERPA and/or Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) laws. Although there is an expectation of confidentiality with regard to the process, the university recognizes that the complainant, respondent, and witnesses may need support. Should the need arise for parties and/or witnesses to seek support and/or share with others information regarding this process, they are encouraged to confer with the Designated Reporting Representatives regarding this action, including how to find an advisor or advocate.

Retaliation

Retaliation is prohibited and will constitute separate grounds for disciplinary action. Retaliation is the act of taking adverse action against a complainant, a respondent, or any other person involved in the process under this policy based on the person’s reporting or participation in the process under this policy. Retaliation includes behavior on the part of the respondent or the complainant and other related persons, including, but not limited to, acquaintances, friends, and family members. Although independent action will be taken against anyone engaging in retaliation, the complainant and the respondent are responsible for discouraging such actions and will also be held responsible to the extent of their involvement in the retaliation.

An individual who believes they have experienced retaliation should contact a Designated Reporting Representative (see Chart I) under this policy, and the university will investigate the complaint. If the university determines that evidence exists to support that retaliation occurred, appropriate action will be taken regardless of the outcome of the underlying sexual misconduct complaint. This may involve referral of the retaliation concerns to another university process for resolution.