Title IX Complaints
WHAT IS TITLE IX?
Title IX is a federal (national) law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex/gender in any federally funded schools or activities. Title IX violations include:
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault (includes rape)
- Relationship violence
The University of Minnesota is committed to the safety, dignity, and respect of all of its students, staff, faculty, volunteers and visitors. The University prohibits all forms of sex or gender based discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence (Title IX violations). The University provides comprehensive support and maintains multiple reporting mechanisms for all members of the community. The following explains the process used at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities for individuals who report and for those who are accused of Title IX violations.
• Anyone can report Title IX violations committed by a University student. These violations should be reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA], for investigation. University of Minnesota employees in the University of Minnesota Police Department, The Aurora Center (TAC), the Office for Community Standards (OCS), or Housing and Residential Life (HRL) will refer students to EOAA to submit a report.
• A trained EOAA staff person will thoroughly investigate the report. The investigator will first interview the reporting party to gather as much information as possible about the incident. The investigator will also interview relevant witnesses including those provided by the reporting party, before contacting the accused student. The EOAA office will notify the accused student writing about the complaint, available resources and to schedule an interview to discuss the alleged violations.
• The EOAA investigator will interview the accused student and any witnesses identified by the accused student. It might also be necessary to meet with the reporting party a second time to ask any additional questions that arose during the investigation process.
• EOAA will also collect information such as copies of text messages, email correspondence, VM recordings, medical reports, video recordings from surveillance cameras when available, and any other relevant evidence.
• EOAA will explain the process to both parties.
• After all the interviews are completed, EOAA will prepare a report in which they analyze the facts and determine whether or not the accused student is responsible for violating the UMN Board of Regents Student Conduct Code based on the preponderance of evidence. (This means that based upon the information gathered during the investigation it is more likely than not that the policy was or was not violated.) EOAA will then forward the investigation report to OCS.
• OCS sends an email to the reporting party and the accused student informing them of the outcome of the investigation. The email will include a determination as to whether the student conduct code was violated, and a proposed informal resolution. In this letter, OCS notifies both the reporting party and the accused student of their right to have the case heard before a formal hearing panel consisting of faculty, staff and students if either of the parties are dissatisfied with the outcome The letter will also indicate that either party can request a copy of the investigation report The parties have five days to request a formal hearing. (If either party requests a meeting with OCS to discuss the informal resolution, the time to request a formal hearing will be extended to 5 days from the date of the meeting.
• Both parties can choose to have an advocate, and or an attorney/advisor and may request one extension to the deadline of no more than 10 days.)
If either party requests a formal hearing, the matter will be forwarded to the Campus Committee on Student Behavior. (CCSB) A panel of faculty, staff and students will hear testimony and review evidence from both parties. The panel will then determine if the accused student is or is not responsible, and if responsible determine the appropriate sanction.
Upon conclusion of the formal hearing, if either party is dissatisfied with the decision of the CCSB, they may file an appeal with the appellate officer according to the Administrative Procedure - Student Conduct Code Procedures: Twin Cities.
Both the reporting party and the accused student are allowed to choose a lawyer, family member, or advocate to appear with them throughout the disciplinary process. One advocate is allowed to speak on behalf of the student. (Reporting parties are allowed to have a “Victim Advocate” also attend the hearing.)
TIMELINE OF THE PROCESS
An EOAA investigation can generally take from one to five weeks depending on the availability of the witnesses. Once the investigation is completed, OCS sends letters to both the accused student and the reporting party within 1-2 business days of receiving the outcome, and the accused student and the reporting party (if a University of Minnesota student) have five days to inform OCS if they do not accept the outcome and want the case heard before the Campus Committee on Student Behavior (CCSB). The CCSB will convene a hearing within 30 days of notification.