Upon notice of alleged sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence...
The University Response Procedure
Upon notice of alleged sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, the University will take prompt and effective steps to end and eliminate any sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects on the complainant and/or University community. Once the University is notiﬁed of possible sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, the complainant will be offered appropriate conﬁdential support and other resources. The University will take appropriate steps to prevent and/or address retaliation as a prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct. The respondent will also be offered appropriate conﬁdential support and other resources and notiﬁed of applicable institutional policies. If needed, the Title IX coordinator or designee will help to coordinate the services provided for the complainant and/or respondent by various University ofﬁces. Students and/or employees who report violations of the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy are entitled to a written explanation of rights and options. Students may receive these written rights from the Ofﬁce of Student Conduct. Employees may contact Human Resources directly for information regarding grievance procedures related to faculty and staff.
The University of Tampa may also implement interim actions, as may be appropriate for the individuals involved and for the larger University community. A complainant or respondent may request an interim measure to the Title IX coordinator/deputy coordinator. The University may also choose to impose one at its sole discretion to ensure the safety and well-being of all parties and/or the broader University community, the integrity of the investigative and/or resolution process, and/or to serve the best interests of the University or its community. Interim actions are kept in place throughout the investigation of a complaint, review and appeal process, and may become permanent.
The Title IX coordinator or designee shall have the sole authority to make a ﬁnal decision on the appropriate interim action, and he/she may selection any interim action from all of the available interim actions that he/she ﬁnds appropriate under the circumstances at issue. There is no right to appeal this decision.
Interim actions may include but are not limited to:
- Interim Suspension- The Title IX coordinator or designee may impose an interim suspension of a student prior to the beginning of or during the formal student conduct process. In this case, the student may not reside in a residence hall and/or attend classes at the University until the interim suspension has been removed. This interim measure may include an interim no-trespass order.
- Interim No-Contact Order- The Title IX coordinator or designee may impose an interim no contact order between students or any other member of the University community.
- Interim No-Trespass Order- The Title IX coordinator or designee, Campus Safety, or director of Residential Communities or designee may impose an interim no-trespass order which may limit access to a specific area or place including but not limited to buildings, events and the University.
- Interim Student Employment Removal- The Title IX coordinator or designee or the student's department supervisor or designee may impose a temporary removal of student employment.
- Residence Hall Restrictions- The Title IX coordinator or designee or the director of Residential Communities or designee may impose a Residence Hall suspension, housing room reassignment or other restrictions prior to the beginning of or during the formal student conduct process.
Additional interim actions may include but are not limited to:
- Providing academic accommodations such as rescheduling exams and assignments, adjusting class schedules and providing academic support services;
- Changing work schedules or job assignments;
- Facilitating a voluntary leave of absence; or
- Providing other remedies that can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of these procedures.
Decision to Proceed with Investigation
If the complainant is willing to participate in the review and investigation process, the University will proceed as described in the investigation section below. If the complainant requests confidentiality or asks that the report of sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence not be pursued, the University will forward the complaint and all available information to a review panel. The review panel will consist of the Title IX coordinator or designee and administrative staff members selected by the Title IX coordinator or designee in his/her sole discretion. These panel members, who are free of any conflict of interest or bias, will represent the interests of the University community.
The review panel is charged with balancing the University’s commitment to support survivor-centered practices with the equally strong commitment to provide due process for respondent students and promote a safe community. The panel will provide information and advice to the Title IX coordinator whether an investigation should proceed without consent of the Complainant. In all cases, the final decision on whether to proceed with an investigation, and whether other measures will be taken with conjunction with any complaint of sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, rests solely with the Title IX coordinator or designated Title IX deputy. The Title IX coordinator or designated Title IX deputy reserves the right to reassign any dismissed violations if new information becomes known regarding the alleged misconduct that was not known to the Title IX coordinator or designated Title IX deputy at the time of the initial review.
Meeting with the Title IX Coordinator
The complainant and respondent are required to meet with the Title IX coordinator or designated deputy coordinator, who is free of any conflict of interest or bias, to review the rights and responsibilities within the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Process.
In all cases, the University will respond to the complaint in a prompt, thorough, procedurally fair and effective manner. Upon receipt of a complaint, the University will strive to complete its review in a timely manner. If the University is unable to complete the process within a timely manner, the University will provide an update to the Complainant and Respondent.
Investigations will consist of a thorough fact-finding investigation, which includes meeting separately with the complainant (if participating), respondent (if participating), reporter (if applicable) and pertinent witnesses (if participating), and reviewing other relevant information. Throughout the process, the complainant and respondent may have an advisor present for all meetings they attend.
The investigator(s) will prepare a preliminary written report at the conclusion of their initial investigation and then a final written report at the conclusion of their investigation. Before the preliminary report is finalized, the complainant and respondent will be given the opportunity to finalize their individualized statements. The complainant and respondent may review the investigator's preliminary report without the investigator's summary of findings, which will be provided to both the complainant and respondent concurrently. A complainant or respondent must submit any comments about the preliminary report within two (2) business days after that report was available to them for review.
The Investigator’s preliminary written report will generally contain:
- A summary of the investigation;
- The complainant and respondent statements; and
- A summary of witness statements.
Following the receipt of any comments submitted, or after the two (2) business day period has lapsed without comment, the investigator will address any identified factual inaccuracies or misunderstandings as appropriate in his/her sole discretion and complete a final written report.
The investigator’s final written report will generally contain:
- A summary of the investigation;
- The complainant and respondent statements;
- A summary of witness statements;
- A summary of material facts; and
- A conclusion and finding, based on the preponderance of evidence, regarding the allegations of sexual misconduct, including whether a Sexual Misconduct Policy violation occurred.
The Title IX coordinator or designated Title IX deputy reserves the right to reassign any dismissed violations if new information becomes known regarding the alleged misconduct that was not known to the investigator or the Title IX coordinator or designated Title IX deputy at the time of the investigation.
Standard of Proof
The investigator’s finding will be made using the preponderance of the evidence standard. This standard requires that, upon consideration of all of the evidence, it is more likely than not sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence was committed. Under this standard, individuals are presumed not to have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence unless a preponderance of the evidence supports a finding that sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence occurred.