Responsibilities of the University Community
Any university faculty, staff, official or student employee who is consulted about and/or witnesses behavior involving potential sexual misconduct has the responsibility to report the potential misconduct to one of the Designated Reporting Representatives. Students are expected to report sexual misconduct when they are consulted about and/or witness behavior involving potential sexual misconduct, and may fulfill the reporting expectation by contacting a Designated Reporting Representative. In addition, to the extent possible, the member of the university community should advise the complainant of the university's sexual misconduct policy and encourage prompt reporting to a Designated Reporting Representative (see Chart I). The university community member’s duty to report includes instances in which that member learns of the allegation:
- From witnessing sexual misconduct;
- From a person who has experienced the sexual misconduct;
- From a person who witnessed the sexual misconduct; or
- From a person who heard about the sexual misconduct from another individual.
Reporting is required in these instances if the university community member receives information that permits the member to identify (i) the complainant or the respondent by name or by other identifying information, or (ii) the location at which the sexual misconduct occurred. The required reports should include all relevant facts about the alleged sexual misconduct incident necessary for the University to investigate, including the names of those involved, any witnesses, and other relevant details such as date, time, and specific location of the incident. Because the university is committed to a positive educational and work environment, in instances in which individuals believe that behavior has occurred that could be construed as sexual misconduct, the individual is encouraged to report the incident to a Designated Reporting Representative.
Cooperating with Investigations
All members of the university community are encouraged to cooperate and participate in inquiries and investigations, appear before a hearing panel as requested, and cooperate with resolutions of complaints and implementations of recommended sanctions as applicable.
There may be instances in which sexual misconduct constitutes a criminal act. The police have a responsibility to uphold and enforce the law even if the person experiencing the misconduct does not want to participate in the process and/or make a complaint. As a result, once a report is made to a police officer and/or once the officer learns of possible criminal activity, the officer has a duty to investigate and may have a duty to forward information to the appropriate prosecutor’s office for possible criminal prosecution. The CWRU Police will also notify the Title IX Coordinator as appropriate.
When the person who has experienced sexual misconduct is under the age of 18, or under 21 and physically or mentally impaired, the Designated Reporting Representative may be required to report the sexual misconduct to the appropriate social service agency or the police.
Support of Witnesses and Bystanders
The welfare and safety of our community is of paramount importance. The university encourages community members to offer help and assistance to others in need. Sometimes individuals are hesitant to offer assistance to others for fear that they will be subject to sanctions for other policy violations (e.g. alcohol violations). While serious policy violations cannot be overlooked, the university will consider providing educational options or training rather than sanctions as an appropriate response to those who have offered assistance.
University’s Investigative Responsibility
The informal and formal processes as described in this Policy apply to faculty, staff, and students of the university. (See Flow Chart in this Policy). Once a report of sexual misconduct is made to one of the Designated Reporting Representatives, the university is obligated by law to investigate and to take appropriate action regardless of whether the complainant wishes to participate or considers the behavior sexual misconduct.
The university's authority to investigate, to compel cooperation, or to impose sanctions against those who are not members of the university community is limited. Complaints against guest lecturers, volunteers, contractors and visitors will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator for investigation and appropriate action.
University’s Responsibility to Support A Fair Process and the Rights of the Complainant and Respondent
The university is committed to providing support to anyone involved in an incident of sexual misconduct. The University is responsible for assuring that the rights of the complainant and the respondent are maintained by supporting a fair process for the handling of sexual misconduct matters and making determinations regarding the Policy. The complainant and the respondent can expect the university to respect the rights of all involved by following the stated university sexual misconduct process. The University will maintain the rights of the complainant and the respondent in implementing this Policy. These rights of the complainant and respondent related to the process include:
- To confidentiality as provided in this policy (see above).
- To options outlined below in the informal process or formal process if applicable.
- To the presence of an advisor (as described in this policy below) at meetings during the initial inquiry and during the Informal process and/or Administrative/Formal Hearing (see Hearing Procedures).
- To not be questioned or have information presented about past sexual conduct or history with anyone other than with the complainant or respondent, unless related to a pattern of prior violations or behavior by the respondent that was substantially similar to the present complaint.
- To have the allegations investigated in a thorough and timely manner.
- To refrain from making statements. However, the university will make a determination of whether a violation of the sexual misconduct policy occurred based on the information presented.
- To be informed of the outcome of the sexual misconduct process in a timely manner.
- To access to support resources listed in this Policy.