OSA Code Procedures Section 7: The Response to a Report of Prohibited Conduct

Upon receipt of a Report (or Formal Complaint) alleging that a student or University-registered organization has violated the Code, the Director[2] will make an initial assessment of the information and work to address any immediate health or safety concerns. Where the identity of an Individual Complainant is known, the Director will ensure that the Individual Complainant receives a written explanation of available resources and options and is offered the opportunity to meet promptly to discuss those resources and options. Where the identity of an Individual Complainant is unknown, the Director will assess the nature and circumstances of the Report (or Formal Complaint), including whether it provides information that identifies the potential Individual Complainant, the potential Respondent, any witnesses, and/or any other third party with knowledge of the reported incident, and the Director will take reasonable and appropriate steps to respond to the complaint. 
In any case where the Complainant reports prohibited conduct and requests resolution under these procedures, the Director will move forward. Initiation of this process requires the Complainant to submit a signed, written Formal Complaint, if one has not already been filed. 
The University will generally honor an Individual Complainant’s choice not to file or withdraw a Formal Complaint. Where an Individual Complainant declines to participate in an investigation, the Director’s ability to meaningfully investigate and respond to a report may be limited. However, the University may elect, particularly in cases involving threats to personal safety or inherent public safety considerations such as interpersonal violence, harassment, assault or hazing, to evaluate whether doing so will adequately mitigate the risk of harm to the Individual Complainant or other members of the University community. The Director will consider the following factors, among others, when determining whether to honor the request that no formal resolution be pursued under these procedures:
  1. Whether the Respondent has a history of violent behavior or is a repeat offender;
  2. Whether the incident represents escalation in prohibited conduct; 
  3. The increased risk that the Respondent will commit additional acts of interpersonal misconduct;
  4. Whether the Respondent used a weapon or force;
  5. Whether the Complainant is a minor;
  6. Whether the University possesses other means to obtain evidence such as security footage or other tangible evidence; and 
  7. Whether available information reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a particular group.
Regardless of whether an Individual Complainant chooses to file or participate in an investigation of a Formal Complaint, the Director will assist an Individual Complainant with reasonable and available accommodations or interim measures in appropriate cases, with fairness towards and notice to the Respondent. Interim measures such as housing or academic/scheduling accommodations, referrals to counseling, or other supportive or protective measures are designed to advance and balance a number of goals:
  • to support and protect the safety and health of the Individual Complainant, the Respondent, the University’s educational environment, and the University community;
  • to deter retaliation; and
  • to preserve the integrity of the investigation and resolution process pursuant to these procedures.
The Director may also take proactive steps, such as training or awareness efforts, to address misconduct in a general way that does not identify the Individual Complainant.
Where the Director determines that the office cannot honor the Individual Complainant’s request that no complaint be pursued under these procedures, the Director will promptly initiate the investigation process by filing a Formal Complaint on behalf of the University community. The Director will notify the Individual Complainant that the office intends to proceed and that it will take actions to protect and assist the Individual Complainant, including reasonable efforts to protect the privacy of the Individual Complainant. The Individual Complainant is not required to participate in any proceedings that follow.
It is the intention of the Code to foster a system of that prioritizes accountability, education and the growth of students as responsible community members. For this reason, these procedures enable the Director to handle many reports (or Formal Complaints) in a flexible way to address the alleged misconduct promptly and, in a manner emphasizing education, restorative justice, and rehabilitation where these are appropriate. Towards this end, the Director may also recommend that the parties explore restorative justice opportunities, alternative dispute resolution and/or for any Respondent to undertake voluntary AOD screening, education and prevention programming, at any time, rather than continuing under these Procedures. A Respondent need not accept responsibility for the prohibited conduct in order for such referrals to be made. Similarly, either the Complainant or the Respondent may request to engage in alternative dispute resolution or restorative justice processes at any point in the process. Such a request will be carefully considered by the Director, with opportunity for input from both parties if only one has requested diversion, and granted or denied at the Director’s discretion.
The Director also has discretionary authority to resolve charges that do not involve interpersonal misconduct (such as assault and endangerment, harassment and hazing), upon completion of an initial assessment when the Respondent agrees. In such cases, the Director and the Respondent may agree, in writing, to any resolution such as restitution, community service, alcohol or other drugs (“AOD”) screening, education and prevention programming, or other remedy for the alleged offense(s). Matters involving interpersonal misconduct involve the full involvement of the Individual Complainant under Alternate Resolution, Section 14, unless the Individual Complainant has chosen not to participate in the proceedings.

[2] Throughout these procedures, various University officials, such as the Director, are assigned responsibility for performing specific functions. Named officials are authorized to delegate responsibility to other appropriate University officials and non-University consultants except where such delegation contravenes University policy. Additionally, named officials and their designees may always consult with appropriate University administrators, the Office of University Counsel, and subject-matter experts.
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