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Reporting  |  Supportive Measures  |  Formal Complaints & Investigations

Questions About Reporting

  • Staff, faculty, and students at all SCU locations as well as any member of the public
  • Individuals who wish to report conduct they have experienced to seek support and options
  • Employees who are required to report, which includes many senior leaders and other employees with specific human resources, academic personnel, student conduct, or compliance roles
  • Anyone who wishes to report concerns they have observed or been made aware of

You can make a report several ways. If you tell a mandatory reporter (faculty or staff member who is not a confidential resource) that you are experiencing discrimination, sex-based harassment, or other prohibited conduct, then they are required to report that information to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX. You can also self-report to the Office by calling the office at 408-551-3043, emailing at, coming to the EO/TIX Office in person, or by submitting the online reporting form.

No. Making a report with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX does not automatically initiate an investigation. 

If you believe you have been subject to prohibited conduct under the EO/TIX Policy, you are encouraged to report to the EO/Title IX Office. The office can help coordinate supportive measures for you regardless of your desire or intention to request an investigation. 

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.

No. The person accused of a policy violation (the respondent) is not notified when a report is made to the Office. The Respondent will only be notified if the complainant chooses to initiate an investigation by filing a formal complaint or if the complainant requests a No Contact Directive. 

After the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX receives a Mandated Report, a EO/Title IX staff member will reach out to the identified complainant (the impacted party) to provide resources, offer assistance, and offer a meeting to help the complainant understand their options. A complainant is never required to meet with a member of the Office. The complainant always has the right to decide whether to respond to outreach and/or meet with a staff member.

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX will typically attempt to contact a complainant three times, and if the complainant does not respond, the Office will respect the complainant’s right not to respond to contact.

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX typically does not follow up with the mandated reporter who has made the initial report to respect the privacy of the parties and due to FERPA protections. If a mandated reporter completes the Online Mandated Reporter Form, they will receive a confirmation email for their records confirming that the mandated report has been made. Once you have made a mandated report, there is nothing further you need to do.

If you have made a report to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX and have concerns about follow-up, please feel free to call the Office at 408-551-3043.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law protecting student educational records’ privacy. A EO/Title IX report may become part of the University’s administrative record-keeping, and if students are involved, a report could be considered part of their student records. More information about FERPA and how students may request their educational records. Employees at Santa Clara University are not covered under FERPA protections.

Generally, no.  In most cases, the complainant is the one who decides whether to report an incident to law enforcement. 

However, there may be circumstances where the University is obliged to report incidents of violent crimes, hate crimes, or sexual assaults immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, to local law enforcement. The University has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with local law enforcement and the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. The purpose of this MOU is to enhance communication, coordination, and collaboration, institute on- and off-campus specialized, trauma-informed responses to incidents of sexual assault, violence, and hate crimes, and respect the reporting party's privacy and requests for confidentiality.

Questions About Supportive Measures

If you are reporting for yourself, we encourage you to report as little or as much information as you feel comfortable providing. You are not required to provide details of the incident to receive help and support from the Office of Equal Opportunity Title IX. Staff members may ask questions related to safety, medical needs, or concerns, but you always get to decide how much information you provide.

Yes. A complainant can make a report to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX and request supportive measures even if the respondent is not affiliated with Santa Clara University. Supportive measures are available regardless of whether a complainant chooses to file a formal complaint or report to law enforcement.

If a respondent is not affiliated with the University, the University is limited in what actions can be taken against the respondent. A formal complaint can only be initiated if the respondent is affiliated with the University, either as a student or an employee. If a respondent is not affiliated with the University, the complainant still has the option to receive support from the Office and has the option to report to law enforcement within the jurisdiction in which the conduct occurred. If an incident has occurred on campus, the Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) has jurisdiction. 

Yes. Even if the prohibited conduct occurred in another semester, in a different academic year, or at an off-campus location, a complainant may still provide information to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX and request supportive measures.

If the alleged prohibited conduct occurred in another semester or year, the complainant could also file a formal complaint as long as the respondent is still affiliated with the University either as a student or as an employee.

If the respondent is no longer affiliated with the University, the University is not able to investigate a report of prohibited conduct. However, the complainant can still request assistance with supportive measures.

Yes, you can. You can contact the EO/Title IX Office or the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) by email or phone or fill out this accommodation request form.

Questions About Formal Complaints & Investigations

Once the University receives a signed formal complaint, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX will notify both parties of the investigation through their respective SCU email addresses. The assigned investigator will then schedule separate meetings/interviews with both parties. Both parties will have the opportunity to provide evidence, share their experiences, provide any witness information, and ask questions. 

Overview of the Entire Formal Resolution Process

Director sends Notice of Investigation and Allegations to both parties 

Investigator assigned

Investigation + Investigative Report (see pages 39-40 of the EO/TIX Policy for more info)

  • Complainant Interview
  • Respondent Interview
  • Witness Interviews
  • Evidence Collection
  • Follow-up Interviews
  • Investigator completes initial draft of Investigative Report 

Initial Investigative Report and all directly related evidence is provided to both parties (and their Advisors) with ten (10) days for the parties’ responses

Final Investigative Report (with responses) provided to the parties (and their Advisors) through secure electronic transmission or a hard copy at least ten (10) business days before a hearing. The parties are also provided with a file of any directly related evidence that was not included in the report.

Case Transfers from Investigator to Decision Makers (Equity Hearing Panel)

Pre-Hearing Meeting(s)

Hearing, if applicable 

Notice of Finding/Outcome/Remedies and Sanctions & Information on Appeal Process is delivered to the parties simultaneously

Appeal Process, if applicable

The formal resolution process should be completed in 60-90 days. The University will make a good faith effort to complete investigations in 30-60 days and as promptly as circumstances permit. However, some investigations may take weeks or even months, depending on the nature, extent, and complexity of the allegations, availability of witnesses, police involvement, etc.

*Please note: An informal resolution may be requested by either party at any time following the filing of a formal complaint.

There are three general ways to resolve a formal complaint: (a) informal resolution, (b) formal resolution process, (c) withdrawal of the formal complaint, or dismissal by the Director. 

An informal resolution may be requested by either party at any time following a formal complaint. This resolution process is facilitated by EO/Title IX staff. Informal resolutions are reached through mediation/negotiation and require agreement between the parties and approval by the Director. Cases involving sexual violence/assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and faculty-on-student sexual harassment will not be resolved informally. 

The default formal resolution process is to hold a live hearing with direct cross-examination by the Advisor on behalf of a party. This process applies to all formal complaints of sexual harassment (including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking) involving students, staff, or faculty, and can be applied to formal complaints of protected class discrimination and harassment as well. 

Complainants and Respondents may request that a formal complaint be resolved without a live hearing (by administrative resolution). If agreed to by the parties approved by the Director, the investigative report and all evidence that is both relevant and directly related to the formal complaint will be provided to an Equity Hearing Panel for review and a decision. 

A complainant may choose to withdraw a formal complaint at any time. 

Determinations of responsibility and sanctions are made by a three-member panel (or Equity Hearing Panel) at the close of a formal resolution process.

The Director will assemble an Equity Hearing Panel (EHP) from a pool of specially trained university employees. The composition of the Panel is dependent on whether the Respondent is a student, faculty member, or staff member.

  • Student or Staff Respondent: The Equity Hearing Panel- Three (3) faculty or staff members who have been elected or appointed to the Pool by the UCC.
  • Faculty Respondent: Three (3) faculty appointed to the Faculty Judicial Board pool. 

All members of the Panel must be impartial and free from actual bias and conflict of interest, and must not have had previous involvement with the allegation. An alternate panel member will sit in throughout the process if needed or at the discretion of the Chair.

There are a range of possible sanctions that may be imposed by the University, ranging from a warning to expulsion/termination. Many factors are considered by the Equity Hearing Panel in making the determination. (See page 49-50 of the EO/TIX Policy). 

The respondent may accept responsibility for all the alleged policy violations at any point during the resolution process. If the Respondent indicates an intent to accept responsibility for all of the alleged misconduct, the formal resolution process will be paused; the Director will convene an Equity Hearing Panel to determine whether all parties and the University can agree on responsibility, sanctions, and/or remedies.

Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX
Loyola Hall Suite 140

(408) 551-3043

M-F 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Closed for lunch 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

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