Procedures for Handling Reports of Sexual Misconduct

External Allegations Regarding Title IX Issues

All students, staff, and faculty have the right to submit inquiries or allegations concerning the application of Title IX to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights:

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

50 Beale Street, Suite 7200
San Francisco, CA 94105
Customer Service Hotline #: 415.486.5555
Facsimile: 415.486.5570 TDD#:  877.521.2172
OCR.SanFrancisco@ed.gov
Website

Procedures for Addressing Reports of Sexual Misconduct

General Information

Whittier College encourages reporting of Sexual Misconduct. All allegations of alleged Sexual Misconduct will be investigated and addressed by a trained Title IX Investigator(s) and may include, depending on the circumstances, an investigation conducted by an external investigator not employed by the College. The investigation procedures described below will apply to all allegations involving students as the Complainant and the Complainant/Responding Party. 

When the Complainant is a student and the Responding Party is faculty, administrator or staff, procedures described in the Faculty (in the case of a faculty-Responding Party) and Employee (in the case of a staff or administrator-Responding Party) Handbooks shall take precedence over this Policy. 

As necessary, the College reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as Complainant, and to initiate conduct proceedings without a formal complaint by the Complainant of Sexual Misconduct.

Upon receipt of a complaint of conduct that could be considered Sexual Misconduct under this Policy, or the initiation of such a complaint by the College, the Title IX Coordinator shall open a formal case file and assign Title IX Investigators who will conduct the investigation and confer with the Title IX Coordinator on any interim action or other matters as needed.

The College aims to complete the complaint process within 60 business days, unless circumstances warrant additional time. If there is an appeal, the timeline can be extended as a result. 

Interim Actions

When a complaint of alleged Sexual Misconduct is reported to a Title IX Coordinator or the Lead Title IX Investigator, interim actions may be provided to meet the needs of all involved.  The Title IX Coordinator or Lead Title IX Investigator (or designee) may provide interim remedies intended to achieve their purpose while at the same time limiting, to the extent practical, any adverse effect on the Complainant and Responding Party’s educational program.

Interim actions may include, but are not limited to, referral to counseling and health services or the Employee Assistance Program, education to the community, altering housing class or work arrangements, providing campus escorts, implementing contact limitations between parties, offering adjustments to academic deadlines, course schedules, etc.

The College may impose an interim suspension on a student or organization pending the completion of the investigation, issuance of findings or appeal.  During an interim suspension, a student may be denied access to College housing and/or campus facilities, privileges and events, and may be denied the ability to attend classes. The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will use best efforts to determine if alternative coursework options are available for a student not allowed to attend classes.  In all cases in which an interim suspension is imposed, the student or student organization will be given the opportunity to meet with the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) prior to the suspension being imposed, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible, to show cause why the suspension should not be implemented. The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) has sole discretion to implement or stay an interim suspension under this Policy. Violation of an interim suspension may result in expulsion or termination.

Interim Actions, depending on the nature of the request and the circumstances involved, are available to and may be requested by a Complainant and a Responding Party. All Interim Actions must be approved by the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee. 

Title IX Investigation and Resolution 

Informal Resolution

Informal resolution is rarely appropriate for sexual assault, but may be used for less serious, yet inappropriate, behaviors and is allowed as an alternative to the formal resolution process when requested by the Complainant, which request may be withdrawn during the informal resolution process. When Sexual Assault is the misconduct complained of, the Complainant must request in writing that informal resolution is desired.  The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will determine if informal resolution is appropriate, based on the willingness of the parties, the nature of the conduct at issue and the susceptibility of the conduct to resolution.  Even if an informal resolution is pursued, the College will make the ultimate decision as to the appropriateness of such a process and of the sanctions imposed.

Informal resolution will involve a dialogue with the parties to determine if a mutual agreement can be reached. Sanctions may be imposed and records will be kept of any resolution that is reached, and failure to abide by the accord can result in appropriate responsive actions. It is not necessary to pursue informal resolution first in order to pursue a complaint and anyone participating in an informal resolution can stop that process at any time and request that the formal process proceed.

Formal Investigation/Resolution Process (Cases involving students) 

If the case is not appropriate for informal resolution or if that process fails, upon receipt of a complaint that involves alleged Sexual Misconduct, the following steps will be taken:

  1. Two trained Title IX Investigators or independent investigator will be assigned to the matter.  They will have an initial meeting with the Complainant to informally discuss the facts relating to the incident, interim actions and the desired remedy.  At this meeting, the Complainant will be given a list of rights (see below) which includes the right to have 48 hours to review those rights before being formally interviewed.  The 48 hour period may be waived by the Complainant. Responding party has the right to have an advisor or support person present at their first and all subsequent meetings and interviews. The advisor or support person may be someone of the Responding Party’s choice, but may not speak to the Investigator (s) on her/his/their behalf.  
  2. After this initial meeting, if it is determined the investigation should proceed, the Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to determine if the matter is one that should be addressed by a trained Title IX external investigator (non-College employee; one such investigator is sufficient in this instance).  If so, the Complainant will be so notified and the process below shall proceed. 
  3. (a) The Investigator(s) will conduct a formal interview of the Complainant (with a support person present if desired).  Following this interview and after consultation with the Title IX Coordinator responsible for the matter, if the determination is made that there is insufficient evidence to support a finding that the Policy has been violated, the complaint will be closed with no further action other than to notify the Complainant that there was insufficient evidence to proceed. 3 (b) If there is reasonable cause to proceed with further investigation of the Complainant’s report, the Responding Party will be interviewed no sooner than 48 hours after receiving notice of the potential Policy violation(s), a summary of the facts supporting the potential violation(s), as well as a list of rights (see below).  The Responding Party has the right to have an advisor or support person present at the interview. The advisor or support person may be someone of the Responding Party’s choice, but may not speak to the Investigator (s) on her/his/their behalf.  The Responding Party may waive the right to wait at least 48 hours before being interviewed, and  may also request additional time before being interviewed which will not be unreasonably or arbitrarily denied.
  4. Interview any witnesses and gather any other information or documentation the Investigator(s) determine is necessary to conduct an adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation.
  5. Following the completion of the investigation, the Investigator(s) will prepare an initial written report that contains the pertinent information obtained from the investigation.  A copy of this report will then be provided to the Complainant and the Responding Party for review.  Within 24 hours of this review, any additional information, questions, or information needed to correct or clarify information in the report may be submitted verbally or in writing by the Complainant and Responding Party.  
  6.  Once there has been an opportunity to review the report and any additional/correcting/clarifying information has been submitted within the time frame allotted, within 72 hours (unless otherwise not practical) a final report will be prepared by the Investigator(s). 
  7. After the Investigators have submitted their final report, the Title IX Coordinator will make a determination as to whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to a hearing.  If not, the Title IX Coordinator will close the case and notify the parties.  If there is sufficient evidence to proceed to a hearing, the hearing will be scheduled.  The hearing is intended to provide a fair and ample opportunity for each side to present their account of the incident and for the Adjudicating Party to determine the facts and make a determination as to whether College policy was violated.  The Adjudicating Party will be well-versed in the facts of the case based upon the final report and the Parties’ responses to the final report, if any.  The Adjudicating Party will make a hardcopy of the final report, the parties responses to the final report, interview summaries, and any documentary evidence provided to the Investigators and will make this documentation available to the Parties at least 5 business days prior to the hearing for their use during the hearing.
  8. The Complainant and the Responding Party, their advisors, the Adjudicating Party, and the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities (or their designee) will attend the hearing. The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities (or their designee) will attend the hearing and serve in the capacity of ensuring the adjudication is process is followed according to Whittier College policy and procedures. Other College administrators may attend at the request of or with the prior approval of the Adjudicating Party, but the Parties will be notified in advance of anyone who will be in attendance. Director of Student Rights and Responsibility with assemble witness list and arrange for witnesses to attend hearing. Any individual appearing as a witness will be present only while providing a statement and responding to questions.
  9. The Adjudicating Party has absolute discretion to decide upon a format for the hearing and to determine which witnesses are relevant to the outcome determination. The Adjudicating Party may decline to hear from a witness where they conclude that the information either irrelevant to their outcome determination, unduly repetitive, or character evidence.
  10. A typical hearing may include brief opening remarks by the Adjudicating Party and the parties; questions posed by the Adjudicating Party to one or both of the Parties; questions for the Investigator; follow-up questions by one Party, through The Adjudicating Party, to the other Party (typically with the Responding Party questioning the Complainant first); questions by the Adjudicating Party to any witness; and follow-up questions by either Party, through The Adjudicating Party, to any witness (typically with the Responding Party questioning the witness first).
  11. The Adjudicating Party also will afford the Parties an opportunity at the end of the hearing to offer closing remarks. A decision whether a party provides closing remarks is completely voluntary. Advisors may only be present during the hearing if the Party they are advising is also present. Advisors may not participate directly in, or interfere with, the proceedings.
  12. Students, staff, and faculty have the responsibility to participate fully and truthfully in any proceeding under this Policy. If the Complainant or Responding Party chooses not to participate in the hearing, the College may move forward with the hearing and imposition of findings and sanctions, if any, in absentia. In reaching findings in absentia, the Adjudicating Party may rely on:
    1. Any information in the final report 
    2. Any documentary evidence disclosed to the Investigator; 
    3. Any statements made during the hearing; and
    4. Any documentary evidence presented at the hearing.
  13. If the Complainant chooses not to participate in the hearing, the College’s ability to fully investigate and respond to the complaint, or assess credibility, may be limited.
  14. A Notification of Outcome that there has been no Policy violation or a Notification of Outcome that there has been a Policy violation according to the preponderance of evidence standard and the sanctions imposed, shall contain information regarding the right to and the timing for filing an appeal.
  15. Regardless of the decision, the Complainant and the Responding Party shall be sent notice in writing (including electronic transmission) simultaneously of the decision. The College attempts to send this notification within five (5) business days after the initial report was reviewed by the Complainant and the Responding Party.  In the case where the decision is that there has been a Policy violation, this notification shall also include information regarding the timing of the sanctioning process.  
  16. The Complainant and the Responding Party may appeal a decision Responding Party based on the Grounds for Appeal (see page _) within five (5) business days of receiving the decision.  Should a Responding Party wish to have any sanctions stayed (postponed) pending filing an appeal, the Responding Party must make such request to the  Title IX Coordinator within 48 hours of receipt of the Notification of Outcome.  
  17. The investigation and resolution as outlined above shall be completed as promptly as possible given the circumstances. Should the complaint be made within 20 business days of the end of the academic year and the complaint involves students or other College constituents that are not available during the summer break, either as Complainant, Responding Party or as witnesses, every effort will be made to complete the investigation before the end of the academic year, but if not possible, it will be completed within 30 days after the start of the next academic year unless the Title IX Coordinator determines additional time is needed.
  18. If the imposition of sanctions on the Responding Party is not sufficient to end the Sexual Misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the Lead Title IX Investigator, will determine and implement any additional actions needed to prevent recurrence and remedy effects on the Complainant  and the College community.

Sanctions

The purpose of sanctioning is to ensure safety as well as to provide educational opportunities that will result in positive behavior change for the betterment of self and community.

As the result of a responsible finding, a formal sanction must be issued. The options for formal sanctions are below:

  1. Warning: A notice in writing to the student that the student or student organization is violating or has violated the Code of Conduct. This sanction is typically for low level violations, and a student/student organization will generally only receive one warning during their time at the College. 
  2. Conduct Probation: Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student or student organization is found to violate the Student Code of Conduct during the probationary period. 
  3. College Probation: The student is permitted to remain on campus and enrolled in courses for credit. However, any subsequent violation of College policy or the Student Code of Conduct will likely result in College Suspension. Students College Probation will not be able to hold any positions in student leadership, such as Student Senate, Clubs, Organizations, Societies or Resident Adviser. Additional restrictions on involvement in campus activities, such as participation in College athletic teams, will also be applied as part of the sanctioning process. Student organizations sanctioned with College Probation will be restricted in their activities in a manner determined by the hearing officer in conjunction with the Office of Student Engagement.
  4. College Suspension: Separation of the student from the College for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified. Students suspended from the College are not eligible for a refund on tuition and/or other fees. Student organizations sanctioned with suspension will be restricted in their activities for a time period determined by the hearing officer in conjunction with the Office of Student Engagement.
  5. College Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from the College. Students expelled from the College are not eligible for a refund on tuition and/or other fees. Student organizations sanctioned with expulsion (permanent derecognition) will be immediately suspended from participation in all organizational activities in a manner determined by the hearing officer in conjunction with the Office of Student Engagement. An expelled student is permanently barred from College property and events.

As a result of a responsible finding, action-based sanctions may be issued. These sanctions all involve a specific action item and most involve direct attention from the responsible party. Action-based sanctions include, but are not limited to:

  1. Parent/guardian notification: Notification of the violation to legal parent/guardian. This sanction is typically issued for alcohol and drug violations, as well as for incidents that may impact the student’s ability to remain on campus or as an enrolled student at Whittier College (i.e. when a student is placed on deferred college suspension or for other severe cases.)
  2. Loss of privileges: Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time
  3. Confiscation of prohibited property: Items whose presence is in violation of College policy will be confiscated and will become the property of the College. Prohibited items may be returned to the owner at the discretion of the Dean of Students and/or Campus Safety.
  4. Drug testing: In response to violations of the Code relating to use or possession of illegal drugs, controlled substances, or drug paraphernalia, the sanctions may include drug testing for a defined period of time at the student’s expense.
  5. Limited access to campus: The parameters of the restriction will be specified.
  6. No contact order: An order that one student refrain from direct or indirect contact with another student(s) or member of the College community when on College Premises or at off- campus College-sponsored activities or events. This may also be an interim measure taken before there is any finding of responsibility.
  7. Residence hall relocation: The student is assigned to another residence hall room or building. Residence Life personnel will decide on the reassignment details. This may also be an interim measure taken before there is any finding of responsibility.
  8. Residence hall suspension: Separation of the student from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified. Students removed from the residence halls will not be eligible for a refund or proration of housing and/or meal fees.
  9. 9. Residence hall expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls. Students expelled from the residence halls will not be eligible for a refund or proration of housing and/or meal fees.
  10. Revocation of admission and/or degree: Admission to or degree awarded from the College may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of the College standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
  11. Withholding degree/transcript: The College may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned or a student’s academic transcript until the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

The College considers Sexual Assaults involving the use of force or threats of intimidation to be serious violations, and therefore may decide to impose the most severe sanctions, including but not limited to suspension or expulsion. However, the College reserves the right to impose ANY level of sanction, ranging from a warning up to and including suspension or expulsion/termination, for any act of Sexual Misconduct based on the totality of the facts and circumstances and the cumulative conduct record of the student.  In cases involving Student Organizations as the Responding Party, deactivation, de-recognition, and loss of privileges for a period of time are some of the sanctions that may be imposed.

Responding Party by a Student While Charges Pending

The College does not permit a student to formally withdraw if that student has a complaint pending for violation of this Policy, the Policy on Nondiscrimination, or for charges under the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Should a student decide to leave the College and not participate in the investigation and findings phase of this process, the process will nonetheless proceed in the student’s absence to a reasonable resolution and that student will not be permitted to return to the College unless all sanctions have been satisfied.

Notification of Outcome

Persons complaining of sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and domestic/dating violence incidents have an absolute right to be informed of the outcome of the investigation and sanctions, in writing, without condition or limitation;

The College may release publicly the name, nature of the violation and the sanction for any student who is found in violation of a College policy that is a “crime of violence,” including:  arson, burglary, robbery, criminal homicide, sex offenses, assault, destruction/damage/vandalism of property and kidnapping/abduction. 

Appeals

The Complainant and the Responding Party may appeal a finding. The Appeal must be filed within five (5) business days after receipt of the Notice of Outcome regarding the decision.  Responding Party’s request for additional time to appeal may be submitted to the Appeals Officer so long as it is requested within two (2) business days of receipt of the applicable Notice of Outcome letter.  The Appeals Officer will determine if reasonable cause exists for granting additional time and will send notice simultaneously to the parties if an extension is granted.

At the close of the period of time in which to file an appeal, the Appeals Officer will notify the other party that an appeal has been filed, give them a copy of the appeal request, and permit them to respond in writing.  If there has been a request by the Responding Party and decision made to stay any sanctions pending appeal, the Appeals Officer will notify the Complainant of that decision as well. 

General dissatisfaction with the outcome of the decision made is not grounds for appeal.  Appeals are limited to the following four reasons: 

  1. A procedural error, omission or irregularity that undermined the Complainant’s or Responding Party’s ability to present their allegations or defense to the Title IX Investigators or Adjudicating Party.
  2. New information sufficient to alter the decision or sanction that was unknown or unavailable during the time of the investigation and determination. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included.  Information that could have become known with the exercise of reasonable care during the investigation and determination phase, is not considered “new information” for purposes of appeal.
  3. Bias or conflict of interest that inappropriately affected the decisions made by any of the following persons involved in the matter:  Title IX Investigator(s), Lead Title IX Investigator and Title IX Coordinator. 
  4. The sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation.

Typically, appeals are paper-based, but before making a decision on the appeal, the Appeals Officer may request a meeting with the parties involved and will consider requests for such a meeting by the parties.  Any such requests should be made within 48 hours of receiving notice that an appeal has been filed.  The Appeals Officer is not required to meet with either party.  A non-appealing party may submit a written statement for consideration by the Appeals Officer so long as it is submitted within 72 hours of being notified of the fact that an appeal has been filed and which of the four bases for appeal are being pursued.  

The Appeals Officer will use best efforts to decide the appeal within seven (7) calendar days of its submission or meeting with the parties, if any. This timeframe may be longer depending on the totality of the circumstances.

Where the Appeals Officer finds that at least one of the four grounds for appeal have been met, the following options are available:

  1. Where the appeal is granted based on ground 1above, the matter should normally be remanded to the original Title IX investigator(s) or Adjudicating Party with instructions to cure the error.  The Appeals Officer also has the discretion to implement other solutions dictated by the circumstances of the case.
  2. Where the Appeals Officer grants the appeal on the basis of ground 2 above, the Appeals Officer may remand the matter to consider the new information and reconsider the ultimate decision regarding whether there was or was not a Policy violation. Depending on the circumstances and the nature of the new information, the Appeals Officer may reverse the decision and impose sanctions if the original decision was that there was no Policy violation, but remand is preferred.
  3. In the event the Appeals Officer determines there was bias or prejudice that inappropriately affected the decisions made (ground 3 above), the Appeals Officer give instructions sufficient to cure the unfairness that resulted. 
  4. Where the Appeals Officer determines that the sanctions imposed were substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation, the Appeals Officer may remand accordingly, or may impose more, less or different sanctions.

Deference shall be given to the original decision, making changes to the finding only where there is clear error, and to the sanction only if there is a compelling justification to do so. Once an outcome is appealed and the appeal decided, the outcome is final; further appeals are not permitted.

Failure to Complete Sanctions/Comply with Responsive Actions

All Responding Parties are expected to comply with sanctions within the time frame specified. Failure to do so by the date specified, whether by refusal, neglect or any other reason, may result in additional sanctions including, but not limited to suspension, expulsion and/or termination from the College and may be noted on a student’s official transcript. A suspension can only be lifted when compliance is achieved to the satisfaction of the Title IX Coordinator or designee.

Records

If the investigation following any complaint does not result in a finding of a violation of this Policy, the records relating to the complaint and the investigation will become a part of any individual’s student record. 

If the Responding Party is found to have violated this Policy, those records of the case will become part of the permanent student or personnel file of the Responding Party. Access to personnel and student files and the records maintained by the Title IX Coordinator is limited by Title IX, FERPA and various state statutes and common law. These restrictions on the disclosure are designed to protect students, employees, and the College. Questions regarding access to records may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator. In implementing this Policy, a record of all allegations and the final resolution, will be kept by the Title IX Coordinator indefinitely in the Title IX Coordinator database. 

Student Rights: Complainant

Subject to other provisions in this Policy, Complainants of Sexual Misconduct have the following rights:

  • The right to an impartial, prompt investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible allegations of Sexual Misconduct made in good faith to College officials;
  • The right to be treated with respect and dignity by College officials;
  • The right to be informed of and have access to on and off campus resources for medical, counseling, mental health, advocacy, and advisory services, including the Whittier College Counseling Center, Student Health and Wellness Center, and Support Person Program;
  • The right to one advisor or support person present during all interviews conducted as part of the investigation process although that person cannot not speak for the Complainant. This advisor can be anyone of their choosing;
  • The right to notification of and options for, and available assistance in, changing academic and living situations after an alleged harassment, discrimination or sexual assault incident, if so requested by the Complainant and if such changes are reasonably available (no formal complaint or investigation, campus or criminal, need occur before this option is available). Resolution may include:
    • Change of an on-campus student’s housing to a different campus location;
    • Assistance from the College support staff in completing the relocation;
    • Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and pro-rating a refund;
    • Exam (paper, assignment) rescheduling;
    • Taking an incomplete in a class;
    • Transferring class sections;
    • Temporary withdrawal;
    • Assistance with financial or financial aid issues that occur as a result of the alleged policy violation or complaint;
    • Alternative course completion options.
  • The right to request a campus restraining order against another person who has engaged in or threatens to engage in stalking, threatening, harassing or other improper behavior that presents a danger to the welfare of the complaining individual or others;
  • The right to be informed by College officials of options to notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police, and not discouraged from doing so, and the option to be assisted by campus authorities in notifying such authorities, if the student so chooses. This also includes the right not to report, if this is the Complainant’s desire; 
  • The right to be fully informed of the nature, rules and procedures of the campus investigative process, including the nature of the violation and possible sanctions;
  • The right to have allegations involving Sexual Misconduct  investigated and heard by trained Title IX Investigator(s) who have received annual sexual misconduct adjudication training, including the impact of trauma;
  • The right to present relevant witnesses to be interviewed by Title IX Investigators, including expert witnesses;
  • The right to have the College compel the presence of student, faculty and staff witnesses (although the College cannot compel such persons to talk) and the right to challenge documentary evidence in writing;
  • The right to have College policies and procedures followed without material deviation;
  • The right to review all documentary evidence available regarding the complaint including witness statements except in cases where a witness has requested anonymity and providing the statement would necessarily identify the witness, or in cases where the reviewing of the statement may present safety concerns for the witness or other involved in the process. In those cases, a summary of the information provided by the witness will be conveyed to the Complainant. The statement or summary will be available to be reviewed with the Complainant at least 48 hours prior to the meeting/proceeding at which the decision is made;
  • The right not to have unrelated prior sexual history considered as part of the decision making process
  • The right not to have any complaint of Sexual Misconduct mediated or decided by informal resolution (as opposed to using the Formal Investigation/Adjudication process outlined above);
  • The right to write an impact statement to be considered by the person determining sanctions;
  • The right to be informed in writing of the outcome and sanctions following adjudication by the Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Board, usually within 24 hours of the decision; 
  • The right to appeal the decision by the Title IX Investigator(s), in accordance with the standards for appeal established by the College;
  • The right to protection under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); 
  • The right to the preservation of privacy, restricting access to information to those with a legitimate need to know;
  • The right to petition that the persons investigating, making the decisions regarding whether a violation has occurred, any sanctions imposed and the Appeals Officer be removed on the basis of demonstrated bias;
  •  The right to a fundamentally fair process, as defined in these procedures;
  •  The right to be informed in advance of any public release of information regarding the complaint;
  • The right not to have released to the public (those persons other than those with a need to know) any personal information about the Complainant, without their consent.

Student’s Rights: Responding Party 

Subject to other provisions in this Policy, persons Complainant of Sexual Misconduct have the following rights:

  • The right to an impartial, prompt investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible allegations of Sexual Misconduct made in good faith to College officials;
  • The right to be treated with respect and dignity by College officials;
  • The right to be informed of and have access to on and off campus resources for medical, counseling, mental health, advocacy, and advisory services, including the Whittier College Counseling Center, Student Health and Wellness Center, and Support Person Program;
  • The right to one approved advisor or support person present during all interviews conducted as part of the investigation process although that person may not speak for the Complainant/Responding Party. 
  • The right to be fully informed of the nature, rules and procedures of the campus investigative process, including the nature of the violation and possible sanctions;
  • The right to have allegations involving Sexual Misconduct  investigated and heard by trained Title IX Investigator(s) who have received annual sexual misconduct adjudication training, including the impact of trauma;
  • The right to present relevant witnesses to be interviewed by Title IX Investigators, including expert witnesses;
  • The right to have the College compel the presence of student, faculty and staff witnesses (although the College cannot compel the person to talk) and the right to challenge documentary evidence in writing;
  • The right to have College policies and procedures followed without material deviation;
  • The right to review all documentary evidence available regarding the complaint including witness statements except in cases where a witness has requested anonymity and providing the statement would necessarily identify the witness, or in cases where the reviewing of the statement may present safety concerns for the witness or other involved in the process. In those cases, a summary of the information provided by the witness will be conveyed to the Complainant/Responding Party. The statement or summary will be available to be reviewed with the Complainant/Responding Party at least 48 hours prior to the meeting/proceeding at which the decision is made;
  • The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history considered as part of the decision making process;
  • The right not to have any complaint of Sexual Misconduct mediated or decided by informal resolution (as opposed to using the Formal Investigation/Adjudication process outlined above);
  • The right to write an impact statement to be considered by the person determining sanctions;
  • The right to be informed in writing of the outcome and sanctions following adjudication by the Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Board, usually within 24 hours of the decision; 
  • The right to appeal the decision by the Title IX Investigator(s), in accordance with the standards for appeal established by the College;
  • The right to protection under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); 
  • The right to the preservation of privacy, restricting access to information to those with a legitimate need to know;
  • The right to petition that the persons investigating, making the decisions regarding whether a violation has occurred, any sanctions imposed and the Appeals Officer be removed on the basis of demonstrated bias;
  • The right to a fundamentally fair process, as defined in these procedures;
  • The right to be informed in advance of any public release of information regarding the complaint;
  • The right not to have released to the public (those persons other than those with a need to know) any personal information about the Complainant/Responding Party, without their consent.

Revisions/Applicable to Allegations of Misconduct

This Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis and updated or modified as needed.  The provisions of the Policy pertaining to what constitutes sexual misconduct in effect at the time of any alleged misconduct shall apply.  The investigation and adjudication of any complaint of sexual misconduct shall be addressed in accordance with those procedures in effect at the time a person is notified of their alleged misconduct.  

These policies and procedures supersede any previous policy(ies) addressing harassment, sexual misconduct, and discrimination. The College reserves the right to make changes to this document as necessary, and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect. During the resolution process, the Title IX Coordinator may make minor modifications to procedures that do not materially jeopardize the fairness owed to any party, such as to accommodate summer schedules. 

All updates or edits to this Policy shall be published on the College’s website with a date of the last revision. The Title IX Coordinator may also vary procedures materially with notice (on the College’s web site, with appropriate date of effect identified) upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations not reflected in this policy and procedure. If government laws or regulations change, or court decisions alter, the requirements in a way that impacts this document, this document will be construed to comply with the most recent government regulations. 

This document does not create legally enforceable protections beyond the protection of the background state and federal laws which frame such policies and codes, generally.

This policy was updated on April 17, 2019