All complaints of harassment or discrimination will be investigated in a manner that is adequate, reliable, and impartial. Investigations may be conducted by trained Public Safety staff, the Title IX Coordinator or Assistant Coordinators (for Title IX matters), the Section 504 Coordinator or Assistant Coordinators (for ADA/Section 504 related matters), Human Resource staff, or another trained investigator appropriate to the situation and in accordance with all College policies and legal requirements.
For matters involving discrimination or harassment based on sex or gender (covered by Title IX), the Title IX Coordinator will ensure that the investigation complies with all Title IX requirements. For matters involving discrimination or harassment based on disability (covered by ADA/Section 504), the Section 504 Coordinator will ensure the investigation complies with all Section 504 requirements.
The responsibility to conduct an investigation shall not be altered by the fact that a criminal investigation of the incident is pending or has been concluded, although the investigation may be delayed or suspended at the request of law enforcement while the law enforcement agency is gathering evidence. In the event the investigation is delayed at request of law enforcement agency, appropriate steps will be taken to provide for the safety of the complainant and the College community and to prevent retaliation by any individual. The steps may include changes to the schedule, housing assignment or work location of the respondent or summary suspension/leave from the College issued to the respondent. The College will promptly resume its Title IX investigation as soon the College receives notification that law enforcement has completed the evidence-gathering process.
The Title IX Coordinator or 504 ADA Coordinator will determine with campus administrators appropriate interim measures to be taken during the investigation. Interim remedial actions can include, but are not limited to the following:
- No Contact Orders
- Interim Suspension
- Administrative Leave (Employee)
- Reassignment of Housing
- Reassignment of Job
- Class Schedule Change
- Prohibit or restrict participation in extracurricular activities
- Prohibit or restrict access to campus for third parties
The Complainant will be contacted by a College administrator designated by the Title IX Coordinator or ADA/Section 504 Coordinator to schedule a meeting.
During the meeting, the College administrator will:
- Inform Complainant of his/her rights under the Honor Code or Employee Code of Conduct.
- Give the Complainant the opportunity to submit a written statement and evidence.
- Give the Complainant the opportunity to list any witnesses who may have information pertaining to the complaint.
- Inform the Complainant to have no contact with the Respondent during the course of the investigation.
- Inform the Complainant that there will be follow-up meetings to discuss the case and status.
The Respondent will be contacted by a College administrator designated by the Title IX Coordinator or Section 504/ADA Coordinator to schedule a meeting.
During the meetings, the College administrator will:
- Inform the Respondent of his/her rights under the Honor Code or Employee Code of Conduct.
- Present the allegations and provided the Respondent the opportunity to respond.
- Give the Respondent the opportunity to submit a written statement and evidence to contest the allegations.
- Give the Respondent the opportunity to list any witnesses who may have information pertaining to the complaint.
- Inform the Respondent to have no contact with the Complainant during the course of the investigation.
- Inform the Respondent that there will be follow-up meetings to discuss the case and status.
Any person identified by the Complainant or Respondent who has information that pertains to the allegation will be contacted by the investigator(s).
The person designated to conduct the investigation shall prepare a written report within fifteen (15) business days after commencing the investigation, unless additional time to complete the investigation is required. In that case, the investigator shall report on the status of the investigation to the complainant, the respondent, and the Title IX or Section 504 Coordinator (or designee) as applicable at the expiration of the fifteen (15) day period and every fifteen (15) business days thereafter.
At the conclusion of the investigation, a designated College administrator will meet with the Complainant and discuss the written report and inform him/her of the next steps in the process.
The designated college administrator will contact the Respondent and review the written report and explain the next steps in the process.
The Complainant and Respondent may have a support person present during the investigation process. A support person is defined as a member of the College community (faculty, staff, or student). The support person is not permitted to participate in the meetings, but is there in support of the individual.
The written report shall include a summary of the investigation; findings of fact and an explanation of the evidence in support of such findings (including a determination with respect to the factual allegations of the complaint); conclusions as to whether there have been any violations based on the factual findings; and a discussion of the reasons for such conclusions.
The results of the investigation will be forwarded to the Honor Board or the Discrimination Complaint Review Committee (DCRC) for review and any action deemed appropriate in accordance with the procedures of each.
Nothing in these procedures or in the procedures of the Honor Board or DCRC limits the right of any person to pursue other avenues of recourse which may include filing charges or a complaint with local, state and federal authorities responsible for addressing unlawful discrimination and harassment.More information about the procedures of the Honor Board can be found in the chapter “Washington College Honor Code and Student Judicial System” found earlier in this Handbook.
All members of the Washington College community are advised that retaliation against anyone for filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment or for participating in an investigation of discrimination or harassment is strictly prohibited by law and by College policy.