Information for Parents of Students in the Sex Misconduct Policy

Filing a formal complaint of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault or being accused of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault is a serious matter. We anticipate you may have concerns and questions regarding the process and how engaging in this process impacts your student. This information is designed with your questions and concerns in mind. It is recommended that you review the Sex Misconduct Policy  in its entirety for a full overview and explanation of the investigation and adjudication process.

Brief Overview of the Process 

Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the College is required to conduct a prompt and fair inquiry into the allegation(s). The complainant (person alleging harm) and the respondent (person accused of causing harm) are provided with an equal opportunity to share their account of the alleged incident(s), provide the names of witnesses, and offer evidence in support of their account. The respondent is not presumed responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination is made at the end of the investigation and hearing process. 

Both the complainant and the respondent are provided with the opportunity to inspect all facts and evidence gathered during the investigation process as well as ample time to respond to requests for information or participate in interviews. An advisor may assist either party throughout the process. The parties are responsible for selecting an advisor. Upon request from the student, the College will provide an advisor/support during the determination hearing. 

The estimated timeframe for an investigation is 30-90 days and the length of the hearing process can last approximately 1-5 days.  There may be extenuating circumstances of a case that will require more.

Supportive measures

Appropriate supportive measures, based upon the facts and circumstances of the case, are available to both parties. These measures are designed to ensure the safety of involved students and minimize disruption of their educational and/or residential experience to the extent possible. Supportive measures may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Counseling

  • Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments

  • Modifications of work or class schedules

  • Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties

  • Changes in working or housing locations

 Following the conclusion and distribution of the investigative report, a hearing will be conducted to determine the outcome and resolution of the complaint. The parties and their advisors will be notified of the date, time, and location of the hearing. Each party’s advisor will have an opportunity to present evidence, propose and question witnesses, and through their advisor, question the opposing party. 

 A neutral hearing officer(s) will objectively and thoroughly evaluate all relevant evidence and reach an independent decision concerning whether a policy violation has occurred using a standard of proof known as “preponderance of the evidence.” Stated another way, this means a reasonable person would likely conclude that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred based upon the available evidence and known facts. 

If the hearing officer(s) finds that a policy violation occurred, they will provide a written rationale for their decision, impose disciplinary sanctions upon the respondent and determine any final remedies to be provided to the complainant. Both parties will receive concurrent notification of the decision and either party may appeal within five days of receipt of the decision. Sanctions will go into effect during the appeal process. 

Student appeals are reviewed by one Appeal Officer. The Appeal’s Officer may uphold the decision, modify it, or remand for further factual development. The Appeal’s Officer decision is final, and no further appeals are offered under the policy. 

Intersection of Student Privacy and FERPA

Students may be reluctant to share information with the Office of Equity Compliance out of fear their parents will learn of other conduct, such as alcohol and/or drug use.  Therefore, the Office holds communications with students in strict confidence. Students may provide permission to the Title IX Coordinator or Designee to discuss specifics of their case with you, provided a FERPA release is completed and provided to the Office of Equity Compliance.

Other Helpful Information   

Third parties, including parents, are encouraged to report known instances of sexual harassment and/or assault to the College.  Sexual assault and dating/domestic violence are crimes and as such, the College recommends reporting to both law enforcement and the Office of Equity Compliance. 

Participation in the Title IX process is voluntary and as such, we may be limited in our ability to investigate and respond to complaints if either party does not engage in the grievance process. Supportive measures are available to both the complainant and the responding party whether a formal complaint or investigation is launched. 

Students will not be punished for making a formal Title IX complaint that is in good faith or participating in the investigation and/or adjudication process. The College will take strong measures to protect involved parties, including witnesses, from retaliation. 

Questions

We encourage you to  visit our website at mica.edu/equity, if you have further questions regarding the Sex Misconduct Policy and how the process may impact your student. The Title IX Coordinator and their Designee does not communicate directly with parents. Should you have questions about the status of your student’s case please speak with your student directly. There may be an exception  if your student is a minor or has a disability.