FAQs About the Non-Discrimination Policy
What kinds of incidents are covered under the Non-Discrimination Policy?
The Non-Discrimination Policy covers all forms of unlawful discrimination, including discrimination based on sex, disability, age, race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Under the law, sexual assault and sexual harassment are considered forms of sex discrimination.
Something has happened that I want to report. How do I do that?
If you want to report an incident, you can contact your Institutional Compliance Officer, by contacting Janna Stoskoph, Vice President for Student Affairs/Interim Title IX Coordinator, 660-785-4111, email@example.com, or come by her office in the Student Union Building 1110. You can also start a conversation by talking with a trusted faculty or staff member, including your Student Advisor, or any member of the Department of Public Safety. Most of Truman’s faculty and staff (with the exception of University counselors) are required to report possible violations of the Non-Discrimination Policy to the Institutional Compliance Officer. Once the Institutional Compliance Officer is aware of the situation, she will follow up with you to talk about next steps.
You may also report an incident by filling out the form found at titleix.truman.edu/make-a-report/
Can I make a report and still remain anonymous?
Yes; you do not have to identify yourself in order to report a possible violation. It’s important to keep in mind that if you choose to remain anonymous, it may sometimes be harder for the University to fully respond to the incident and address your individual needs.
I need help, but I am not sure if I want to make a report. What can I do?
If you are not sure about making a report, but you want to talk to someone about what happened, a good place to start is University Counseling Services. You can make an appointment by calling 660-785-4014. If it’s after regular business hours and you are experiencing an emotional crisis, please call 660-665-5621.
You can also contact Victim Support Services, which is a community resource which helps victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or any type of abuse. You can reach Victim Support Services by calling 660-665-0021, or call the crisis line at 660-665-1617.
What happens once I make a report?
Your Institutional Compliance Officer will follow up with you as soon as possible to talk about next steps. The first priority will be to make sure that you and the rest of the Truman community are safe from any ongoing threats and that you have the resources you need to take good care of yourself. This may involve developing a plan for immediate steps that can be taken to limit contact between the people who are most affected by the situation.
Next, there will be a discussion about your options for proceeding under the Non-Discrimination Complaint Reporting and Resolution Procedure. The goal will be to make sure you understand your choices and give you the opportunity to talk about what you think would be the best way move forward.
I’ve made a report, but I don’t want an investigation. Can the University investigate an incident without my permission and/or cooperation?
In some cases, the University may be required to undertake some investigation of an incident, even if the complainant does not want to go forward with an investigation. These are situation in which there is a more serious or imminent threat to the campus community.
I’ve received notice of charges being made against me. What’s going to happen next?
If you receive notice of charges against you, take some time to read all of the information that is included with the notice. The charges should give you some specific information about the basis of the charges against you, and if you have any information (documents, pictures, etc.), try to begin organizing that information.
You’ll be asked to meet with the Administrative Officer, and this will be your opportunity to talk about the charges and identify the information and witnesses that you think are important.
If I’m charged with policy violation, can I be suspended before the investigation is even completed?
Where there is sufficient information that there is an ongoing, serious threat to the campus community, an interim suspension may be imposed before an investigation has been completed.
If I’m involved in an investigation, can I have a lawyer?
Yes, a party to an investigation may have an advocate, and that advocate may be an attorney. The advocate can help you understand what to expect in the investigative process and provide you with emotional support. However, the advocate will not be allowed to speak for your or obstruct the process.
If there is a criminal case involving the same incident, what will the impact of the criminal case be on the campus investigation?
When there is a criminal case relating to the same incident as the campus investigative process, the campus investigation will typically proceed faster than the criminal process. While the criminal case and the campus investigation may be addressing the same incident, the standard of proof is different and the analysis of the incident may also be different. The outcome of any criminal case will not determine the outcome of the campus investigation.
What happens during an investigation?
During an investigation, the investigator will attempt to identify all of the information that is available related to the charges. This information may take the form of interviews, documents, photos, social media exchanges, and videos. The kind of information that is important will be determined by the particular circumstances of the case.
If you have made a complaint, or if a complaint has been made against you, you will have an opportunity to review all of the information that is collected during the course of the investigation and offer additional, clarifying information before the investigation is completed.
The investigator will prepare a report summarizing all of the information gathered in the investigation. This report will analyze all of the information and make a preliminary determination about whether or not there has been a violation of the Non-Discrimination Policy.
How long will an investigation take?
Typically, an investigation will take approximately 45 days. If the investigation will take longer than 45 days, you will be informed of how much additional time is likely and why the additional time is necessary.
What happens once the investigation is completed?
Once the investigation is completed, the case will be reviewed by an Administrative Review Panel (ARP). The ARP will be comprised of three faculty or staff members who have specialized training in cases involving the Non-Discrimination Policy.
The ARP will review the report of the investigation and scrutinize it to make sure that they have enough information to make a final decision on the case. The ARP may ask to meet with you in person in order to talk about the case. If the ARP does not request a meeting with you, you may request one.
Do I have the right to confront my accuser?
The parties to a complaint may ask questions of each other; however, those questions will be moderated through the ARP. If you have questions that you want to ask of another party or of a witness, you can provide those questions to the ARP. Typically, when the parties to a case meet with the ARP, they will meet individually rather than together.
If there is a finding of responsibility by an ARP, how do they decide on sanctions?
Sanctions will be determined based on a lot of factors, including any past disciplinary history, the nature and severity of the charges, and the options for remediating the harm that has been done.
Can I appeal?
Yes. If you think there was a mistake in any part of the process that affected the outcome, or if you become aware of additional information that was not previously considered, or if you feel the sanctions imposed were not reasonable, you may appeal. Either party to a case may appeal. It’s important to keep in mind that parties will have a limited time in which to request an appeal; details will be included in the information you receive which explains the outcome of the case.
Are there any options besides a formal investigation?
Yes. In cases not involving sexual assault, a conflict resolution approach is an option. With a conflict resolution approach, the goal will be to have supported, facilitated conversations between the parties in the hope of achieving some understanding and a plan for how to interact going forward.
Can I get any help in managing the stress that comes with being either a complainant or a respondent in a case?
Absolutely. If you are finding it hard to cope, there are resources available that may help. If you have an advocate in the process, let him or her know how you are you are feeling and your advocate can help you identify and access those resources. If you don’t have an advocate, please contact Janna Stoskoph, Vice President for Student Affairs/Interim Title IX Coordinator, 660-785-4111, firstname.lastname@example.org.