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1.2.1 Anti-Harassment & Non-Discrimination Policy Complaint Procedures

Illinois State University strives to foster an academic, work, and living environment that is free from all forms of harassment and discrimination in accordance with law and University Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy 1.2. To achieve this goal, Illinois State University has a responsibility to respond to complaints of harassment and discrimination quickly and fairly. Acts of harassment and discrimination are inconsistent with the University's values and will not be tolerated. Illinois State University maintains a proactive stance in the prevention of harassment and discrimination and imposes strict sanctions against those found responsible for committing such acts. Reporting parties will be provided the active support and intervention needed to aid their continued progress on academic and career goals.

General Procedures

Any student, faculty member, or employee who feels they have been the victim of harassment and/or discrimination on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation, order of protection, gender identity and expression, age, marital status, disability, genetic information, unfavorable military discharge, status as a veteran, or sex (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking) may file a formal complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access (OEOEA).

Consistent with Illinois State University's duty to provide an academic and work environment free from unlawful behavior, the University reserves the right to investigate any allegation it receives indicating a possible violation of the Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy.

The Reporting Party always has the option to pursue a criminal complaint with the Illinois State University Police Department, or pursue both the OEOEA and criminal complaint processes simultaneously.

In circumstances when the OEOEA is provided with credible information that may violate other law or University policy or procedure, the OEOEA will refer a reporting party to the appropriate campus resource for the review of their concerns.

Role of the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access in Complaint Investigations

The OEOEA is an administrative office charged by the President of Illinois State University to review complaints to determine whether violations of the Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy have occurred or are occurring. In doing so, the OEOEA collects and analyzes relevant information and evidence provided by the Complainant, the Respondent, and other sources as appropriate.

During the investigation process, the OEOEA investigator remains impartial and is neither an advocate nor an adversary with respect to the Complainant, the Respondent, or other parties involved in the investigation.

Burden of Proof

When a complaint is filed, it is the Complainant's responsibility to articulate allegations of a violation of the Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy by providing the OEOEA with sufficient evidence, based on a preponderance of the evidence standard, to demonstrate:

a) The Complainant qualifies as a member of one or more groups protected by the Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy;
b) The Complainant alleges treatment/actions in violation of the policy; and
c) There exists a causal relationship between the protected status and the alleged treatment/ actions.

When the OEOEA conducts an investigation, it reviews the information collected using the preponderance of the evidence standard. "Preponderance of the evidence" means there is more credible information supporting the position of one party, in comparison to the other, so that the facts in question were more likely than not to have occurred.

Cooperation with an Investigation

It is expected that a Complainant will actively provide information to support his or her complaint in the time and manner deemed necessary and appropriate by the University to conduct the investigation. Illinois State University reserves the right to continue to investigate allegations of harassment and/or discrimination and take appropriate disciplinary action, even if the Complainant does not wish to pursue the complaint process. However, the University's response to the allegations may be limited based on inaction, non-participation or failure to cooperate.

Investigation Time Frame

The OEOEA will conduct a diligent and conscientious investigation into the Complainant's allegations based on the information and evidence the Complainant provides the OEOEA to support their allegation. The OEOEA has 60 business days from the date the Complainant filed the complaint with the OEOEA to complete the investigation, make formal recommendations to the appropriate University officials, and issue findings to the Complainant and Respondent.

The OEOEA reserves the right to extend this time frame by a reasonable period according to the scope of the investigation, the availability of witnesses, and the cooperation of the parties. If additional time is necessary, both the complainant and respondent will be notified of the OEOEA's need to extend the investigation beyond the 60 business day time limit.

Anti-Retaliation Provisions

Retaliation or intimidation against one, who in good faith, brings a complaint alleging a violation of the Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy, or who in good faith participates in the investigation of a complaint pursuant to this policy, is prohibited. Substantiated retaliation shall constitute a violation of this policy and result in disciplinary action.

Confidentiality

While confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, all persons involved in a harassment and/or discrimination complaint are expected to treat all information as confidential unless disclosure of the information is compelled by law or University policy.

Right to a Representative

Any individual involved in a harassment and/or discrimination complaint has the right to bring a representative to meetings or interviews scheduled by the OEOEA. Please note, however, that any party desiring to exercise this right must notify the OEOEA at least 72 hours prior to the meeting.

Seeking Assistance

If you feel that you have been, or are being harassed, discriminated against, or have been the victim of sexual assault/misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking the OEOEA is the appropriate place to bring your concerns. Additionally, Illinois State University offers a variety of support services that can assist you in obtaining counseling, medical services, and assistance.

Complaint Form

Complaint Procedures

Filing a Complaint Against an Employee or Student That is Not Sexual Assault/Misconduct, Dating/Domestic Violence, and/or Stalking

Step 1: Filing a Complaint

Any student, faculty member, or employee who feels they have been the victim of harassment and/or discrimination on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation, order of protection, gender identity and expression, age, marital status, disability, genetic information, unfavorable military discharge, status as a veteran, or sex (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking) may file a formal complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access (OEOEA). Information regarding your rights and resources is available at the following link

Step 2: Review of Allegations

Upon receipt of a complaint, a representative of the OEOEA will review the allegation to ensure the reported behavior meets the criteria of a possible Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy violation. If the alleged behaviors are deemed not to meet the Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination criteria, the Complainant will be referred to the appropriate campus resource for review of their concerns.

Step 3: Investigation

The OEOEA investigator will meet with the Complainant, the Respondent, and any witnesses identified by either party separately to discuss the complaint and gather information related to the allegations. At the close of each meeting, the Complainant, the Respondent, and each witness will be informed of the University's Anti-Retaliation policy.

Step 4: Administrative Report of Investigation

At the close of the investigation, the OEOEA will determine whether or not sufficient evidence, based on a preponderance of the evidence standard, was found to support a finding of a violation of the Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy. The OEOEA will issue an administrative report of investigation to both the Complainant and Respondent.

Step 5: Right of Appeal

Either or both the Complainant and/or Respondent may file a letter of appeal with the President of Illinois State University. Appeal letters to the President must be made in writing and within 10 business days from the date of the OEOEA administrative report of investigation.

Upon receipt of the appeal, the President will review the OEOEA investigation determinations and the information provided in the letter of appeal. The President's decision regarding the appeal will be issued, in writing, to the Complainant, Respondent, and the OEOEA no more than 60 business days from receipt of the appeal letter. The President's written decision on the appeal will constitute the final step in the University's administrative process.

Step 6: Sanctions

Should the OEOEA conclude that the Respondent's behavior violated the Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy; the OEOEA will notify Human Resources or the Office of Community Rights and Responsibilities of the violation.

For employees, Human Resources may impose disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

For students, the Office of Community Rights and Responsibilities may impose disciplinary action up to and including the removal of the student from the campus community.

Filing a Complaint of Sexual Assault/Misconduct, Dating/Domestic Violence, and/or Stalking Against a Student (employees use above procedures)

The University is required to follow up on all incidents of sexual assault/misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking to support the University's efforts to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment. University faculty and staff must report incidents of sexual assault/misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking to the University Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access (OEOEA) for review. The survivor determines his/her level of involvement in the process. An individual may also file a complaint using the following forms:

The following procedures will be followed when the University receives information on an allegation of sexual assault/misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking:

Step 1: Student Support

When the University is made aware of a possible incident of sexual assault/misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking, the University will provide information regarding support services and reporting avenues (including the importance of available medical resources, criminal reporting, preserving evidence and obtaining an order of protection or non-contact order) and rights to any individual who allegedly experienced such conduct (Reporting Party) and/or other involved parties.

Step 2: Review of Allegation

The allegation will be reviewed by appropriate University officials to determine the next steps and assess whether any interim action is necessary. The Reporting Party will be offered the opportunity to participate in the review and investigation process. If the Reporting Party does not respond to the University's request for participation, or requests that the complaint not be pursued, the University will review the request and all information available. The University will make a determination regarding the need to investigate further by balancing the Reporting Party's interests and the University's commitment to supporting a Reporting Party driven process, with the University's equally strong commitment to ensuring a safe community. The University may proceed with investigation without a Reporting Party's involvement, although the University's response may be severely limited.

Step 3: Investigation of Allegation

The University's investigation procedures will ensure that an allegation of sexual assault/misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking is handled promptly and effectively in a manner that is procedurally fair to all parties. Both parties will be given an opportunity to provide input and information during the investigation process. After the investigation is concluded, the Investigator will issue an investigative report to both the OEOEA and Community Rights & Responsibilities (CR&R).

Step 4: Charge Decision

Based on the investigative report, if either office has sufficient information to believe a violation occurred, a charge letter will be issued.

Step 5: Meeting/Hearing

For specific procedures related to an informal resolution meeting and/or hearing please refer to the Code of Student Conduct for all procedures related to the Code of Student Conduct. University policy related to alleged violations of the Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy can be found in Policy 1.2.

Step 6: Sanctions/Interventions

Sanctions and interventions are issued when a student is found responsible for a Code of Student Conduct violation. Sanctions are designed to eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, educate the student, and remedy its effects. Some behavior is so harmful to the University community or so detrimental to the educational environment that it may require removal from University activities or the University. The Interim Action process may be used if necessary.

Step 7: Appeal

Appeals may be filed by either party for any of the following reasons:

  1. Proper procedures were not followed;
  2. Unsupported conclusion;
  3. The sanction/intervention was insufficient or excessive relative to the violation;
  4. There is new information that was not reasonably available at the time of the investigation.

Code of Student Conduct Section related to violations of the Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy violations ONLY are appealable to the President; appeal procedures are available at: http://equalopportunity.illinoisstate.edu/complaint/.

Other Code of Student Conduct violations and/or sanctions are appealable to the Student Appeals Board; appeal procedures are available at http://deanofstudents.illinoisstate.edu/students/get-help/crr/code-of-conduct.shtml.


2013-08-12T12:08:34.378-05:00 2013
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