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, trained Title IX Investigators, 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 Resources 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 Reporting Party 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 Responding Party or summary suspension/leave from the College issued to the Responding Party. 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, the 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
- Relocation of a residential assignment
The Reporting Party 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:
- Provide Reporting Party with an explanation of the campus conduct process.
- Give the Reporting Party the opportunity to submit a written statement and evidence.
- Give the Reporting Party the opportunity to list any witnesses who may have information pertaining to the complaint.
- Inform the Reporting Party to have no contact with the Responding Party during the course of the investigation.
- Inform the Reporting Party that there will be follow-up meetings to discuss the case and status.
The Responding Party 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:
- Provide Responding Party with an explanation of the campus conduct process.
- Present the allegations and provided the Responding Party the opportunity to respond.
- Give the Responding Party the opportunity to submit a written statement and evidence to contest the allegations.
- Give the Responding Party the opportunity to list any witnesses who may have information pertaining to the complaint.
- Inform the Responding Party to have no contact with the Reporting Party during the course of the investigation.
- Inform the Responding Party that there will be follow-up meetings to discuss the case and status.
Any person identified by the Reporting Party or Responding Party who has information that pertains to the allegation will be contact by the investigator(s).
The person designated to conduct the investigation shall prepare a written report within fifteen (15) business days after completing 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 Reporting Party, the Responding Party, 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 Reporting Party and discuss the written report and inform him/her of the next steps in the process.
The designated college administrator will contact the Responding Party and review the written report and explain the next steps in the process.
The Reporting Party and Responding Party 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 is a summary of the investigation and will be forwarded to the appropriate administrator. The administrator will then forward the report to the Honor Board or the Discrimination Complaint Review Committee (DDRC) 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 DDRC 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.
All parties involved, especially those charged with carrying out the above policies, are enjoined to work in confidence to the extent legally permissible and practically possible.
In cases of discrimination and harassment, Reporting Parties may also obtain information and/or file a complaint by writing the Director of Civil Rights, US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, The Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Such complaints generally must be filed within 180 days.