Any Lawrence University community member who believes that she/he/they have been subjected to discrimination prohibited by Title IX, or to whom the University has failed to meet its Title IX obligations, may bring the concern to the attention of the University Title IX Coordinator.
The Lawrence University Title IX Coordinator has the authority to initiate an investigation based on allegations of discrimination, prohibited by Title IX, even absent the filing of a formal grievance, or after its subsequent withdrawal. In such a circumstance, the University Title IX Coordinator will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the matter in a manner that is informed by the complainant’s articulated concerns.
In addition, on some occasions, the University may need to move forward with a response regardless of the complainant’s preference. A request for confidentiality or no action will be considered in the dual contexts of:
- The University’s commitment to providing a safe living and learning environment free from Sexual Misconduct; and
- The right of a respondent to be informed of the allegations against them.
If a complaint is made, or a report is escalated to the level of a complaint, and therefore requires investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the complainant and the respondent, and then provide a summary of information and any supporting documents to the Title IX investigator. Lawrence University has an outside investigator who completes all formal investigations, with the assistance of the Title IX Coordinator.
Some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation, although the University will comply with requests for confidentiality, to the extent possible.
The Title IX Coordinator will consider various factors, including the following, in deciding the extent to which disclosure of information may be necessary:
- The seriousness of the alleged sexual misconduct;
- The complainant’s age;
- The respondent’s age;
- Whether there have been other complaints of sexual misconduct against the same respondent;
- The ability to conduct an investigation without revealing identifiable information; and
- The extent of any threat to the University community.
In most situations, the Title IX Coordinator will coordinate his/her activities with other University offices charged with responsibilities for student, faculty, and staff conduct and discipline, and for enforcing the University’s policies and procedures, generally.
Preponderance of the Evidence Standard
The Lawrence University Title IX Coordinator and those authorized to address issues and violations under Title IX (e.g., the Title IX Formal Sanction Counsel and Appeals Board), shall review allegations of discrimination and misconduct, prohibited by Title IX, by applying a “by a preponderance of the evidence” standard.
In many instances, counseling, advice, or informal discussion may be useful in resolving concerns about allegations of discrimination prohibited by Title IX. A complainant wishing to informally resolve an issue shall bring the concerns to the Title IX Coordinator, for informal and/or mediated resolution.
If an informal resolution is pursued, the Title IX Coordinator will attempt to facilitate a resolution that is agreeable to the complainant and the respondent. Any informal resolution must adequately address the concerns of the complainant, as well as the rights of the respondent, and the overall intent of the University to stop, remedy, and prevent policy violations.
Participation in informal resolution is voluntary, and the complainant and respondent have the option to discontinue the informal process at any time, and request a formal investigation. The Title IX Coordinator also always has the discretion to initiate a formal investigation. If at any point during the informal resolution process, the complainant or respondent, or the University, wishes to cease the informal resolution process and to proceed to the formal resolution process, the informal resolution process will stop and the formal resolution process outlined below will be invoked.
In cases involving sexual assault, informal resolutions are not appropriate and are never permissible.
Filing a Report OR Formal Complaint
Any member of the Lawrence University community considering submitting a report or a formal complaint may:
- At any time, contact and/or meet with the Title IX Coordinator, who will listen and discuss the matter with the Complainant, and provide the details of the reporting and formal complaint process.
- Alternatively provide a written account of the incident, either via the online formal complaint process, via email, or some other written format, provided to the Title IX Coordinator.
- Speak to a Confidential Resource: https://www.lawrence.edu/students/share/about-share.
Response to a Formal Complaint
Lawrence is obligated to follow up on, and resolve all reports of sexual misconduct in a timely, fair, and impartial manner. The resolution process will proceed regardless of whether either party chooses to withdraw from the University, or goes on leave after a report has been made to the University.
Furthermore, silence, in response to an allegation, will not be viewed as an admission of the allegations in dispute. At any time, a party may decline to provide information or participate further in the Process. When this occurs, the University will review the matter based on all of the other information gathered.
Notice of Allegations
When the Title IX Coordinator receives a formal complaint of sexual misconduct, The Coordinator will meet with the respondent to provide notice of the complaint and the alleged policy violation being investigated.
Accommodations are actions taken by the University to ensure equal access to its education programs and activities, and to foster a more stable and safe environment during the process of reporting, investigation, (“interim accommodations”) and/or after adjudication. These measures may be extended or made permanent as remedies, at the conclusion of the investigation.
Sample accommodations include, but are not limited to:
- Access to counseling services and assistance in setting up initial appointments, both on and off campus.
- Imposition of a campus “No-Contact Agreement.”
- Rescheduling of exams and assignments.
- Providing alternative course completion options.
- Change in class schedule, including the ability to drop a course without penalty or to transfer sections.
- Change in work schedule or job assignment.
- Change in student’s campus housing.
- Assistance from University support staff in completing housing relocation.
- Limiting access to certain University facilities or activities pending resolution of the matter.
- Voluntary leave of absence.
- Options for changing campus transportation arrangements