SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY

X. COLLEGES’ INITIAL RESPONSE TO ALL REPORTS OF PROHIBITED CONDUCT

A. Intake Assessment

Upon receipt of a report of Prohibited Conduct, the Title IX Coordinator will make an initial assessment of the reported information and respond to any immediate safety or well-being concerns raised by the report. In this intake assessment, the Title IX Coordinator will:

  • Assess the Complainant’s safety and well-being and offer immediate support and assistance;
  • Inform the Complainant of the right to seek medical treatment, and explain the importance of obtaining and preserving forensic and other evidence;
  • Inform the Complainant of the right to contact law enforcement, decline to contact law enforcement, and/or seek a protective order;
  • Inform the Complainant about HWS and community resources, the right to seek appropriate and available remedial and protective measures, and how to request those resources and measures;
  • Inform the Complainant of the right to seek Informal Resolution (where available) or Formal Resolution; ascertain the Complainant’s expressed preference for manner of resolution (Informal Resolution, Formal Resolution, or neither); and discuss with the Complainant any concerns or barriers to participating in any HWS investigation and resolution;
  • Explain the Colleges’ prohibition against Retaliation and that the Colleges will take prompt action in response to any act of Retaliation;
  • Assess the nature and circumstances of the report, including whether it provides the names and/or any other information that personally identifies the Complainant, the Respondent, any witness, and/or any other third party with knowledge of the reported incident;
  • Ascertain the ages of the Complainant and the Respondent, if known, and, if either of the parties is a minor (under 18), contact the appropriate child protective service agency;
  • Coordinate with appropriate HWS officials to determine whether the report triggers any Clery Act reporting requirements, including entry of the report in the daily crime log and/or issuance of a timely warning, and take steps to meet those obligations; and
  • Ensure that the Complainant receives a written explanation of all available resources and options and is offered the opportunity to meet to discuss those resources and options.

B. Determination of Colleges’ Response Following Intake Assessment

Following the Intake Assessment, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly evaluate every report of Prohibited Conduct and review new information as it becomes available. The Title IX Coordinator will review all known information about the reported incident of Prohibited Conduct. Such information includes, if known, the names and/or any other information that personally identifies the Complainant, the Respondent, any witnesses, and/or any other third parties with knowledge of the reported incident. The Title IX Coordinator may consult with members of the HWS community, including the Director of Campus Safety, Vice President for Student Affairs, Vice President for Human Resources and/or Provost.

The Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the reported information and any other available information provides a reasonable basis for concluding that there is a threat to the safety or well-being of the Complainant or to the HWS community. The Title IX Coordinator will make this determination based upon a review of the totality of the known circumstances, and will be guided by a consideration of the following safety factors:

  • Whether the Respondent has prior history, is the subject of prior reports and/or complaints related to any form of Prohibited Conduct, or has any history of violent behavior;
  • Whether the Respondent has a history of failing to comply with any HWS no-contact orders, other HWS protective measures, and/or any judicial protective order;
  • Whether the report is an escalation in Prohibited Conduct by the Respondent;
  • Whether the Respondent has threatened to commit violence or any form of Prohibited Conduct;
  • Whether the Prohibited Conduct involved multiple Respondents;
  • Whether the Prohibited Conduct involved physical violence or use of a weapon;
  • Whether the report or other available information reveals a pattern of Prohibited Conduct;
  • Whether the Prohibited Conduct was facilitated through the use of “date-rape” or similar drugs or intoxicants;
  • Whether the Prohibited Conduct occurred while the Complainant was unconscious, physically helpless or unaware that the Prohibited Conduct was occurring;
  • Whether the Complainant is (or was at the time of the Prohibited Conduct) a minor (under 18); and/or
  • Whether any other aggravating circumstances or signs of predatory behavior are present.

Upon completion of the safety and well-being assessment, the Title IX Coordinator will determine the course of action, which may include but is not limited to Formal Resolution and/or Informal Resolution (if available).

Where the Complainant requests that personally-identifying information not be shared with the Respondent, that no investigation be pursued, and/or that no further action be taken, the Title IX Coordinator will seek to honor the preferences of the Complainant wherever possible taking into consideration the safety factors listed above and its legal obligations. In all cases, the initial report, Intake Assessment, and the determinations of the Title IX Coordinator will be documented and retained by the Colleges in accordance with applicable law.

C. Where the Complainant Wishes to Pursue Formal or Informal Resolution

In every case in which the Complainant reports Prohibited Conduct and requests an investigation and disciplinary action, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly initiate Formal Resolution if, taking all known information as true, the report would constitute a violation of the Policy.

D. Where the Complainant Requests Anonymity, that an Investigation not be Pursued, that a Complaint be Withdrawn and/or that No Disciplinary Action Be Taken

A Complainant may request that personally-identifying information not be shared with the Respondent, that no investigation be pursued, that a complaint be withdrawn, and/or that no disciplinary action be taken.

The Title IX Coordinator will consider the following factors in evaluating such request(s): (1) the totality of the known circumstances; (2) the presence of any safety factors; (3) the potential impact of such action(s) on the Complainant; (4) fairness to the Respondent (5) any evidence showing that the Respondent made statements of admission or otherwise accepted responsibility for the Prohibited Conduct; (6) the existence of any independent information or evidence regarding the Prohibited Conduct; and (7) any other available and relevant information. The Colleges will seek to honor the Complainant’s request(s) if it is possible to do so while also protecting the safety and well-being of the Complainant and the HWS community.

1. Determination that a Complainant’s Request(s) Can be Honored

Where the Title IX Coordinator determines that a Complainant’s request(s) (that personally-identifying information not be shared with the Respondent, that no investigation be pursued, and/or that no disciplinary action be taken) can be honored, the Colleges may nevertheless take other appropriate steps designed to eliminate the reported conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects on the Complainant and the HWS community. Those steps may include offering appropriate remedial measures to the Complainant, providing targeted training or prevention programs, and/or providing or imposing other remedies tailored to the circumstances as a form of Informal Resolution.

At any time, the Complainant may choose to pursue Informal Resolution (if available) or Formal Resolution under the Procedures applicable to the nature of the complaint. The Title IX Coordinator also may request that a report be re-opened and pursued under these Procedures if any new or additional information becomes available.

2. Determination that a Complainant’s Request(s) Cannot be Honored

Where the Title IX Coordinator has determined that a Complainant’s request(s) (that personally-identifying information not be shared with the Respondent, that no investigation be pursued, that a complaint previously filed be withdrawn, and/or that no disciplinary action be taken) cannot be honored (i.e., because honoring the Complainant’s request(s) would impede the Colleges’ ability to ensure the safety and well-being of the Complainant and other members of the HWS community), the Title IX Coordinator will first notify the Complainant when reasonably possible to do so. The Title IX Coordinator will take appropriate actions on behalf of the Colleges, which may include, without limitation, (i) imposing a no-contact order or requesting that the Colleges impose an Interim Suspension or Leave on the Respondent; (ii) initiating an investigation and Formal Resolution; and/or (iii) arranging, imposing, or extending any other appropriate remedial and/or protective measures.

Where the Title IX Coordinator has determined that the Colleges must proceed with an investigation despite a Complainant’s request to the contrary, the Title IX Coordinator will make reasonable efforts to protect the privacy of the Complainant. However, the Colleges’ investigation will involve speaking with the Respondent and others who may have relevant information, in which case the Complainant’s identity may have to be disclosed. In such cases, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the Complainant that the Colleges intend to proceed with an investigation, but that the Complainant is not required to participate in the investigation or in any other actions undertaken by the Colleges. In such cases, the Colleges will serve as the Complainant in seeking disciplinary action against a Respondent.

Where a Complainant declines to participate in an investigation, the Colleges’ ability to meaningfully investigate and respond to a report may be limited. In such cases, the Title IX Coordinator may pursue the report if it is possible to do so without the Complainant’s participation in the investigation or resolution (e.g., where there is other relevant evidence of the Prohibited Conduct, such as recordings from security cameras, corroborating reports from other witnesses, physical evidence, or any evidence showing that the Respondent made statements of admission or otherwise accepted responsibility for the Prohibited Conduct). In the absence of such other evidence, however, the Colleges will only be able to respond to the report in limited and general ways (i.e., through the provision of remedial measures, targeted training or prevention programs, or other remedies tailored to the circumstances).

When a decision is reached that impacts a Respondent (including the imposition of interim protective measures), the Title IX Coordinator will ensure that the Respondent is notified, receives a written explanation of all available resources and options, and is offered the opportunity to meet to discuss those resources and options.

E. Considerations and Rights Associated with Reports of Sexual Misconduct

1. Advisors

Each party has the right to choose and consult with an Advisor of their choice. The Advisor may be any person, including an attorney, who is not otherwise a party or witness involved in the investigation or adjudication. The parties may be accompanied by their respective Advisors at any meeting or proceeding under this Policy and Procedures. While the Advisors may provide support and advice to the parties at any meeting and/or proceeding, they may not speak on behalf of the parties or otherwise participate in, or in any manner disrupt, such meetings and/or proceedings. Where an Advisor to any party is an attorney, the Colleges’ Title IX Coordinator and/or attorney may also attend the meeting or proceeding.

2. Coordination with Law Enforcement

The Title IX Coordinator will contact any law enforcement agency that is conducting its own investigation to inform that agency that the Colleges’ investigation is also in progress; to ascertain the status of the criminal investigation; and to determine the extent to which any evidence collected by law enforcement may be available to the Colleges in its investigation. At the request of law enforcement, the Title IX Coordinator may delay the Colleges’ investigation temporarily while an external law enforcement agency is gathering evidence. The Investigator will promptly resume the Colleges investigation when notified that law enforcement has completed the evidence-gathering stage of its criminal investigation.

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Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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