Does my complaint have to be based on on-campus behavior?
CU APS 5014 applies to all students, faculty, staff, contractors, patients, volunteers, affiliated entities, and other third parties, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity. Subject to any rights of appeal, any person found responsible for engaging in Sexual Misconduct may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment. The university will consider what potential actions should be taken, including contract termination and/or property exclusion, regarding third-party conduct alleged to have violated this Policy, but those options may be limited depending on the circumstances of the arrangement.
This Policy applies to conduct that occurs within an education program or activity of the university, or if the complainant or respondent are affiliated with the university community. This includes off-campus conduct, including online or electronic conduct. Alleged conduct may be considered either Title IX Sexual Misconduct or Sexual Misconduct, depending on the following jurisdictional requirements:
Title IX Sexual Misconduct: Applies to conduct that occurs in an education program or activity against a person in the United States. If the prohibited conduct falls under Title IX Sexual Misconduct jurisdiction and definitions, the Title IX Coordinator or designee must utilize the Title IX Sexual Misconduct procedures as prescribed by the Title IX regulations.
Applies to conduct that does not otherwise meet the jurisdictional standard or definition of Title IX Sexual Misconduct, but where the conduct occurred in the context of an employment or education program or activity of the university or where both the complainant and respondent are affiliated with the university.
For all allegations of Sexual Misconduct not falling under (i), the Title IX Coordinator or designee will consider the degree of the university’s control over the respondent, the relationship between the complainant and respondent, and assess the surrounding circumstances of the alleged conduct for the presence of the following factors:
Targets or causes harm to an individual connected with the university;
Threatens further sexual or other violence against the complainant or others and there is reasonable
fear that such further conduct could target or cause harm to someone connected with the university;
Is of a violent nature or was frequent or severe;
Prior or current similar, misconduct complaints about the respondent, or if the respondent has a
known history or records from a prior school indicating a history of sexual or other violence;
Use of, or threat to use, a weapon, access to or attempts to access weapons, or a history of bringing
weapons to the university;
Multiple alleged complainants or respondents;
Facilitation by the incapacitation of the complainant through alcohol, drugs, disability,
unconsciousness, or other means;
The complainant is a minor;
Whether the alleged Sexual Misconduct reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a
particular group; or
Any other signs of predatory behavior.
If the Title IX Coordinator or designee determines that at least one of the above factors is present, then the Title IX Coordinator or designee may determine that the university may exercise jurisdiction, and the Sexual Misconduct policy standards apply.
Does my complaint have to be about the conduct of a UCCS student or employee?
For purposes of APS 5014 and UCCS Policy 300-017, a Respondent can be a students, faculty, staff, contractors, patients, volunteers, affiliated entities, and other third parties.
What does the investigation process look like?
UCCS’s sexual misconduct grievance and discrimination/harassment adjudication processes are non-adversarial, impartial processes. If a formal investigation is initiated, the Director of Institutional Equity shall provide written notice (Notice of Allegations) to the Complainant and Respondent notifying them of the investigation and will assign one or more impartial investigators to conduct an investigation into the complaint. The investigation will include an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence, both inculpatory (incriminating or tending to show responsibility for a violation) and exculpatory (exonerating or tending to negate responsibility for a violation). The investigator(s) may request an interview with the Complainant, the Respondent, and any witnesses, including expert witnesses for Sexual Misconduct cases, deemed relevant by the investigator(s). The parties will be provided with sufficient details of the allegations (such as identity of parties, nature of the conduct, and date/location of the incident, if known). All parties and other witness or participants in the investigation process will be provided written notice of the date, time, location, participants and purpose of any interview or meeting with sufficient time to prepare to participate.
Throughout the investigation, all questions will go through the assigned investigators. The Complainant and Respondent may offer any documentation, witnesses, or other materials in support of their position as it relates to the complaint. There will be a presumption that the Respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility has been made at the conclusion of the resolution process. Any credibility determinations made by investigators will not be based upon a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.
Should the Complainant or Respondent decide to withdraw from courses or resign employment while a complaint is pending, the process may proceed in that party’s absence and sanctions may still be imposed affecting the party’s ability to return to UCCS. Additionally, the Director of Institutional Equity may dismiss the formal complaint if the Complainant requests such dismissal in writing, if the Respondent is no longer enrolled/employed at UCCS, or other specific circumstances prevent the investigators from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination. Notice regarding the dismissal will be provided in writing simultaneously to the parties.
The above process to address complaints is based on APS 5014, UCCS 300-017, and UCCS OIE Procedures.
Can I have an advisor throughout the process?
The Complainant and the Respondent have the opportunity to be advised and accompanied by an advisor of their choice, at their expense, at any stage of the process. In the event of a live hearing, if either party does not have an advisor, the University will provide one to that party at no cost. An advisor may consult and advise their advisee, but may not speak on behalf of their advisee. These procedures are entirely administrative in nature and are not considered legal proceedings. The investigator(s) may end a meeting or remove or dismiss an advisor who becomes disruptive or who does not abide by the restrictions on their participation as explained above.
Do I have to be a student to make a complaint?
A Complainant is a person who is subject to alleged inappropriate or unlawful civil rights behavior. For purposes of APS 5014 and UCCS Policy 300-017, Complainants can be students, faculty, staff, contractors, patients, volunteers, affiliated entities, and other third parties.
What prevents retaliation against Complainants?
The University will take action against any individual or group of individuals who retaliate against a reporting party or any other party involved in a report of misconduct to OIE.
No-Contact Orders (NCO)
The university may issue a “No-Contact Order to participants in an OIE resolution process. These No- Contact Orders are separate from a court-issued protection order. OIE is responsible for determining if a No-Contact Order has been violated and will make referrals to the appropriate disciplinary authority for disciplinary action. The OIE may also inform UCCS Police of the No-Contact Order. The university may issue exclusion orders pursuant to Regent Law Article 14.B.6. UCCS Police may issue advisements to limit contact with a specific individual(s).
Some safety measures involve restricting a respondent’s access to university programs and activities and may not apply until after the completion of a Formal Resolution Procedure unless emergency removal action is determined appropriate.
The OIE will determine whether safety measures are appropriate after an individualized assessment. Every effort should be made to avoid depriving any student of educational access. Safety measures may be kept in place, lifted, or modified as additional information is obtained, or may be extended permanently, as appropriate.
The university may remove a respondent from an education program or activity, or employment on an emergency basis after: 1) the university undertakes an individualized safety and risk analysis, 2) determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any individuals arising from the allegations of misconduct justifies removal, and 3) provides the respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal.
Types of emergency removal include, but are not limited to:
Interim student suspension
Interim exclusion order for parts of or entire campus, classes, etc.
Employee Administrative Leave
Temporary suspension of duties, including responsibilities associated with student-
Can I record my interview with the Investigator?
No unauthorized recording will be allowed, and all parties must request permission to record in advance. UCCS, at its discretion, may grant authorization for recording of an interview, and in that case, UCCS will also record to ensure there is an accurate record.
How will I know what is happening with my complaint?
Throughout the resolution process, OIE will provide regular written updates on the status of the investigation to the Complainant and the Respondent through the conclusion of the investigation.
Will I find out what happens?
Both the reporting party and responding party will be notified concurrently of the outcome of the resolution process, including the status of any appeal.
What are some examples of sexual misconduct?
Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault (including rape, fondling, statutory rape, and incest), dating violence, domestic violence, Title IX stalking, stalking, sexual exploitation, Title IX hostile environment, sexual harassment- hostile environment, Title IX quid pro quo sexual harassment, and quid pro quo sexual harassment
Do I have to report this to the police?
No. Reporting sexual misconduct to the police is an option available to you, but you are not required to notify the police. Students are, however, encouraged to reach out to the appropriate police department through the UCCS Police Department or on their own to report sexual violence.
How many people am I going to have to talk to?
If you are a reporting party, we understand you may not want to have to tell your story to multiple sources. An OIE Investigator will ask you to provide a brief account of what happened in order to assess whether there is sufficient information to determine a violation has occurred, especially if you want to make a Formal Complaint. If the University determines a formal investigation is appropriate, you may be asked to provide further details than what may have been originally shared at the original time of reporting.
What if I don’t know who did this?
You should still report the misconduct and share any relevant information with the University and/or Campus Police. An OIE Investigator will follow up with you, make sure that you are aware of appropriate on and off-campus resources, and may be able to investigate based on the information you have provided.
What if I don’t want the person to get in trouble?
Our goal is not to get someone in trouble, but to respond to reports of sexual misconduct, conduct an impartial investigation, eliminate the behavior, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. Part of this may include disciplinary action taken against another individual, which will involve holding the individual accountable for his/her behavior and taking steps to prevent this from happening again.
Who is going to find out?
Confidential resources are available, such as mental health counselors, either on or off campus, campus health service providers, and off-campus rape crisis resources.
Except in rare circumstances, such as the existence of an immediate threat of harm, these individuals can offer options and advice without any obligation to report internally or externally unless the Complainant has requested information be shared.
Any person who reports concerns of sexual misconduct should also be aware that UCCS must issue immediate emergency notifications and/or timely warnings for incidents reported to them that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. UCCS will make every effort to ensure that a Complainant’s name and other identifying information are not disclosed, while still providing adequate information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger.
If Support Measures are requested by either party, UCCS will maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the Complainant or Respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of UCCS to provide the supportive measures. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures.
Why can’t you guarantee confidentiality?
If the Complainant does not wish to proceed, the Title IX Coordinator will give consideration to the Complainant’s preference, but reserves the right, when necessary to protect the UCCS community, to initiate an informal resolution or formal investigation of the complaint. The Title IX Coordinator also reserves the right to initiate an investigation and resolve a complaint without a participating or identifiable Complainant.
These instances will be limited and the information will be maintained in a secure manner and will only be shared with individuals who are responsible for handling the University’s response to the incident of sexual misconduct.
However, UCCS observes the legal requirements to disclose the records as follows:
Complainants in non-consensual sexual contact/intercourse, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, stalking, and/or relationship violence incidents have an absolute right to be informed in writing of the outcome, essential findings, and sanctions without condition or limitation.
UCCS may release publicly the name, nature of the violation, and the sanction imposed for any individual who is found to have committed a “crime of violence,” including: arson, burglary, robbery, criminal homicide, sex offenses, assault, destruction/damage/vandalism of property, and kidnapping/abduction. UCCS will release this information to the Complainant in any of these offenses regardless of the outcome.
UCCS reserves the right to notify parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any health or safety risk, and/or change in student status or conduct situation, particularly alcohol and other drug violations. UCCS may also notify parents/guardians of non-dependent students who are under age 21 of alcohol and/or drug policy violations. Where a student is non-dependent, UCCS will contact the appropriate next of kin to inform them of situations in which there is a significant and articulable health and/or safety risk. UCCS also reserves the right to designate which University officials have a need to know about individual conduct complaints pursuant to FERPA.
Who will explain the University's response?
The Title IX Coordinator or OIE Investigator will sit down with a reporting party to talk about options, requests for support measures, available resources on and off campus, the University’s response and any other questions that may be asked. Reporting parties are strongly encouraged to meet with the above listed individuals to get their questions answered.
What if I decide not to make a formal complaint or the University decides not to conduct a formal investigation?
The OIE may determine that the most prompt and effective way to ensure compliance with an Applicable Policy to address a concern is through an informal resolution. For example, the OIE may resolve a report or formal complaint through an informal resolution when:
The alleged conduct, even if true, would not be considered prohibited conduct under one of the Applicable Policies.
The complainant requests OIE address the matter informally, through a Policy Education Meeting; or, through broad-based education, even when the conduct, if true, would violate the Applicable Policy and there is no other reason to override the complainant’s request.
The complainant withdraws the complaint, in writing
No complainant is identified but the reported behavior has the potential to create a hostile
environment, and does not otherwise compromise the safety of an individual or the campus
OIE dismissed the formal complaint in accordance with the applicable Formal Resolution
The primary focus during an informal resolution remains the welfare of the parties and the safety of the campus community, but this process does not involve a written report or a determination as to whether the policy has been violated. This type of approach provides the university with a “remedies- based” resolution option that allows the university to tailor responses to the unique facts and circumstances of an incident, particularly in cases where there is not a broader threat to individual or campus safety. In these cases, the OIE may do one or more of the following:
Provide interim or long-term support measures to the complainant, respondent or other parties;
Provide a referral to other campus resolution processes and/or offices, as appropriate and based on the specific facts of the case;
Provide targeted or broad-based educational programming or training; and/or
Conduct a Policy Education Meeting (PEM) with the respondent to: (1) discuss the behavior as alleged and provide the respondent an opportunity to respond; (2) review prohibited conduct under the Applicable Policies; (3) identify and discuss appropriate future conduct and behavior as well as how to avoid behavior that could be interpreted as retaliatory; (4) inform the complainant of the respondent’s responses if appropriate; and (5) notify the Office of the Dean of Students or the respondent’s appointing or disciplinary authority of the allegations and responses if necessary, who will determine whether any other disciplinary action is appropriate.
The OIE retains discretion to proceed with a Formal Resolution for allegations of misconduct that, if proven true, would violate the Applicable Policy, and to maintain the safety of the parties and campus community. Additionally, the OIE will notify complainants of their ability to end the informal resolution process at any time and to commence or resume a formal resolution, if the alleged misconduct, if proven true, would warrant formal resolution.
What are Support Measures and when are they available?
Support measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent. Support Measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the university’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the university’s educational or work environment, or deter misconduct.
Support measures may be kept in place, lifted, or modified as additional information is obtained, or may be extended permanently, as appropriate
Witnesses or other participants in a Formal Resolution Procedure may also request support measures. The OIE will maintain oversight of these requests and the provision of any such measures.
The university will keep confidential any support measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality will not impair the university’s ability to provide the support measures.
Types of Support Measures
Support measures that may be available include, but are not limited to:
academic services (extensions of time or other course-related adjustments, arranging for a party to re-take a course, excuse related absences, or withdraw from a class without penalty)
accessing medical services
accessing counseling services
campus safety escort services and increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus
mutual or individual no-contact orders enforced by the university
discussing options and providing referral information for obtaining criminal or civil protection or restraining orders
residential relocations on or off campus
What if the court or police dismiss my case?
The University’s resolution process is separate from any concurrent or pending charges through the court system. The final results of a police investigation and/or a criminal proceeding do not impact the University’s process.
What if I have a pending court case?
Responding parties with pending court cases should contact their attorney to discuss their individual situation. The University’s resolution process will proceed independently of a criminal court case and is not dependent on the decision from the court with regards to cases of sexual misconduct.
What happens after the appeals process has been exhausted?
If the Respondent is found not in violation of policies or procedures outlined herein, the complaint shall be closed with no further disciplinary action. If additional concerns, outside the scope of this procedure, are identified during the course of the investigation, the findings may be shared with appropriate administrative personnel to further address, as deemed appropriate.
If the Respondent is found in violation of policies or procedures outlined herein, the findings shall be provided to the Disciplinary Authority to proceed in accordance with applicable policies.
Why can’t my lawyer represent me in the process?
Ultimately, the University’s resolution process is an educational process and parties are not entitled to representation by an attorney or another party. Attorneys can serve as “advisors” (see definition in OIE Procedures) who can advise their client but do not play active roles in the University’s process.
What if I have been accused?
Parties should review the information included in APS 5014, which describes the procedures for sexual misconduct cases. You will be offered an opportunity to meet with an OIE investigator to discuss the process, have your questions answered, and be able to provide information regarding the allegations.
Do I get a live hearing?
For cases involving Sexual Harassment within the United States, upon receipt of the Final Investigative Report, the Title IX Coordinator shall initiate a live hearing as described here.
Following the hearing, the Hearing Officer will issue a Determination Report to the Title IX Coordinator as to whether or not, based on a preponderance of the evidence, the alleged behavior took place and whether that behavior constitutes a violation of APS 5014.