RESOLUTION PROCESS FOR ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE POLICY ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT (QUID PRO QUO AND/OR SEXUAL HARASSMENT-HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT), SEXUAL ASSAULT, DATING VIOLENCE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND/OR STALKING
Iowa Wesleyan University will act on any formal or informal notice/complaint that is received by the Title IX Coordinator involving students, staff, faculty members, or administrators, of violation of the policy on sexual harassment (Quid Pro Quo and/or sexual harassment-hostile environment), sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and/or stalking (under the jurisdiction of the 2020 Title IX regulations) by applying these procedures, known as Process A.
If other policy definitions are invoked, such as policies on protected class harassment or discrimination as defined above, please see Appendix B for a description of the procedures applicable to the resolution of such offenses, known as Process B.
Process B can also apply to sexual harassment when jurisdiction does not fall within Process A, as determined by the Title IX Coordinator.
The procedures below may be used to address collateral misconduct arising from the investigation of or occurring in conjunction with reported misconduct (e.g., vandalism, physical abuse of another), when alleged violations of the policy are being addressed at the same time. All other allegations of misconduct unrelated to incidents covered by the Title IX Policy will be addressed through procedures described in the student and employee handbooks.
Upon receipt of a complaint or notice to the Title IX Coordinator of an alleged violation of the Policy, the Title IX Coordinator or designee initiates a prompt initial assessment to determine the next steps the University needs to take.
The Title IX Coordinator or designee will initiate at least one of three responses:
- Offering supportive measures because the Complainant does not want to file a formal complaint; and/or
- An informal resolution (upon submission of a formal complaint, yet not for an allegation of an employee as responded to a student complainant); and/or
- A Formal Grievance Process including an investigation and a hearing (upon submission of a formal complaint).
Iowa Wesleyan University uses the Formal Grievance Process to determine whether or not the Policy has been violated. If so, the University will promptly implement effective remedies designed to ensure that it is not deliberately indifferent to harassment or discrimination, their potential recurrence, and/or their effects.
Following receipt of notice or a complaint of an alleged violation of this Policy, the Title IX Coordinator or designee engages in an initial assessment, typically within one (1) to five (5) business days. The steps in an initial assessment can include:
- If notice is given, the Title IX Coordinator seeks to determine if the person impacted wishes to make a formal complaint, and will assist them to do so, if desired.
- If they do not wish to do so, the Title IX Coordinator determines whether to initiate a complaint themselves because a violence risk assessment indicates a compelling threat to health and/or safety.
- If a formal complaint is received, the Title IX Coordinator assesses its sufficiency and works with the Complainant to make sure it is correctly completed.
- The Title IX Coordinator reaches out to the Complainant to offer supportive measures.
- The Title IX Coordinator works with the Complainant to ensure they are aware of the right to have an Advisor.
- The Title IX Coordinator works with the Complainant to determine whether the Complainant prefers a supportive and remedial response, an informal resolution option, or a formal investigation and grievance process.
- If a supportive and remedial response is preferred, the Title IX Coordinator works with the Complainant to identify their wishes, assesses their request(s), and implements accordingly. No Formal Grievance Process is initiated, though the Complainant can elect to initiate one later, if desired.
- If an informal resolution option is preferred, the Title IX Coordinator assesses whether the complaint is suitable for informal resolution, and may seek to determine if the Respondent is also willing to engage in informal resolution. Informal resolution is not an option when the Respondent is an employee and the Complainant is a student.
- If a Formal Grievance Process is preferred by the Complainant, the Title IX Coordinator determines if the misconduct alleged falls within the scope of the 2020 Title IX regulations.
- If it does fall within the scope of Title IX, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate the formal investigation and grievance process, directing the investigation to address an incident, and/or a pattern of alleged misconduct and/or a culture/climate issue, based on the nature of the complaint.
- If alleged conduct does not fall within the scope of the 2020 Title IX regulations, the Title IX Coordinator determines that the regulations do not apply (and will “dismiss” that aspect of the complaint, if any), assesses which policies and refers the matter accordingly, including referring the matter for resolution under Administrative Resolution (Process B described in Appendix B) if applicable. Please note that dismissing a complaint under the 2020 Title IX regulations is solely a procedural requirement under Title IX which does not limit Iowa Wesleyan University’s authority to address a complaint with an appropriate process and remedies.
Violence Risk Assessment
In some cases, the Title IX Coordinator may determine that a Violence Risk Assessment should be conducted as part of the initial assessment. Such an Assessment can aid in ten critical and/or required determinations, including:
- Emergency removal of a Respondent on the basis of immediate threat to an individual or the IW Community’s physical health/safety;
- Whether the Title IX Coordinator should pursue/sign a formal complaint absent a willing/able Complainant;
- Whether the scope of the investigation should include an incident, and/or pattern of misconduct, and/or climate of hostility/harassment;
- To help identify potential predatory conduct;
- To help assess/identify grooming behaviors;
- Whether it is reasonable to try to resolve a complaint through informal resolution, and if so, what approach may be most successful;
- Whether to permit a voluntary withdrawal by the Respondent;
- Whether to impose transcript notation or communicate with a transfer institution about a Respondent;
- Assessment of appropriate sanctions/remedies (to be applied post-hearing); and/or
- Whether a Clery Act Timely Warning/Trespass order/Persona-non-grata is needed.
A Violence Risk Assessment assesses the risk of actionable violence, often with a focus on targeted/predatory escalations, and is supported by research from the fields of law enforcement, criminology, human resources, and psychology. This Assessment occurs in collaboration with the CARE (Campus Assistance, Response and Education) Team and must be understood as an on-going process, rather than a singular evaluation or meeting. A Violence Risk Assessment is not an evaluation for an involuntary behavioral health hospitalization, nor is it a psychological or mental health assessment.
Dismissal Determination (Mandatory and Discretionary)
Iowa Wesleyan University is mandated by the 2020 Title IX Regulations to dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations therein if, at any time during the investigation or hearing, it is determined that:
- The conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute sexual harassment as defined above, even if proved; and/or
- The conduct did not occur in an educational program or activity controlled by the University (including buildings or property controlled by recognized student organizations), and/or the University does not have control of the Respondent; and/or
- The conduct did not occur against a person in the United States; and/or
- At the time of filing a formal complaint, a Complainant is not participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the Iowa Wesleyan University.
A Complainant is still entitled supportive measures, but the formal grievance process is not applicable.
Iowa Wesleyan University may dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations therein if, at any time during the investigation or hearing:
- A Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein; or
- The Respondent is no longer enrolled in or employed by the University; or
- Specific circumstances prevent the University from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.
A Complainant who decides to withdraw a complaint may later request to reinstate it or refile it.
Upon any dismissal, the University will promptly send written notice of the dismissal and the rationale for doing so simultaneously to the parties.
This dismissal decision is appealable by any party under the procedures for appeal below. The decision not to dismiss is also appealable by any party claiming that a dismissal is required or appropriate. A Complainant who decides to withdraw a complaint may later request to reinstate it or refile it.
Iowa Wesleyan University is obligated to ensure that the grievance process is not abused for retaliatory purposes. The University permits the filing of counterclaims but uses an initial assessment, described above, to assess whether the allegations in the counterclaim are made in good faith. Counterclaims by a Respondent may be made in good faith, but are, on occasion, made for purposes of retaliation, instead. Counterclaims made with retaliatory intent will not be permitted.
Counterclaims determined to have been reported in good faith will be processed using the grievance procedures below. Investigation of such claims may take place after resolution of the underlying initial allegation, in which case a delay may occur.
Counterclaims may also be resolved through the same investigation as the underlying allegation, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator. When counterclaims are not made in good faith, they will be considered retaliatory and may constitute a violation of this policy.