Will information about my complaint remain confidential?
The privacy of all parties to a complaint of gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct must be respected, except insofar as it interferes with the University’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where privacy is not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. In cases of indicating a pattern, predation, threat, weapons, or violence, the University will likely be unable to honor a request for confidentiality. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the complainant or the accused individual may lead to conduct action by the University.
In all complaints of gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct, all parties will be informed of the outcome. In some instances, the administration also may choose to make a brief public announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken, without using the name or identifiable information of the alleged victim. Certain University officials are informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy. This includes, though is not limited to, the President of the University, Vice Provost for Student Life & Dean of Students, Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, Director of Campus Safety, and General Counsel. If a report of an act of alleged gender-based discrimination or sexual misconduct is submitted to a campus security authority and there is evidence that a felony has occurred, local police will be notified. This does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that a victim must speak with the police, but the University is legally required to notify law enforcement authorities. The University also must statistically report the occurrence of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.
Will my parents be informed?
Whether you are the complainant or the respondent, the University’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. University officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, in a life-threatening situation, or when required to do so by law. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents.
Will the Respondent know my identity?
Yes, if you file a complaint and identify the Respondent. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the Respondent has the right to know the identity of the Complainant. If there is a hearing, the University can provide reasonable accommodations for the Complainant and Respondent so they do not come into contact with one another.
Do I have to name the Respondent?
No, if you are reporting the misconduct for the purpose of accessing resources, to learn about your options, or for statistical crime and campus reporting purposes, then you do not have to name the Respondent.
Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the Respondent.
What about legal advice?
A complainant of sexual misconduct need not retain a private attorney to pursue legal prosecution (outside of the University Investigation and Resolution process) because representation will be handled by the District Attorney’s office. You may want to retain an attorney if you are the responding party or are considering filing a civil action. Any student may retain counsel at his or her own expense if they determine they need legal advice about criminal prosecution and/or the campus investigation and resolution process. Both the respondent and the complainant may also use an attorney as their advisor during the campus’ investigation and resolution processes. In the University investigation and resolution process, a student who is represented by legal counsel may have the legal counsel be his/her advisor. The role of the advisor is limited to support and consultation during the investigation process. The advisor is permitted to speak privately with the party being advised. The advisor is not permitted to speak on the behalf of the individual, comment, or ask questions. In accordance with the Office for Civil Rights 2020 Regulations (effective Augst 14, 2020) during the hearing process, the advisor is permitted to question and cross-examine the other party. In the hearing process, if a student does not already have an advisor, one will be assigned to them on behalf of the University.
What about changing residence halls and other supportive measures?
If you want to move, you may request a room change. Room changes under these circumstances are considered emergencies. It is typically University policy that in emergency room changes, the student is moved to the first available suitable room. Students are provided an equal opportunity to have access to their residential, academic and work spaces on campus. In order for a student to be moved without their consent to another space, a sanction must be imposed through the judicial process. This may occur towards the end of the resolution process (following an investigation) when a hearing takes place, a respondent is found responsible of a policy violation and one of the outcomes (sanctions) is for that student to be moved. No contact directives can be imposed and room changes for a complainant can usually be arranged quickly.
These actions may include, but are not limited to:
- Referral to confidential counseling, mediation, and other health services and assistance in setting up the initial appointment (on- and off-campus).
- Referral to advocacy and support services (on- and off-campus).
- Referral to the Employee Assistance Program.
- Visa and immigration assistance.
- Student financial aid counseling,
- Education to the University community or community subgroup(s)
- Making changes to campus housing.
- Altering work arrangements for employees or student-employees.
- Safety planning, such as increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus.
- Providing campus escorts.
- Implementing contact limitations (No Contact Directives) or "Be-On-the-Lookout" (BOLO) orders for non-affiliates/banned individuals of the University).
- Providing transportation accommodations.
- Implementing contact limitations (no contact orders) between the parties.
- Academic support (e.g., requesting extensions of time, make-up work, or other course-related adjustments; allowing a student to withdraw or take grades of incomplete without financial penalty, in consultation with the instructor and/department chair and dean's office).
- Timely Warnings (Clery) to address concerns about broader campus safety.
 Violations of no contact directives will be referred to appropriate student or employee conduct processes for enforcement.
What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?
Police are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected from the alleged victim’s person within 72 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time. If you believe you have been a victim of a criminal sexual assault, you should go to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center located at 751 S. Bascom Avenue in San Jose, California (this is the forensic medical facility for Santa Clara County), before washing yourself or your clothing.
At the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, the Forensic Nurse Examiner (a nurse who is specially trained in collecting physical evidence) is usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center operator at (408) 885-5000 if you first want to speak to the Forensic Nurse Examiner). A victim advocate from the YWCA Rape Crisis Center will be contacted to meet you at the hospital. Law enforcement or Campus Safety Services can provide transportation. If a victim goes to the hospital, local police will be called, but s/he is not obligated to talk to the police or to pursue prosecution. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help to keep all options available to a victim, but will not obligate her or him to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should the victim decide later to pursue them.
The hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns, and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. The hospital also offers clean, donated clothing if you do not have a change of clothes with you. You have the option to bring a support person with you to the hospital who can accompany you through the exam. Do not disturb the crime scene—leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for the police to collect.
Medical Amnesty/ Good Samaritan Statement
The health and safety of every member of the campus community are of utmost importance. Sometimes, individuals are hesitant to come forward or participate in an investigation or University resolution process because they fear that they themselves may be charged with policy violations or receive disciplinary sanctions. A student who participates as a Complainant or a witness in an investigation may not be subject to disciplinary sanctions for a violation of the University's Student Conduct Policy at or near the time of the incident, unless the University determines that the violation was egregious, including, but not limited to, an action that places the health or safety of any other person at risk or that involves plagiarism, cheating, or academic dishonesty. The University may, at its discretion, offer employees amnesty from policy violations (typically minor policy violations) related to the incident.
Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct conduct complaint?
The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the Respondent’s responsibility. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the Complainant’s memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint. A person bringing a complaint of sexual and gender-based misconduct must either remember the alleged incident or have sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence, and/or witnesses to prove his/her complaint. If the complainant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the respondent without further corroborating information. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by an respondent.
Will either party’s prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?
Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint. Complainants and witnesses who have engaged in alcohol or other drug use at the time of the misconduct will not be subject to disciplinary action for such use. See the Medical Amnesty/ Good Samaritan FAQ section.
What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?
If you believe you have experienced an incident of sexual misconduct you should reach out to someone you trust. You can speak with your CF/ NR or a member of residence life if you reside on campus. Please be aware that they are Mandated Reporters and must report what you tell them to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX. The office will then reach out to you for a follow up conversation on the matter. You can accept or decline the offer to come in for the conversation.
There are also Confidential resources available on campus through the Wellness Center including the Peer Health Educators and the Violence Prevention Educators as well as CAPS. Confidential means that you can talk to someone without them having to report the situation.
You can also speak with a member of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, or the Office of Student Life to learn more about your options for support resources as well as the investigation and resolution process. You do not need to make a decision on how or if you would like to proceed with any type of complaint or investigation when seeking or requesting support resources.
I filled out the Request for Support Form, what happens now?
Completing this form is not a formal complaint to the university, but serves as a notice to us that you may be seeking additional information and access to Supportive Measures. Once you complete this form, a member of the Title IX Team will reach out to you to schedule an appointment also referred to as an "Intake Meeting." This meeting is not mandatory, but could serve as beneficial to you in reviewing your options for support and resources on and off-campus as well as explaining the Investigation process (should you be interested). Completing this form does not trigger an investigation. We will not begin an investigation without your consent and the submission of a Formal Complaint.
What happens during an Intake Meeting, is that different from an Investigation Interview?
An intake meeting occurs prior to the start of an Investigation. The purpose of the intake meeting is to inform the complainant of their rights and options for resolution, assess safety of the individual and campus community, and identify their need for supportive measures. Additionally it is to inform the complainant of the resolution process including the pursuit of an investigation or other reasonably available and appropriate resolution options. You may bring an advisor or support person of your choice to any and all meetings with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX.
What if I decide that I don't want to move forward with an Investigation at this time, but I want access to supportive measures?
I'd like to file a Formal Complaint and begin an Investigation, what should I do?
We hope that you have taken the opportunity to come meet with us before completing this report so that you are fully aware of the process and your options. When you are ready, you can file a formal complaint by submitting a Formal Complaint form online.
What happens after I submit a Formal Complaint?
The Director & Title IX Coordinator of the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX will assign an investigator or team of investigators to your case and perform an initial assessment with the information you submitted in the Formal Complaint to determine which policies are in play and what options for resolution are appropriate. The Investigator(s) will then reach out to schedule an interview with you to obtain your official statement. You may bring an advisor or support person of your choice to any and all meetings with the Investigator.