Student Procedures for the Campus Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct

Table of Contents

I.     Introduction
II.    Rights and Responsibilities
III.   Definitions
IV.   Support Person(s)
       a. Support Person(s) guidelines
V.    Reporting Options
       a. Staff who report directly to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator
       b. Responsible employees
       c. Privileged and confidential resources
       d. Anonymous reporting
       e. Off campus reporting
       f. Law enforcement
VI.   Federally Mandated Reporting
VII.  Interim Measures
VIII. Investigation Process
     a. Consolidation of investigations
     b. University as complainant
IX.   Resolution Process
     a. Informal resolution
     b. Formal resolution
     c. Deliberation and resolution
     d. Sanctions
     e. Appeal
     f. Record retention
Appendix A: Review and Updating of Procedures
 

I. Introduction

In conjunction with the Campus Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct (referred to hereafter as the Policy), this document serves as a procedural guide for reporting, investigating, and resolving incidents of sexual misconduct where the alleged respondent is a student at the University of Puget Sound. These procedures will outline reporting options, complainant and respondent rights and responsibilities, and resolution of sexual misconduct cases.

The Office of the Dean of Students, Student Conduct, and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator or their designee(s) are responsible for utilizing, evaluating, and updating these procedures as needed. For more information, see Appendix A.

 

II. Rights and Responsibilities

In addition to student rights as outlined in the Student Integrity Code and specifically noted throughout this document, involved parties have the right to:

  • Respect, dignity, and sensitivity;
  • Privacy to the extent possible under applicable university policies;
  • Refrain from making self-incriminating statements;
  • Understand that the information collected in the process may be subpoenaed in criminal or civil proceedings;
  • Share their understanding of the situation and present relevant documentation for consideration;
  • Participate in a process that is civil and respectful; and
  • Other rights as specified throughout this document.

 

III. Definitions

Amnesty: Complainants, respondents, and witnesses will not be subject to disciplinary action for alcohol and/or other drug use, except when alcohol and/or other drugs are used to facilitate sexual misconduct, as defined under coercion in the Policy. Individuals are encouraged to come forward to report sexual misconduct regardless of choice to consume alcohol or to use drugs. Individuals may be provided with resources on drug and alcohol counseling and/or education as appropriate.

Complainant: The alleged victim/survivor of sexual misconduct, whether reported by them or a third party.

Disclosure: Information about sexual misconduct provided to a privileged and/or confidential resource.

Interview Summary: A summary of an interview prepared by the Deputy Title IX Coordinator or their designee.

Investigative Report: A final report prepared by the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or their designee that includes, but is not limited to: interview summaries; summary of the allegations; facts of the incident; discrepancies and consistencies in the interviews; and documentation or information presented during the investigation. Investigative reports are considered part of a student’s case file and will be reviewed during the resolution phase of the process.

Involved Parties: Any person participating at any point in the reporting, investigation, and/or resolution processes (e.g. complainant; respondent; witness; responsible employee).

Respondent: A student who is identified as engaging in conduct that violates the Policy.

Responsible Employees: Individuals employed by the university that must promptly and fully report information regarding sexual misconduct to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

Retaliation: Intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against an individual because the individual reported sexual misconduct or participated in any way in the investigation or resolution of such a report, or exercised any right or responsibility under the Policy, these procedures, or the law. Retaliation is prohibited by any party and is a violation of both the Student Integrity Code and the Policy.

Standard of Evidence: A preponderance of the evidence standard will be utilized to determine whether it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred.

Student: Includes all persons registered for a course or courses at the university, persons who have accepted an offer of admission, persons residing on campus prior to attending classes or while completing a withdrawal or departure process, persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the college, and persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Student Integrity Code, as described fully in the Student Integrity Code.

Support Person: An individual chosen by the complainant/respondent to assist and guide them through the reporting, investigative, and /or resolution process. See Support Person(s) below for more information.

 

IV. Support Person(s)

Complainants and respondents have the right to have a support person present with them at all stages of the process, including but not limited to, reporting, investigative meetings, and the hearing. Support person(s) may be utilized by a complainant and/or respondent in a number of different ways including support, guidance, advice, etc.

Complainants and respondents will each have the opportunity to identify up to two (2) support person(s) at least two (2) business days prior to the start of an investigation. Support person(s) are chosen individually by the respondent and complainant.

Only one support person may be present at any given time, the second may be utilized when the first is not available. The second support person may also be used in the event that the complainant or respondent no longer wishes to utilize the first.

The Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Director of Student Conduct, and their designee(s) reserve the right to dismiss or remove a support person who does not adhere to the guidelines below, or who disrupts or attempts to disrupt the process in any way. The second support person may be utilized in the event that the first has been dismissed by the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Director of Student Conduct, or their designee(s).

Support person(s) must adhere to the following:

  • Support person(s) may not advocate for, represent, or speak on behalf of a complainant or respondent;
  • Support person(s) may not address any other person throughout the process including, but not limited to interviews and hearings, other than the student whom they support;
  • Support person(s) may not provide any information, documentation, or serve as a witness in any part of the process;
  • The complainant/respondent must initiate authorization with the Office of Student Conduct for a support person(s) ability to review the case file prior to or after a hearing;
  • All communication will be between the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the Director of Student Conduct or their designee(s) and the complainant/respondent. A student may request a support person to be copied on correspondence, however, it will be the student’s responsibility to communicate with the above mentioned staff directly.

 

V. Reporting Options

The University of Puget Sound encourages all members of the community to report alleged violation(s) of the Policy in an effort to provide resources and support for individuals who have been harmed, hold responsible parties accountable for their behavior and actions, and reduce recidivism. While reports may be made to a number of individuals on campus, employees on campus have different abilities to maintain confidentiality. Below are details of various reporting options, including confidential resources.

Responsible employees may report to certain designated staff who will forward the report directly and immediately to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Reports may also be made directly to these individuals. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator and their designee include:

Michael Benitez, Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, Title IX Coordinator
Oversees university compliance with Title IX.
Office: Howarth Hall, #215B
Phone: 253.879.2825
Email Address: chiefdiversity@pugetsound.edu

Sarah Shives, Assistant Dean of Students
Receives and responds to reports of sexual misconduct involving students, and helps students understand their options. Works with Deputy Title IX Coordinator and other relevant staff to provide reasonable interim measures.
Office: Wheelock Student Center, #208
Phone: 253.879.3360
Email Address: sshives@pugetsound.edu

Jessica Pense, Director of Student Conduct
Receives and responds to reports submitted through conduct reporting software. Works closely with Residence Life staff in submitting conduct reports.
Office: Wheelock Student Center, #203
Phone: 253.879.3439
Email Address: jpense@pugetsound.edu

Security Services
Available as a first option to report any incident of crime or violence, as well as any incidents involving sexual misconduct. Also provides a safety escort program on campus and to some areas in the greater community to any student, faculty, or staff member 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Office: 3206 N. 15th St, at the corner of N. 15th and Alder
24-Hour Phone: 253.879.3311
Email Address: security@pugetsound.edu (non-emergencies only and may not be checked after hours)

Human Resources
Addresses complaints of sexual misconduct when the respondent is a faculty or staff member.
Office: Howarth Hall, #016
Phone: 253.879.3369
Email Address: hr@pugetsound.edu

Responsible Employees

Responsible employees should make every effort to ensure that the reporting party understands their reporting obligations. A responsible employee has the duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator or their designee. Responsible employees are not required to report information disclosed at public awareness events (i.e. “Take Back the Night,” protests, “survivor speak-outs” or other public forums in which students may disclose incidents of prohibited conduct).

Responsible employees include all university faculty, staff, student staff, and some student leaders, with the exception of those identified as a confidential resource.

Student leaders are considered responsible while serving in their roles. This responsibility extends beyond the scheduled hours and shifts of their work assignment, with the exception of shift leaders and student managers who are only considered responsible employees during their scheduled hours and shifts.

Responsible student leaders include, but are not limited to:

  • Residence Life student leaders (RAs, RCCs, GHCs, etc.)
  • ASUPS executive board members
  • Orientation leaders
  • Peer advisors
  • Campus Safety Assistants (student staff in Security Services)
  • Shift leaders or student managers for on-campus student jobs

When someone reports an incident of sexual misconduct to a responsible employee, the responsible employee must report all known details to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator or their designee.  Details include, but are not limited to: the names of all parties involved; the date(s), time(s) and specific location(s) of the alleged sexual misconduct; and a description of the incident(s). The information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with those responsible for handling the university’s response to the report.

Privileged and Confidential Disclosure Options

A “privileged and confidential” person is someone permitted by this Policy to keep a report confidential. A person disclosing an incident of sexual misconduct must understand that if disclosures are made to those designated as privileged and confidential, no report to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator and therefore no investigation, resolution, or sanctions will occur without also reporting it to a responsible employee. A reporting party who works with privileged and confidential resources may also decide to file a report with the university and/or report the incident to local law enforcement, and may choose to participate in an investigation.  A “privileged” person is someone required by this Policy to report information to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator without providing identifying information of the complainant.

On-Campus Privileged and Confidential Departments and Staff 
The following professional staff members are not required to report any information about an incident of sexual misconduct to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator:

Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services (CHWS)
Office: Wheelock Student Center #216
Phone: 253.879.1555
Email Address: chws@pugetsound.edu
Website: www.pugetsound.edu/student-life/counseling-health-and-wellness

Dave Wright, University Chaplain
Office: Center for Intercultural and Civic Engagement (a.k.a. the Yellow House)
Phone: 253.879.3818
Email Address: dwright@pugetsound.edu

On-Campus Privileged Departments and Staff 
The following professional staff is considered privileged, and have the obligation to report information, without providing identifying information of the complainant to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator:

Marta Cady, Associate Dean and Sexual Assault Advocate
Office: Student Development House, 3209 N. 15th Street.
Phone: 253.879.3365 office, 253.219.0516 mobile
Email Address: martacady@pugetsound.edu 

The university has designated student members of Peer Allies as individuals who can talk with students impacted by sexual misconduct in a private manner. Peer Allies must report all information to the Associate Dean and Sexual Assault Advocate, who is considered a privileged resource (see above). The Associate Dean and Sexual Assault Advocate has the obligation to report information to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for federal Clery and Title IX reporting. Information provided to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator will exclude identifying information of the complainant.  

Peer Allies
Email Address: peerallies@pugetsound.edu
Website: facebook.com/pugetsoundpeerallies

Anonymous Reporting

Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an act of sexual misconduct. Depending on the extent of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, the university’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator will receive submitted anonymous reports and determine next steps.

Anonymous reports can be submitted online via www.pugetsound.edu/about/diversity-at-puget-sound/title-ix/make-a-report.

Off-Campus Disclosure Options

A reporting party may choose to disclose incidents of sexual misconduct to resources off campus. The resources below are off campus disclosure options.  They do not report to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator and the university will have no knowledge of the complaint.

Crystal Judson Family Resource Center
Address: 718 Court E Tacoma, WA 98402 (Walk-ins Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
Phone: 253.798.4166 (Helpline during regular business hours, but will automatically transfer to 24-hour helpline after hours)
Toll Free: 800.764.2420
TDD: 253.798.4620
Website: www.aplaceofhelp.com

Rebuilding Hope! Sexual Assault Center for Pierce County
Address: 101 E. 26th Street, Suite 200, Tacoma, WA 98421
24-Hour Crisis, Information, and Referral Line: 800.756.7273 or 253.474.7273
Phone: 253.597.6424 office
Website: www.sexualassaultcenter.com

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
24-Hour Helpline: 800.656.HOPE (4673)
Free Confidential Live Chat and Chat en Español: www.rainn.org/get-help
Website: www.rainn.org

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
24-Hour Helpline: 800.799.SAFE (7233) available in over 170 languages
Free Confidential Live Chat: www.thehotline.org/help
Website: www.thehotline.org

Law Enforcement Reporting

The University of Puget Sound supports reporting to law enforcement incidents of sexual misconduct that may also be crimes under Washington State law. The university will assist a reporting party in making a criminal report and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies as permitted by law and policy if a reporting party decides to pursue the criminal process. The university can assist the reporting party in contacting law enforcement and identifying an advocate to assist the reporting party.

The university’s policy, definitions, and burden of proof may differ from Washington State criminal law. A complainant may seek recourse under this policy and/or pursue criminal action. Neither law enforcement’s determination whether or not to prosecute a respondent, nor the outcome of any criminal prosecution, are determinative of whether a violation of this policy has occurred. Proceedings under this policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus.

Tacoma Police Department
Address: 3701 South Pine Street, Tacoma, WA 98409
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-Emergency: 253.798.4721

VI. Federally Mandated Reporting

The university is required by law to disclose reports of sexual misconduct for statistical purposes without personal identifying information. This includes all reports made to responsible employees, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or their designee.

VII. Interim Measures

Following a report of sexual misconduct, the university may take interim measures and will provide support and reasonable protection against further acts of misconduct or retaliation as needed. As stated in the Student Integrity Code, the university may take emergency action where there is evidence that a student’s or a student-group’s continued presence on the university campus poses a substantial threat. The university will also provide services and resources to provide a safe educational environment. The university will provide these measures regardless of whether a complainant chooses to report to law enforcement.

VIII. Investigative Process

The investigative process will begin when a complainant chooses to move forward and/or if the Deputy Title IX Coordinator or their designee determines that the university must move forward with an investigation. Through the investigative process, both the complainant and respondent have the right to have a support person present.

Interviews for the investigation will be conducted by the Deputy Title IX Coordinator or their designee. The investigation is a neutral process that collects information from involved parties. Through the investigation, both the complainant and respondent will be able to provide the names of witnesses who may have relevant information. Both the complainant and respondent may also provide information including, but not limited to, journal entries, reports from law enforcement agencies, and/or medical professionals.

Complainants will have the ability to review, amend, and affirm the accuracy of their interview summary and acknowledge by signature. Complainants will also have the ability to review witnesses’ interview summary(ies). If the investigation proceeds, the respondent will receive written notice of the alleged violations and an interview will be requested.

Respondents will have the ability to review the complainant’s and witnesses’ interview summaries and provide a response. The respondent will also have the ability to review, amend, and affirm the accuracy of their interview summary and acknowledge by signature.

After all interviews have concluded and a final investigative report has been created, both the complainant and respondent have the ability to review the investigative report which includes, but is not limited to, interview summaries and information presented by the complainant and respondent. Witnesses will not be granted permission to review interview summaries or the investigative report.

The Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Director of Student Conduct, or their designee will consult to determine if the information gathered and provided for the investigative report has sufficient information to move forward to resolution. If there is sufficient information to move forward to resolution, the complainant and respondent will be given a Notification of Alleged Violations (see IX. Resolution Process). If there is not sufficient information to move forward to resolution, the complainant and respondent will be so notified and the case will be considered closed.

Consolidation of Investigations

The Deputy Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to consolidate into one investigation multiple reports against a respondent if the evidence related to each incident would be relevant in reaching a determination on the other incident. Matters may be consolidated where there are multiple open reports, multiple complainants, multiple respondents, or related conduct that would otherwise have been heard under the Student Integrity Code. Appropriate notice about the consolidation of investigations will be given to respondent(s) and complainant(s).

University as Complainant

Under some circumstances the university may act as the complainant in the conduct process. The university may act as the complainant in situations that include, but are not limited to, consolidation of multiple alleged violations, when the complainant is not a member of the university community, when the complainant cannot participate in the conduct process, or safety of the community is at issue (including, but not limited to, use of a weapon or immediate threat to the community). The university proceeding as the complainant will be pursued in consultation with the original complainant(s). When the university acts as the complainant, the Director of Student Conduct or their designee may provide opening and closing statements at formal hearings and may appeal the results of those hearings. The university acting as complainant does not preclude the participation of original complainant(s) in the conduct process as a witness, nor does it alter the procedures for access to the case file.

IX. The Resolution Process

The complainant and the respondent are encouraged to participate in the resolution process, though it is not required. If a formal resolution takes place, attempts will be made to arrange the hearing in such a way that both the complainant and respondent are able to participate fully. Arrangements may include, but are not limited to, the placement of a visual barrier and the use of conference calling, and/or video conferencing.

Prior to a formal or informal resolution, the complainant and respondent may request to review the investigative report. Review of the investigative report will take place in a designated office, to be determined by the Director of Student Conduct or their designee. Neither the complainant nor the respondent (or their support person) may copy, remove, photograph, print, image, videotape, record, or in any manner duplicate or remove the information provided within the investigative report. A complainant, respondent, or support person who fails to abide by these directives may be in violation of the Student Integrity Code and/or may be excluded from further participation in the process.

Informal Resolution

As an alternative to the formal process, the complainant and respondent may choose an informal resolution. Informal resolutions may proceed only if the complainant, respondent, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, and Director of Student Conduct or their designee(s) mutually agree to utilize this process and the respondent accepts responsibility for the alleged violation(s).

If an informal resolution is appropriate, the Director of Student Conduct or their designee will assist the complainant in drafting a proposed resolution. The Director of Student Conduct or their designee will then share the proposed resolution with the respondent and will assist the respondent in providing a response to the proposed resolution. Possible resolution(s) may include, but are not limited to:

  • Permanent No Contact Order between the students
  • Academic or residential reassignment
  • Written apology and/or reflective assignment
  • Educational remedies

Any resolution reached through an informal process will be confirmed in writing and provided to both the complainant and respondent. If either party does not agree to pursue an informal resolution, or if the complainant, respondent, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the Director of Student Conduct, or their designee(s), at any time, determines that an informal resolution is no longer appropriate, the Director of Student Conduct or their designee will inform the complainant and respondent in writing through a Notification of Alleged Violations and will proceed to a formal resolution.

Formal Resolution

If a report of sexual misconduct proceeds to formal resolution, the Director of Student Conduct, or their designee will notify both the complainant and respondent in writing. Both will receive Notification of Alleged Violations which will outline the following information:

  • Specific alleged policy violation(s) (e.g., sexual assault, sexual harassment, retaliation)
  • Date(s), time(s), and/or location(s) of alleged policy violation(s)
  • Brief description of allegation(s)
  • Date, time, and location of the Sexual Misconduct Board hearing

Resolution of an alleged sexual misconduct violation will be pursued through a Sexual Misconduct Board hearing (formal resolution) unless all criteria for an informal resolution, as described above, is fully met.

The Director of Student Conduct or their designee is the facilitator for the Sexual Misconduct Board hearing process. The Sexual Misconduct Board (hereafter referred to as the board) is comprised of three (3) members of the university community, including both staff and faculty. Board members are specifically trained to hear complaints of sexual misconduct. The Director of Student Conduct or their designee will share the names of the student(s) and their participating support person(s) with the board members and the names of the board members with the students prior to the hearing, and will evaluate any concerns of bias or conflict of interest.

Prior to the hearing, board members will meet with the Director of Student Conduct or their designee to review the investigative report and to determine if there are further questions to pose during the hearing. The board reserves the exclusive right to call witnesses to the Sexual Misconduct Board hearing.

The Director of Student Conduct or their designee and a representative from the Office of the Dean of Students will be present for and will serve as facilitators for the hearing. The hearing will be audio-recorded.

At the hearing, each party will have ten (10) minutes to give an opening statement to the board. The complainant will give their opening statement first, followed by the respondent. The board members will then have the opportunity to ask questions of the complainant, respondent, and any witnesses whom they choose to invite to the hearing. The complainant and respondent will have the opportunity to provide the Director of Student Conduct or their designee with written suggested questions 48 hours in advance of the hearing. The use of questions provided by the complainant and respondent is subject to the board’s discretion. The complainant and respondent may not directly address each other at any point during the hearing. Following questions from the board, each party will have ten (10) minutes to give a closing statement. The complainant will give their closing statement first, followed by the respondent. After closing statements, the hearing will conclude and both the respondent and complainant will be excused.

Deliberation and Resolution

The board examines each alleged violation and will determine whether or not the respondent is responsible using a preponderance of the evidence standard. the Director of Student Conduct or their designee(s) will be present, but will not be a part of the decision making process. The Director of Student Conduct or their designee will strictly be utilized for clarification of policy and procedure.

After a decision has been reached, the complainant and respondent will receive the decision which will outline the alleged violation(s) and finding(s) and a memorandum opinion which provides a summary of the board’s rationale for their finding(s).

In the case of a finding of not responsible, the complainant and the respondent may still be entitled to arrangements to ensure their safety and success at the university. They will be encouraged to meet with the Director of Student Conduct or their designee and other university staff members to discuss possible arrangements.

If the hearing board finds the respondent responsible for one or more of the alleged violation(s), the board will determine sanctions, as described below. If there is a finding of responsibility, the board will review the respondent’s past conduct history to assist in determining appropriate sanctions.

After the decision letter and memorandum opinion have been delivered, the formal resolution process has concluded. At this time the complainant and respondent may appeal upon the grounds described in the Student Integrity Code.  Interim measures may remain in place during the appeal period.

Sanctions

Sanctions are determined based on the specific violation(s) and any prior student conduct history. Sanctions are effective immediately. If the respondent appeals the hearing board’s decision, the sanctions may be held in abeyance while the appeal is considered at the discretion of the Deputy Title IX Coordinator and the Director of Student Conduct or their designee(s). 

Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to, conduct reprimand, level I conduct probation, level II conduct probation, educational assignments/project(s), restitution, university residence eviction, suspension, expulsion, revocation of admission and/or degree, withholding degree, and/or multiple sanctions (more than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation). Expulsion is the only student conduct sanction noted on a student’s transcript.

For more information about sanctions, see the Sanctions section of the Student Integrity Code.

Appeal

Appeals will be submitted and reviewed in accordance with the Student Integrity Code.

Record Retention

Records will be kept in accordance with the Student Integrity Code.

Appendix A

Review and Updating of Procedures

The Office of the Dean of Students, Student Conduct, and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or their designee(s) are responsible for utilizing, evaluating, and updating these procedures.

These procedures will be reviewed, updated, and published to the website on a yearly basis. The university reserves the right to amend these procedures prior to the yearly review if necessary. In the instance of a change to the procedures outside of the yearly review, the university community will be notified via Puget Sound email and the new procedures will be published to the website.

Feedback on these procedures should be forwarded to: titleix@pugetsound.edu

 

Updated: 8.24.18