Information for Respondents
If you have been named as a Respondent or if you think you may have engaged in misconduct, you may be feeling a range of emotions, upset, scared, and/or worried. A respondent has certain resources, rights, and options available, some are confidential.
If you are contacted by the Title IX Coordinator, it's important to keep in mind that the Title IX Coordinator is not taking action at that time, but rather would like to meet with you to follow-up on the report and further discuss the situation. When you meet with the Title IX Coordinator initially, you will not be required to provide a response or any information that day, but will instead be given time to prepare and submit your response to the report at a later date and time.
Navigating the student conduct process can be a complicated and challenging experience.
The Title IX Coordinator or designee will meet with the Respondent to discuss the following:
- Rights in the process
- Respondents have the right to due process and are always informed by the Title IX Office at the start of an investigation.
- Respondents have the right to respond to allegations and may present witnesses and evidence.
- Respondents in a Title IX investigation have a right to a support person and/or advisor of their choice.
- What to expect during an investigation and any hearing
- How to prepare for their hearings
- Considerations for navigating the process, including no contact orders, academic advocacy, and other interim measures
Responding to Allegations
Presumption of Innocence
You are presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination is made at the conclusion of the grievance process.
What is a Respondent?
A Respondent is someone designated to respond to a report submitted to the Title IX Coordinator. Generally, the Respondent is someone alleged to be responsible for behavior that is in violation of the Cal Arts Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy, or the CalArts Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Respondents have an equitable right to request supportive measures during the course of the process.
What are Supportive Measures?
Supportive measures are nondisciplinary, non punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed.
The Title IX Coordinator meets with the Complainant and Respondent to discuss options. Such measures will be kept confidential to the extent possible.
Examples of Supportive Measures
- Access to counseling services and assistance in setting up initial appointment, both on and off campus;
- Referral to the Employee Assistance Program;
- Imposition of a stay away directive issued to both Parties (CalArts’ equivalent to no-contact order);
- Rescheduling of exams and assignments;
- Providing alternative course completion options;
- A change in class schedule, including the ability to drop a course without penalty;
- A change in work schedule or job assignment;
- A change in on-campus residence hall assignments (either temporarily or permanently);
- Limiting an individual or student group’s access to certain CalArts facilities or activities, pending resolution of the matter;
- A voluntary leave of absence;
- Providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes, performances, and activities;
- Providing academic support services, such as tutoring;
- Relocation of one’s work space;
Notice of Allegation
You have the right to receive a written notice of any and all allegations known at the time of the complaint with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview, including the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known; the conduct allegedly constituting a policy violation; and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known.
Right to an Advisor of Choice
You have a right to have one advisor of your choice, who may be an attorney, to assist you throughout the process.
You have a right to an impartial investigation that is conducted in a prompt, thorough and fair manner, focusing on the available information.
You have a right to participate in the investigation process free from retaliation.
CalArts prohibits all forms of retaliation against an individual who has engaged in a protected activity such as filing a discrimination or harassment complaint, making a verbal statement of discrimination or harassment, or being a witness in a discrimination or harassment complaint. Retaliation should be promptly reported to the Title IX Coordinator.
Provided that you and the complainant give your voluntary, written consent, CalArts may facilitate a resolution without a full investigation and adjudication. This option is not available if the complaint involves quid pro quo harassment or sexual assault.
If resolution of the allegation is not resolved through an informal process, a comprehensive investigation will take place. Both parties will be notified of the investigator’s contact information and each party will have opportunity to identify any real or perceived conflicts of interest by notifying the Title IX Coordinator in writing. The Title IX Coordinator will consider stated concerns and if they determine that a material conflict of interest exists, will assign a different investigator.
Interviewing the Parties
Typically, the investigator’s first step will be to meet with the complainant to fully understand the allegations. The complainant is strongly encouraged to share all information, including documentation and names of witness, if any, with the investigator. After the investigator understands the nature and scope of the allegations, you will be asked about the allegations and given a full and fair opportunity to respond. You are also strongly encouraged to share all information, including documentation and names of witnesses, if any with the investigator. The parties are not present during each other’s interviews.
Notes and Recordings
The investigator will take notes during the interview. However, interviews with the investigator are not recorded, and no recording is permitted by anyone participating in the investigation process, including complainants, respondents, witnesses, and advisors.
Gathering Other Information
After meeting with the complainant and the respondent, the investigator interviews witnesses and reviews all documentation deemed relevant to the situation. The investigator will also visit, inspect, and take photographs at relevant sites; collect and preserve relevant evidence, and obtain relevant medical records pertaining to treatment of the complainant provided they voluntarily authorize release of these records. The investigator may also contact the parties with additional questions or to request additional relevant information.
Inspection and Access to Evidence
You will have an opportunity to inspect and review the evidence obtained through the investigation. The purpose of the inspection and review process is to allow each party the equal opportunity to meaningfully respond to the evidence prior to conclusion of the investigation.
The Investigator will consider all information gathered during an investigation and prepare a report, which will be shared with both parties. Each party will have the opportunity to submit a written response to the evidence which will be considered by the Investigator before the report is submitted to the Title IX Coordinator. The report is not shared with any other parties, including witnesses.
The Title IX Coordinator will provide a final copy of the report to both parties concurrently and at least 10 calendar days prior to the determination hearing. The parties may provide a written response to the final investigation report five calendar days after receiving it.
A hearing will be conducted to determine the outcome and resolution of the complaint. CalArts will appoint a neutral hearing officer/decision maker to conduct the hearing, make findings regarding responsibility, and if applicable, any necessary sanctions.
If you are found responsible for sexual harassment or assault, the hearing officer will notify you of any remedies provided to the complainant to the extent that it affects you. Remedies may result in disciplinary sanctions or other punitive measures.
Both you and the complainant may appeal the hearing officer’s decision within five days of receipt of the decision. A three-member panel composed of at least two faculty or staff members will review the appeal. The panel’s decision is final, and no further appeals may be submitted under the Title IX Policy.
Grounds for Appeal
The appeal of the hearing officer’s decision must be for one of the following reasons:
- Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the decision
- New evidence, not reasonably available at the time of the hearing, that could affect the outcome of the decision
- The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or hearing officer had a conflict of interest or bias for or against either party that could affect the outcome of the decision
- The sanctions imposed are not appropriate for the nature and severity of the conduct