1.14.1—Sex/Gender Discrimination, Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct

Introduction

When Michigan Tech receives a report of sex/gender based discrimination, harassment and/ or sexual misconduct, the campus Title IX Coordinator is notified. The University will respond to violations of this policy through a variety of pathways, informally and/or formally, with the goal of educating all parties involved.


Process

The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will offer assistance to the complainant and respondent in the form of interim measures such as opportunities including but not limited to academic accommodations; changes in housing for the victim, complainant or the respondent; visa and immigration assistance; no contact orders, changes in working situations; and other assistance as may be appropriate and available on campus or in the community. The Title IX Coordinator may implement an interim action(s) as needed to protect the community, pending the culmination of any review, investigation or appeal process.

If the victim or complainant so desires, they can be connected with a counselor, a victim's advocate, local community agencies and/or law enforcement for support, Michigan Tech will assist the complainant in making these contacts. No victim or complainant is required to take advantage of these services and resources, but Michigan Tech provides them in the hopes of offering help and support without condition or qualification.

The Title IX Coordinator will determine the most effective method of reviewing the concerns raised by the Complainant. The University’s response is designed to consider the complainant’s preferences regarding the University response wherever possible with regard to concern for public safety. In some cases, this will involve a thorough fact-finding investigation. In other cases, a different or less formal response to the complaint may be warranted. Although the Title IX Coordinator may modify these guidelines, the University will still respond to the complaint in a thorough, reliable, impartial manner that is prompt, effective and equitable. At any stage of the process, based on review of available information, the Title IX Coordinator may terminate any further investigation of a complaint.

When appropriate upon receipt of notice, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate through, reliable, impartial, and fair steps to investigate in a prompt, effective, and equitable manner which may lead to the imposition of sanctions based upon a preponderance of evidence. The Title IX Coordinator may not be able to fully address allegations received from anonymous sources unless sufficient information is furnished to enable a meaningful and fair investigation to be conducted.

University officials must issue timely warnings for incidents reported to them that continue to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The University will make every effort to ensure that a victim’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger.

See the Institutional Equity and Inclusion webpage for information on complaint processes for employees and third parties. See the Student Conduct Policies for the policy and procedures for Sexual and/or Relationship Misconduct.

If the Complainant files a criminal complaint with law enforcement, the University will comply with law enforcement requests for cooperation. Such cooperation may require the University to temporarily suspend the fact-finding aspect of an investigation while law enforcement gathers evidence. The University will promptly resume its investigation as soon as notified that law enforcement has completed the evidence gathering process.

Once the investigation is complete and also upon the completion of any hearing or deliberative process the complainant and respondent will be informed, in writing of the outcome. The complainant and respondent will be informed of their rights to request an appeal and, if an appeal is filed, of its filing. The complainant and respondent will be informed in writing of the results of any appeal whether or not it modifies the original outcome.

Title IX, VAWA, and the Clery Act provide protections for whistleblowers who bring allegations of non-compliance with the Clery Act and/or Title IX to the attention of appropriate campus administrators.

Michigan Tech does not retaliate against those who raise concerns of non-compliance. Any concerns should be brought to the immediate attention of the campus Title IX Coordinator.

Victim, Complainant and Respondent rights and support guidelines include:

  • The Victim and/or Complainant and Respondent will be treated with respect by University officials throughout the entire process.
  • The Victim and/or Complainant and Respondent will be informed by University officials of options to notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police, and the option to be assisted by University officials in notifying such authorities, if the student/employee so chooses. This also includes the right not to report, if the complainant chooses.
  • The Victim, the Complainant or the Respondent may request a campus "No Contact" condition against each other or against any other student/employee who has engaged in or threatens to engage in any threatening, harassing or other improper behavior.
  • The Victim, Complainant or Respondent may request a change in academic/work/living situations. If such changes are requested, reasonable and are reasonably available, the University will support the request. Neither a criminal conviction nor an investigation need be completed before a student/employee requests that this interim measure be put in place.
  • The Victim and Respondent will be provided with information regarding available mental health and student services, both on campus and in the community. It is the goal of the University to ensure that victims, complainants, and respondents have access to needed resources, services, and information.
  • Victims and respondents will be given timely notice of the alleged violation(s) and investigation, and fully informed of the nature, rules, procedures, including possible sanctions.
  • Neither the Victim and/or Complainant nor Respondent will have the option to mediate a complaint of sexual violence. .
  • The Complainant and the Respondent will each be able to review documentary information available regarding the complaint, and be informed of all witnesses participating in the investigation unless a witness has been granted anonymity for compelling safety reasons.
  • The Complainant and Respondent may each request that any person investigating be removed on the basis of demonstrated bias.
  • The Victim and/or Complainant and the Respondent may each participate in the investigation and hearing process and each may have an advisor of their choosing to accompany and assist them. The advisor may give guidance and/or provide support to the participant, but may not take part directly in the investigation and/or processes. The University will provide assistance to and consider the concerns and rights of both the victim and the respondent throughout the process.
  • Irrelevant prior sexual history will not be considered in any investigation or other procedures.
  • The Victim and/or Complainant and Respondent may each make an impact statement during any point in the process and have the statement considered in determining potential outcomes.
  • The Complainant and Respondent will each be informed simultaneously and in writing of the outcome and appeal processes.

Additional Rights/Support Guidelines for the Victim and Complainant:

  • University officials will not discourage the Victim or Complainant from reporting sex/gender based discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual misconduct offenses. The victim may cooperate in a University investigation, seek criminal charges with campus or local law enforcement, seek civil action with a civil trial, choose multiple options, or choose not to take any action.

Additional Rights/Support Guidelines for the Respondent:

  • The respondent will be given a clear statement of the allegations against them and the opportunity to respond to those allegation by accepting or denying responsibility, or standing mute.
  • The respondent will receive a fundamentally fair process and they may refuse to answer some or all questions during an investigation or hearing to avoid self-implication. This silence may not be used against the respondent.

Students can also review the Rights/Support Guideline in the Student Code of Conduct Sexual and/or Relationship Misconduct procedures.

The investigation and records of the case remain confidential within the University and are shared privately only as necessary between administrators who need to know. Where information must be shared to permit the investigation to move forward, the victim and/or complainant will be informed. Privacy of the records specific to the investigation is also maintained in accordance with Michigan law and for students the federal FERPA statute.

Any public release of information needed to comply with the open crime logs or timely warning provisions of the Clery Act will not include the names of the victim or complainant or information that could easily lead to a victim or complainant's identification.

Additionally, Michigan Tech maintains confidentiality in relation to any accommodations or protective measures afforded to a complainant, except to the extent necessary to provide the accommodations and/or protective measures.

Appendices


Adoption Date

12/16/2016 Approved by the University President

Revisions

11/06/2017 Annual updates to the Sexual Harassment/Sex Discrimination Procedure
04/10/2017 Transfer of policy page from HTML to CMS. General Policy numbers renamed from "2.1000" to "1.00 General University". Specifically from "2.1014.1—Sex/Gender Discrimination, Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct" to "1.14.1—Sex/Gender Discrimination, Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct".