Reporting Sexual Misconduct FAQs

Click on the links below to get answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions. If your question isn't listed, please call or come by Wellness Services.


Who can file a complaint?

Any student or employee may file a complaint of Sexual Misconduct or Gender-based Discrimination against any University student, employee, visitor, or vendor under this policy. In those cases where either party is both a University student and a University employee, the Title IX Coordinator will determine, based on the nature of the allegations, the procedures to be used for addressing the alleged misconduct.

This Policy applies to any allegation of sexual misconduct or gender-based discrimination against a University student or employee regardless of where the alleged sexual misconduct occurred. The University may take action against a student or employee under this policy for sexual misconduct occurring off-campus where one or more of the following applies: (a) The conduct is disruptive to the orderly processes and functions of the University; (b) the conduct demonstrates that the continued presence of the student or employee on campus presents a danger to the health, safety or welfare of the University community; (c) the off-campus conduct is intimidating or threatening to the University community or an individual within the University community; (d) The off-campus conduct is of such a serious nature that it adversely affects the student or employee's suitability to remain a part of the University community; or (e) the off-campus conduct is such that it could constitute a violation of the law.

How do I make a report?

Students or employees who feel that they have been victims of Sexual Misconduct or Gender-Based Discrimination should file a report as soon as possible. Reports of Sexual Misconduct or Gender-Based Discrimination can be made to the following:

Any other “Responsible University Employee,” defined under this Policy as any University Employee who has the authority to take action to address the misconduct, has the duty to report the misconduct to appropriate University officials

Responsible University Employees include, but are not necessarily limited to, faculty, administrative staff, Housing and Residence Life Staff (including Resident Assistants), athletic coaches, etc.

Students reporting Sexual Misconduct or Gender-Based Discrimination to any responsible University employee should know that every effort will be made to respect the private and sensitive nature of their report. However, as required under Title IX, reports to any of the above parties will result in a notification of the report to the Title IX Coordinator. The complainant will have the option of whether or not to pursue further remedies as described below, but should take note that any report to a responsible university employee will result, at minimum, in a written report to the campus Title IX Coordinator. If a student wishes to speak with someone on campus confidentially about an act of sexual misconduct or any other matter, he or she should contact and schedule an appointment with Counseling & Psychological Services (850-474-2420). If an employee wishes to do the same, he or she may contact the Employee Assistance Program (1-800-860-2058). Any information disclosed to a counselor during a counseling session is considered private and confidential and is legally protected. A counselor will encourage the complainant to report the alleged sexual misconduct to appropriate authorities, but is not required by federal law to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator. Additionally, any information shared by a student regarding alleged sexual misconduct with any medical provider (doctor, nurse, or administrative staff) in Student Health Services will only be reported to the Title IX Coordinator with the student's permission.

If any Responsible University Employee is made aware of any allegation of sexual misconduct or gender-based discrimination, they should immediately report that information to the Title IX Coordinator.

Does information about a complaint remain private?

The University respects the private nature of reports of sexual misconduct or discrimination. If a student or employee discloses an allegation of sexual misconduct or discrimination to Responsible University Employee, they should expect that, beyond the required notification to the Title IX Coordinator, the report will remain private.

In all complaints of sexual misconduct, all parties will be informed of the outcome. The institution also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.

What if the victim does not want to pursue an investigation?

If the complainant does not wish to pursue any remedy under this policy and/or requests that his or her complaint remain confidential, the University will consider the complainant's request. However, the University is required to investigate and take reasonable action in response to information received as part of the investigation. The Title IX Coordinator, in conjunction with the appropriate Deputy Coordinator/Investigator, will weigh the complainant's request against the following factors:

  • Whether there have been other complaints of sexual misconduct or gender-based discrimination against the same accused
  • Whether or not the accusations are of a nature that the continued presence of the accused on campus poses a threat to the safety of other community members
  • Any rights of the accused to receive information related to the allegations

The Title IX Coordinator will inform the complainant if the University makes the determination to move forward with charges under this policy without the complainant's participation.

What if I want to speak with someone about sexual misconduct perpetrated against me but I want the information kept completely confidential?

Students reporting Sexual Misconduct or Gender-Based Discrimination to any responsible University employee should know that every effort will be made to respect the private and sensitive nature of their report. However, as required under Title IX, reports to any of the above parties will result in a notification of the report to the Title IX Coordinator. The complainant will have the option of whether or not to pursue further remedies as described below, but should take note that any report to a responsible university employee will result, at minimum, in a written report to the campus Title IX Coordinator. If a student wishes to speak with someone on campus confidentially about an act of sexual misconduct or any other matter, he or she should contact and schedule an appointment with Counseling & Psychological Services (850-474-2420). If an employee wishes to do the same, he or she may contact the Employee Assistance Program (1-800-860-2058). Any information disclosed to a counselor during a counseling session is considered private and confidential and is legally protected. A counselor will encourage the complainant to report the alleged sexual misconduct to appropriate authorities, but is not required by federal law to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator. Additionally, any information shared by a student regarding alleged sexual misconduct with any medical provider (doctor, nurse, or administrative staff) in Student Health Services will only be reported to the Title IX Coordinator with the student's permission.

How long after the incident can I file a complaint?

As long as there is University authority over the Accused Student or Employee as described in the Policy, there is no time limit or statute of limitations to make a report of sexual misconduct or gender-based discrimination. Nevertheless, students and employees are encouraged to report alleged sexual misconduct and gender-based discrimination immediately in order to maximize the University's ability to obtain evidence and conduct a thorough, impartial and reliable investigation. Failure to promptly report alleged sexual misconduct and gender-based misconduct may result in the loss of evidence and witness testimony, and may impair the University's ability to enforce this policy.

What happens after a complaint is filed?

Upon receipt of notice of any allegation of sexual misconduct or gender-based discrimination, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the University Intake Officer, who will contact and schedule an individual intake meeting. This initial intake meeting will provide the student with an understanding of this policy, his or her rights to pursue remedies under this policy, and will serve to identify the sources of support and immediate interventions available to the student on campus and in the local community. The intake meeting may also involve a discussion of any accommodations that may be appropriate concerning the complainant's academic, University housing and/or University employment arrangements.

Once the case is assigned to a Title IX Investigator, the University will attempt, in as much as possible, to conclude the investigation within 30 days. As part of the investigation, the Investigator will:

  • Interview all persons involved, including any witnesses
  • Obtain evidence, either through direct observation of the scene of the alleged sexual misconduct, or through information/evidence provided by the complainant, accused, witnesses and/or law enforcement agencies
  • Provide complainant, the accused and any witnesses the opportunity to have a representative/advisor accompany them during investigative meetings
  • Keep records of investigation, including a description of allegations, notes from all interviews, outcome of the investigation, and any actions taken
  • Provide a written report of the investigation (“Investigative Report”), including findings and recommended courses of action and remedies to the Title IX Coordinator
Do I have to name the perpetrator?

Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. If the student does not wish for formal disciplinary action to be taken, but still wants to make a report and seek assistance, a complaint may be filed without naming the alleged perpetrator. However, complainants should be aware than not identifying the perpetrator may limit the institution's ability to respond in a comprehensive manner. Victims should be aware that not identifying the perpetrator may limit the institution's ability to respond in a comprehensive manner.

Will the accused student know my identity?

Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the accused student has the right to know the identity of the Complainant/alleged victim. If there is a hearing, the university does provide options for questioning without the Complainant and Accused having to be in the same room.

If I accuse someone of sexual violence, can they retaliate against me?

It is a violation of University policy to retaliate against any person making a complaint of sexual misconduct or gender-based discrimination, or against any person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) any allegation of sexual misconduct of gender-based discrimination. For these purposes, "retaliation" includes intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse actions threatened or taken against a Complainant or third party. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Title IX Coordinator, and may result in disciplinary action independent of the sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of sexual misconduct.

What can be done immediately until the investigation is completed?

These remedies are designed to prevent the recurrence of the alleged misconduct and to limit the negative effects of the alleged misconduct during the investigation period. Immediate accommodations available to a Complainant include, but are not limited to:

  • No Contact Order - The University may issue no-contact orders between the Accused individual and the Complainant.
  • On-Campus Housing Reassignment - The University may complete an administrative housing reassignment in order to separate the Complainant and the Accused student. This may include reassigning the Complainant, the Accused, or both.
  • Academic Measures - The University will work with a Complainant to assist him/her regarding his/her academic coursework. Depending on the circumstances, examples of interim measures may include working with instructors related to missed classes, assigning the Complainant or Accused student to a new course section as scheduling permits, allowing the Complainant to finish the course requirements via distance learning or independent study, or providing the Complainant with a medical withdrawal from one or more courses.
  • Employment Measures - The University will work with a Complainant to provide interim measures in situations where the alleged Sexual Misconduct or Gender-Based Discrimination occurs within the context of his or her employment on campus, including student employment. Depending on the circumstances, examples of interim measures may include, but are not limited to, allowing the employee to work alternative hours in order to avoid contact with the Accused, assigning the employee to a different work location in order to avoid contact with the Accused, or assigning the employee to a different department during the duration of the investigation.
What happens after an investigation?

Once the investigation is completed, the Title IX Coordinator will determine if there is reasonable cause to believe the policy was violated and issue a final report to both the complainant and the accused. Both parties have an opportunity to review and respond to the report. If it is believed the policy was violated, the appropriate conduct process will begin. The University may still take intervening measures even if it is determined that the policy was not violated.

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