Title IX Generally
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including sex-based harassment and violence, in any federally funded education. The Modern College of Design (“Modern” or “College”) is an academic institution that, in accordance and full compliance with federal, state, and local laws, does not discriminate on the basis of sex.
All proceedings under this policy are conducted in compliance with the requirements of Title IX, the Clery Act as amended by the Violence Against Women Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and state and federal law, where applicable. No information shall be released from such proceedings except as required or permitted by law and Modern policy.
Notice of Non-Discrimination
Modern is committed to fostering a climate free from discrimination on the basis of sex in the following areas: admissions, educational programs and activities, housing, access to classes and schools, counseling, financial assistance, employment assistance, health and insurance benefits and services, marital or parental status, and athletics. This policy is strictly enforced by Modern, and alleged violations receive prompt and equitable attention and appropriate corrective action. Modern takes steps to eliminate sex discrimination, to prevent the recurrence of sex discrimination, and to remedy the effects of sex discrimination, as appropriate.
Individuals who believe they may have witnessed or been subjected to Prohibited Conduct as defined below are encouraged to make a report with the Title IX Coordinator. Any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, and any other Prohibit Conduct whether or not the person reporting is the person who has been subject to the conduct. This could be done in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail using the contact information listed below. Such a report can be made at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the telephone number, email address, or by sending mail to the office address listed below.
Vice President of Student Affairs
Title IX/Civil Rights Coordinator
Disabilities Services Coordinator
For further information, individuals may also contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights at (800) 421-3481, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission at (888) 278-7101, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at (800) 669-4000.
The Coordinator may designate any responsibility or task assigned to them under this Policy to an appropriate individual, including individuals not employed by the College. If for any reason the Coordinator cannot be impartial with regard to a particular case, the President shall assign a Coordinator for the case in question.
Scope of the Policy
This Policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, groups, consultants, vendors, volunteers, guests, and visitors. Every individual is responsible for acting in accordance with this Policy and any other applicable College policies and procedures.
This Policy applies to Prohibited Conduct, described below, that:
- Occurs on campus;
- Occurs in relation to an official College program or activity (regardless of location); or
- Has continuing adverse effects on campus or on any member of the campus community.
Modern maintains the right to respond to misconduct that falls outside the jurisdiction described in the preceding paragraph. Depending on the conduct at issue, the Student Handbook or Employee Handbook may apply.
If the respondent is unknown or is not a member of the College community, the Coordinator (or designee) will assist individuals in identifying local law enforcement authorities if the individual desires to file a police report.
Complainant. An individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Prohibited Conduct.
Consent. Clear, knowing, and voluntary permission, demonstrated through mutually understandable words or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to freely engage in a particular sexual activity. Some additional considerations include:
- Silence, passivity, absence of response, and lack of resistance do not constitute consent.
- Consent to one form of sexual activity does not constitute consent to other forms of sexual activity.
- Consent obtained for sexual activity on prior occasions does not constitute consent for future occasions. Even within the context of an ongoing relationship, consent must be obtained.
- Consent can be withdrawn at any time prior to completion of the act by the outward demonstration, by words or actions, that clearly indicate a desire to end sexual activity. Once this has been expressed, sexual activity must cease.
- Consent is not effective if it is obtained through force, threat of force, coercion, or any other factor that would eliminate the voluntary nature of the choice.
- Individuals who are incapacitated cannot consent to sexual activity.
- In the state of Ohio, the age of consent is 16. Under state law, consent cannot be given by any individual under the age of 16 to participate in sexual activity with an individual over the age of 18. In addition, consent can never be given by minors under the age of 13.
Coercion. The use of unreasonable and persistent pressure to the point that it overrides the voluntary nature of the act. Examples include threatening to harm oneself if the other person does not engage in sexual activity, or threatening to disclose another individual’s private information if the other person does not engage in sexual activity.
Education program or activity. (1) the operations of the College, (2) locations, events, or circumstances over which Modern exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the Prohibited Conduct occurred, and (3) buildings that are owned or controlled by student organizations officially recognized by Modern.
Formal Complaint. A document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging Prohibited Conduct against a Respondent and requesting that the College investigate the allegations. Formal Complaints must be filed in order to pursue either an informal resolution process or a formal grievance process. At the time of filing a formal complaint, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in an education program or activity of Modern. A formal complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information listed within the section titled, “Notice of Non-Discrimination” of this policy. Additionally, a “document filed by a Complainant” can be in the form of an electronic submission (such as by electronic mail or through an online portal provided for this purpose by Modern) that contains the Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the Complainant is the person filing the formal complaint.
Incapacitation. The state in which an individual lacks the ability to make informed, rational judgments, either temporarily or permanently. It exists where an individual is mentally and/or physically helpless, asleep, unconscious, or unaware that the sexual activity is occurring. Where alcohol or other drugs are involved, incapacitation is a state beyond mere intoxication that causes a person to be unable to appreciate the who, what, where, when, why, or how of a sexual interaction. Evaluating incapacitation also requires an assessment of whether a respondent was or should have been aware of the complainant’s incapacitation based on objectively and reasonably apparent indications of impairment when viewed from the perspective of a sober, reasonable person in the respondent’s position.
Prohibited Conduct. See below.
Respondent. An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Prohibited Conduct.
Supportive Measures. Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered to both the complainant and respondent as appropriate, reasonably available, and without fee or charge.
Title IX Dismissal. If the conduct alleged in a Formal Complaint does not constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment, did not occur in a College education program or activity, or did not occur against a person in the United States, the College must dismiss the complaint from the hearing process. The fact that a Formal Complaint is not eligible for the hearing process does not mean that the matter is concluded, as further explained below. Depending on the conduct at issue, the relevant policies and procedures in the Student Handbook and Employee Handbook may apply, even after a Formal Complaint is dismissed under this Policy. The process for appealing a Title IX Dismissal is explained in “Grounds for Dismissal of Formal Complaint,” below.
Prohibited Conduct Covered by this Policy
This policy prohibits the following types of Prohibited Conduct, each of which is described below: Title IX Sexual Harassment, Non-Title IX Sexual Harassment, Non-Title IX Stalking, Non-Title IX Domestic Violence, Sex Discrimination, Harassment on the Basis of Sex, Sexual Exploitation, and Retaliation.
Title IX Sexual Harassment
There are six types of Prohibited Conduct that qualify as “Title IX Sexual Harassment,” each of which is defined more specifically below: (1) quid pro quo sexual harassment, (2) unwelcome conduct sexual harassment, (3) sexual assault, (4) dating violence, (5) domestic violence, and (6) stalking on the basis of sex. The definitions used here are mandated by federal regulations.
Types of Title IX Sexual Harassment:
- Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
“Quid pro quo sexual harassment” is conduct on the basis of sex where a College employee conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the College on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
- Unwelcome Conduct Sexual Harassment
“Unwelcome conduct sexual harassment” is conduct on the basis of sex that is unwelcome and determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity.
- Sexual Assault
“Sexual assault” is conduct on the basis of sex that is defined as a forcible or non-forcible sex offense, or attempted forcible or non-forcible sex offense, as classified under the Uniform Crime Reporting system of the FBI. This includes the separate categories, each of which is considered a form of sexual assault:
- Rape is defined as the carnal knowledge of a person, without the consent of the complainant, including instances where the complainant is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. Carnal knowledge is defined as the slightest penetration of the sexual organ of the female (vagina) by the sexual organ of the male (penis).
- Sodomy is defined as oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the complainant, including instances where the complainant is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Sexual Assault With An Object is defined as the use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the complainant.
- Fondling is defined as the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the complainant, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Incest is defined as sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law. In Ohio, Revised Code Section 3101.01(A) provides that individuals nearer of kin than second cousins may not marry.
- Statutory rape is defined as sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. In Ohio, Revised Code section 2907.02(A)(1)(b) provides that no person may have sex with a child under the age of thirteen. Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.04(A) provides that no person over the age of eighteen may have sex with a child under the age of sixteen.
- Dating Violence
“Dating violence” is conduct on the basis of sex that consists of violence committed by a person who is or has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the complainant. The existence of such a romantic or intimate relationship is determined by the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interactions between the individuals involved in the relationship.
- Domestic Violence
“Domestic violence” is conduct on the basis of sex that consists of a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by:
- A current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim,
- A person with whom the victim shares a child in common,
- A person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner,
- A person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic/family violence laws of the jurisdiction
- Any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic/family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
“Stalking” is conduct on the basis of sex that consists of engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (A) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress. For purposes of the definition of Stalking under this Policy:
- A “course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
- A “reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
- “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Non-Title IX Sexual Harassment
Non-Title Sexual Harassment Is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct Is an explicit or Implicit condition of any Individual’s employment, evaluation of academic work, or participation In any of the Modern’s education programs or activities;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an Individual Is used as the basis for decisions affecting the Individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably Interfering with an Individual’s work or academic performance, I.e. It Is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent as to create an Intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment under both an objective and subjective standard.
The determination of whether a hostile environment exists will be based on the totality of the circumstances, including but not limited to:
- The nature and severity of the conduct;
- The type, frequency, and duration of the conduct;
- The identity of and relationship between the respondent and the complainant;
- The number of individuals involved;
- The age and maturity levels of the respondent and complainant; and
- The location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred.
Examples of conduct that may form the basis of a Non-Title IX Sexual Harassment complaint include, but are not limited to:
- Making sexual propositions or pressuring for sexual favors;
- Touching of a sexual nature;
- Writing graffiti of a sexual nature;
- Displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures, videos, or other materials;
- Performing sexual gestures or touching oneself sexually in front of others;
- Spreading sexual rumors or rating other students or employees as to sexual activity or performance;
- Circulating or showing e-mails or Web sites of a sexual nature;
- Direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances is a condition of employment, promotion, good grades, recommendations, etc.;
- Sexually explicit jokes or statements, questions, or remarks about sexual activity or experience; and
- Physical assault of a sexual nature.
Non-Title IX Stalking
Non-Title IX Stalking is Stalking as defined above that Is not committed on the basis of sex.
Non-Title IX Domestic Violence
Non-Title IX Domestic Violence is Domestic Violence as defined above that is not committed on the basis of sex.
Sex Discrimination occurs when a behavior or policy has the same purpose or effect of restricting or denying an individual’s or group’s access to opportunities, programs, or resources, on the basis of sex, in a manner that interferes with an individuals’ working, academic, residential, or social environment or athletic participation or performance. The College will not, on the basis of sex:
- Treat one person differently from another in determining whether such person satisfies any requirement or condition for the provision of such aid, benefit, or service;
- Provide different aid, benefits, or services or provide aid, benefits, or services in a different manner;
- Deny any person any such aid, benefit, or service;
- Subject any person to separate or different rules of behavior, sanctions, or other treatment;
- Apply any rule concerning the domicile or residence of a student or applicant, including eligibility for in-state fees and tuition;
- Aid or perpetuate discrimination against any person by providing significant assistance to any agency, organization, or person which discriminates on the basis of sex in providing any aid, benefit or services to students or employees;
- Otherwise limit any person in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity.
Discrimination on the basis of sex in employment is permissible in situations where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the College. Note that the federal regulations regarding Title IX include certain exceptions, such as single-sex housing, athletic participation, and chorus participation, that do not constitute discrimination on the basis of sex.
Harassment on the Basis of Sex
Harassment on the Basis of Sex is is defined as unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct on the basis of one’s sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation when:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is an explicit or implicit condition of any individual’s employment, evaluation of academic work, or participation in any College education program or activity; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting the individual’ or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, i.e. it is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent as to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment under both an objective and subjective standard.
Sexual Exploitation is conduct that does not meet the jurisdictional requirements, threshold requirements, or definition of “Title IX Sexual Harassment” defined above, but amounts to an individual taking advantage of another’s sexuality in a non-consensual manner for any purpose. Examples of Sexual Exploitation include the non-consensual viewing of nudity of another, the non-consensual streaming of images of sexual activity, the non-consensual sharing or posting of nude images of another, the non-consensual recording of individuals in locations in which they have a reasonable expectation of privacy (such as restrooms or locker rooms) even if the images do not capture nudity, intentionally exposing one’s genitals to another person in non-consensual circumstances, or inducing incapacitation of another via drugs and/or alcohol for purposes of making that person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual intercourse or non-consensual sexual contact.
Neither Modern nor any other person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by this Policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing provided for in this Policy.
Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve Prohibited Conduct, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or formal complaint of Prohibited Conduct, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or this Policy, constitutes retaliation.
An individual who brings a complaint under this Policy in good faith, even if it may be erroneous, will not be subject to discipline. However, the use of this policy for false, malicious, or frivolous purposes is strictly prohibited. Modern’s decision to charge an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this Policy does not constitute retaliation, provided that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement in bad faith.
The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation prohibited by this provision.
The complainant may, in addition to making a complaint or instead of doing so, access confidential services. Confidential resources are not required to make law reports to law enforcement except under emergency circumstances or those involving child abuse; they do not share information with the Coordinator or the College. The College’s counselor is a confidential resource. Examples of other confidential resources available to members of the campus community include:
- 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1 (800) 799-7233
- 24/7 Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network Hotline – (800) 656-HOPE (4673)
- Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization – (866) 86 BRAVO (27286)
- National Teen Dating Helpline – (866) 331-9474
- Boys Town Crisis and Suicide Hotline– (800) 448-3000
- 24/7 Hotline YWCA Dayton – (937) 222-SAFE (7233)
- Artemis Center for Domestic Violence – (937) 461-HELP (4357)
- Kettering Medical Center Emergency Room – (937) 395-8659
- Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence – www.oaesv.org
- Medical professionals, mental health professionals, rape crisis counselors, and clergy
- Individuals may also seek assistance from resources that are not confidential. These include:
- The Coordinator (see contact information above)
- Kettering Police Department – 911 for emergencies; (937) 296-2555 for non-emergencies
- S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights – (800) 421-3481
- Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office Victim/Witness Division – (937) 225-5623
Reporting Prohibited Conduct
Individuals who believe they may have witnessed or been subjected to Prohibited Conduct are encouraged to make a report with the Title IX Coordinator. Any person may report Prohibited Conduct, whether or not the person reporting is the person who has been subject to the Prohibited Conduct. This could be done in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail using the contact information listed within the section titled, “Title IX Non-Discrimination Policy and Procedures.” Such a report can be made at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the telephone number, email address, or by sending mail to the office address listed for the Title IX Coordinator identified in this policy.
All employees of Modern that become aware of Prohibited Conduct (other than those previously designated as confidential resources), are required to make a report to the Title IX Coordinator. The person who may have been subjected to Prohibited Conduct is referred to as the Complainant. The person who may have committed Prohibited Conduct is referred to as the Respondent.
Please note that a report of Prohibited Conduct does not automatically result in a formal investigation as defined in this Policy. The Title IX Coordinator will work to provide supportive measures, access to resources, information about formal and informal resolution procedures, and information about filing a report with the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Upon receipt of a report, the Complainant will be offered the opportunity for an initial discussion to give the Complainant the opportunity to recount what has taken place and discuss how best to proceed. The Complainant will be permitted to have an advisor of their choice during this discussion. The Title IX Coordinator will review with the Complainant the College’s procedures for filing a formal complaint, informal and formal resolution, the rights of the Complainant, the availability of supportive measures, information relating to law enforcement reporting if appropriate, and available medical and/or counseling resources as appropriate. Options for, and available assistance in, changing academic and living situations can be discussed and provided if so requested, and if such changes are reasonably available. Except in certain serious circumstances as discussed more below, it is at all times the Complainant’s decision whether they will file a formal complaint, seek interim measures of protection, pursue informal resolution and/or formal resolution (including the grievance process outlined in this Policy). As a result of this meeting, depending on the nature of the allegations, the Title IX Coordinator may be obligated to report the incident to law enforcement pursuant to state law.
Upon receiving a report, the Title IX Coordinator will conduct an initial assessment to evaluate whether the complaint alleges sufficient information to meet the jurisdictional and threshold requirements listed in “Scope of this Policy” and “Prohibited Conduct,” above.
“Supportive Measures” are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or Modern’s educational environment, or deter Prohibited Conduct.
Supportive measures may include one or more of the following:
- Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments
- Modifications of work or class schedules,
- Campus escort services
- Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties
- Changes in work or housing locations
- Leaves of absence
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
- Other similar measures
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures and shall consult with appropriate supervisors as necessary. Modern must maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the Complainant or Respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the recipient to provide the supportive measures. For example, if a change in housing locations is determined to be necessary, the Title IX Coordinator may have to share some information with individuals responsible for Housing assignments.
If, after receipt of a complaint and an individualized safety and risk assessment, Modern determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of Prohibited Conduct justifies removal of a Respondent, Modern may remove the Respondent on an emergency basis. A removed Respondent will receive notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal. Threats must pose more than a generalized, hypothetical, or speculative risk to health and safety for emergency removal to be appropriate.
Non-student employees may be placed on administrative leave during the grievance process. Placement on such leave is not subject to challenge.
Amnesty for Students
To encourage reporting for students, the College will not pursue disciplinary sanctions regarding underage drinking or illegal drug use during the course of a reported incident of Prohibited Conduct. However, the College may require such students to undergo a drug or alcohol assessment or participate in counseling or other educational programs if appropriate.
After the initial discussion with the Complainant described in Section [x] above, the Complainant will be asked whether they would like to file a Formal Complaint. “Formal Complaint” is defined as a document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging Prohibited Conduct against a Respondent and requesting that Modern investigate the allegation of Prohibited Conduct. A Formal Complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information found above. Additionally, a “document filed by a complainant” can be in the form of an electronic submission (such as by electronic mail or through an online portal provided for this purpose by Modern) that contains the Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the Complainant is the person filing the formal complaint.
If the Title IX Coordinator initiates or signs a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will not be considered a “Complainant” as that term is defined in this Policy.
Modern’s Informal Resolution process involves informal consultation to find an acceptable resolution for both parties without invoking the full investigation and adjudication process described below. The informal process may include counseling the Complainant on ways to address the Respondent directly regarding their behavior if the Complainant is comfortable doing so, counseling of the Respondent by the Title IX Coordinator on changing their behavior, a facilitated discussion between the Complainant and Respondent, a mediated agreement between the Complainant and Respondent, or any other informal process that is appropriate under the circumstances.
The informal resolution process is voluntary. Modern will not require that a complainant and/or respondent participate in informal resolution and waive the right to a full investigation and adjudication of formal complaints of Prohibited Conduct in order to enroll or continue to be enrolled, or be employed or continue to be employed, or enjoy any other right granted by Modern. The parties may choose to pursue a formal resolution and end the informal resolution process at any time prior to reaching a determination of responsibility.
Modern is responsible for taking the following steps prior to facilitating an informal resolution:
- Providing written notice to the parties of:
- the allegations,
- the requirements of the informal resolution process including the circumstances under which it precludes the parties from resuming a formal complaint arising from the same allegations, provided, however, that at any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process with respect to the formal complaint, and
- any consequences resulting from participating in the informal resolution process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared;
- Obtaining the parties’ voluntary, written consent to the informal resolution process.
Modern will not offer or facilitate an informal resolution process to resolve allegations that an employee engaged in Title IX Sexual Harassment of a student.
The Complainant and Respondent are permitted to bring an advisor of their choosing to any discussions as part of the informal resolution process. An advisor may offer their assistance to the Complainant or Respondent, but may not speak for them during the process.
Investigation Process for Formal Complaints
A party may choose to resolve a Formal Complaint through the investigation process, provided that the Title IX Coordinator has conducted an initial assessment and determined that the jurisdiction requirements listed in the “Scope of the Policy” have been met, that Prohibited Conduct may have occurred, and that an investigation is appropriate.
Modern may also choose to move forward with a Formal Complaint signed by the Title IX Coordinator, as described above.
The investigation process will begin with the Title IX Coordinator appointing one or more investigators. An investigator will begin the full investigation promptly, and will conduct the full investigation in a manner that is complete, thorough and impartial.
Modern will provide to all known parties written notice of:
- Modern’s grievance process
- The Identities of the parties Involved
- The specific section(s) of Modern policies that are reported to have been violated;
- The approximate date, time, and location of each reported incident;
- The presumption that the Respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process;
- The parties’ right to have an advisor of their choice, who may be an attorney;
- The parties’ right to inspect and review evidence; and
- The date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all hearings, investigative interviews or other meetings to which the party is invited, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate.
If, during the course of the investigation, additional allegations of Prohibited Conduct or the violation of other policies are reported or otherwise discovered, the parties will receive notice of these additional allegations that were not included in the original notice. The obligation to notify the parties of the allegations being investigated is an ongoing one.
- Grounds for Dismissal of Formal Complaint
If, after the initial review of the Formal Complaint by the Title IX Coordinator, it is determined that any of the following conditions exist, Modern will dismiss the Formal Complaint from the hearing process outlined in this Policy:
- The alleged conduct, if it occurred as alleged, would not constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment as defined in this policy;
- The complainant was not participating In or attempting to participate In the Modern’s education program or activity at the time the Formal Complaint was filed;
- The alleged conduct, if it occurred as alleged, did not occur in Modern’s educational programs or activities, or;
- The alleged conduct, if it occurred as alleged, did not occur against a person in the United States.
Although prior determinations on each of these issues were likely made earlier in the process, additional information may be uncovered during an investigation that requires them to be reconsidered. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for reconsidering these issues at any point during the processes outlined in the Policy, which may result in the report of misconduct being referred to Human Resources, the Provost, or Student Development, and/or being dismissed from the Grievance Procedures outlined in this Policy.
The Title IX Coordinator may, in their sole discretion, also dismiss a formal complaint or allegations therein from the hearing process if:
- A complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein;
- The respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by Modern, or;
- Specific circumstances prevent Modern from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.
Modern will send written notice of the dismissal from the hearing process and the reasons for dismissal simultaneously to all parties. When a formal complaint or allegations are dismissed from the hearing process, they will be handled according to the Investigative Process as described below. Both parties will continue to be eligible for supportive measures as determined appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator under the circumstances.
- Investigative Interviews and Gathering of Evidence
During the investigation, both the Complainant and Respondent may present statements, witnesses and other evidence to the investigator. The Complainant, the Respondent, and witnesses with relevant information may be interviewed as part of the full investigation. The interviews will be supplemented by the gathering of any physical, documentary, or other evidence, as appropriate and available. Follow-up interviews may be conducted by the investigator as needed. The full investigation is designed to provide a fair and reliable gathering of the facts.
Modern will provide an equal opportunity for the parties to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.
Modern will not restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence. A party’s communication with a witness or potential witness is considered part of a party’s right to meaningfully participate in furthering the party’s interests in the case, and not an “interference” with the investigation. However, where a party’s conduct toward a witness might constitute “tampering” (for instance, by attempting to alter or prevent a witness’s testimony), such conduct may be prohibited as retaliation.
Modern will not access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the professional’s or paraprofessional’s capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which are made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party, unless Modern obtains that party’s voluntary, written consent.
The parties will have an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in a Formal Complaint, including the evidence upon which Modern does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a party or other source. Modern will not consider or provide for inspection and review evidence which Modern knows was illegally or unlawfully created or obtained. Modern may impose on the parties and the party’s advisors restrictions or require a non-disclosure agreement not to disseminate any of the evidence subject to inspection and review.
Prior to completion of the investigative report, Modern will send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, the evidence subject to inspection and review in an electronic format or a hard copy, and the parties will have 10 days to submit a written response, which the investigator will consider prior to completion of the investigative report.
All evidence subject to the parties’ inspection and review will be available at any hearing to give each party equal opportunity to refer to such evidence during the hearing, including for purposes of cross-examination.
Modern will attempt to complete most investigations within 60 business days. The timeframe for investigations will begin upon filing of a Formal Complaint and will conclude upon dissemination of the investigative report to the parties. Investigations may be delayed, and timeframes for investigations may be extended, for good cause and with written notice provided to Complainants and Respondents including the reason for the delay or extension. Good cause may include considerations such as the absence of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement or civil rights enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities.
- Investigative Report
The investigator will prepare an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence and send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, the investigative report in an electronic format or a hard copy, for their review and written response. If a party disagrees with an investigator’s determination about relevance, the party may argue relevance in their written response, during the party’s pre-hearing conference, and/or to the decision-maker at the hearing.
If the report involves multiple complainants, multiple respondents, or both, Modern may issue a single investigative report.
If a party, after receiving and reviewing the investigation report, believes that an incorrect determination was made pursuant to the section regarding “Grounds for Dismissal of Formal Complaint,” above, that party may submit to the Title IX Coordinator a written appeal of the decision that explains the basis for their objection within 3 calendar days of receiving the investigation report. The non-appealing party will be given 3 calendar days in which to provide a written response. The appeal will then be considered by an appropriately trained staff member designated by the Title IX Coordinator, and an appeal decision will be communicated in writing, to the parties, their advisors, and the Title IX Coordinator within 3 calendar days.
In cases where there is an appeal at this juncture, the parties will have 10 calendar days from the date of the appeal decision to submit a written response to the Investigation Report. The written appeal and appeal decision will be included for consideration in the resolution process.
- Equitable Treatment
Complainants and respondents are eligible for Supportive Measures as defined within this Policy. Modern will not impose disciplinary sanctions against a respondent unless a determination of responsibility for Prohibited Conduct has been made against the respondent.
Modern will conduct an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence – including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. Modern will not require, allow, rely upon, evaluate, or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected by a legally recognized privilege (e.g., attorney client), unless the person holding such privilege has waived the privilege.
- Bias and Conflicts of Interest
Any individual designated by Modern as a Title IX Coordinator, investigator, decision-maker, or informal resolution process facilitator, must not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally, or for or against an individual complainant or respondent. The following will not be considered evidence of bias:
- The Title IX Coordinator’s initiation of a formal complaint, or;
- An individual’s decision that allegations warrant an investigation.
Modern will apply an objective (whether a reasonable person would believe bias exists), common sense approach to evaluating whether a particular person serving in a Title IX role is biased, and will exercise caution not to apply generalizations that might unreasonably conclude that bias exists. An individual’s current job title, professional qualifications, past experience, identity, or sex will not, alone, indicate bias.
Use of trauma-informed practices will not be considered evidence of bias when such practices do not:
- Rely on sex stereotypes;
- Apply generalizations to allegations in specific cases;
- Cause loss of impartiality, and;
- Prejudge of the facts at issue.
- Presumption of Non-Responsibility
There is a presumption that a respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process.
- Standard of Evidence
The standard of evidence for review of Formal Complaints under this Policy is preponderance of the evidence. “Preponderance of the evidence” is a determination based on facts that are more likely true than not. In the preponderance of the evidence standard, where the evidence in a case is “equal” or “level” or “in equipoise,” the preponderance of the evidence standard results in a finding that the respondent is not responsible.
The burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility rest on Modern and not on the parties.
- Consolidation of Formal Complaints
Modern may consolidate Formal Complaints as to allegations of Prohibited Conduct against more than one respondent, or by more than one complainant against one or more respondents, or by one party against the other party, where the allegations of Prohibited Conduct rise out of the same facts or circumstances. The same facts and circumstances means that the multiple complainants’ allegations are so intertwined that their allegations directly relate to all the parties.
- Advisors during the Investigation
Each party will have the right to bring an advisor of their choosing to any meetings or discussions relating to the investigation of a Formal Complaint. The advisor may advise the party directly and ask clarifying questions, but may not speak for the party or disrupt the investigation. If a party’s advisor refuses to comply with restrictions set by Modern, Modern may require that the party use a different Advisor. This provision applies to all parts of the grievance proceeding except for the live hearing described in the section entitled “Hearing,” below. For information about the role of Advisors during the live hearing, see the section entitled, “Advisors at Hearing.”
When the investigation is concluded, and the parties have had the opportunity to review the evidence and the opportunity to respond in writing to the draft investigation report as described in the section entitled “Investigation Report,” above, Modern will facilitate a live hearing during which each party’s advisor will be permitted to ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant question and follow-up questions, including those questions that challenge credibility. The Title IX Coordinator will appoint a person to serve as a trained decision-maker during the hearing. The decision-maker will not be the Title IX Coordinator or the individual who investigated the Formal Complaint. The decision-maker may also ask questions of the parties and witnesses.
Hearings will be conducted with all parties physically present in the same geographic location or, at the discretion of Modern, any or all parties, witnesses, and other participants may appear at the live hearing virtually, with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other.
Hearing witnesses will only participate in the Hearing when they are answering questions. They will not be permitted to observe or otherwise participate in the Hearing unless they are serving as an Advisor, at outlined below in “Advisors at Hearings.”
Modern will create an audio or audiovisual recording, or transcript, of any live hearing and make it available to the parties for inspection and review.
- Pre-Hearing Conference
Each party will have their own Pre-Hearing Conference with the decision-maker prior to the hearing, which will be schedule no less than 10 days after the investigator has sent the investigative report to each party and the party’s advisor. The Title IX Coordinator or decision-maker will communicate to the parties and their advisors the date, time, and format for their Pre-Hearing Conference. The decision-maker and the advisor must be in attendance. While the parties are encouraged to attend, they are not required to do so.
During the Pre-Hearing Conference, the advisor must share with the decision-maker their list of witnesses to appear at the hearing, the identity of any requested witnesses that were not questioned during the investigation, the request for any new evidence to be considered that was not submitted previously to the investigators, and the availability of the advisor and the party for hearing dates.
Evidence and witnesses may only be presented at the hearing if they were submitted to the investigators and made available to the parties for review, unless they were unavailable at the time of the investigation or the relevance was unknown until the investigation report was submitted. The decision-maker will address any requests to present new evidence and new witnesses at the Pre-Hearing Conference.
The advisor is offered the opportunity to discuss lines of questioning with the decision-maker at the Pre-Hearing Conference to obtain guidance from the decision-maker on relevancy prior to the hearing. Additionally, the decision-maker will discuss the expectations and guidelines for appropriate behavior and decorum during the hearing.
After the conclusion of the Pre-Hearing Conferences, the Title IX Coordinator or decision-maker will provide each party and their advisor with written notice of the date, time, and manner for the hearing, which will typically occur no less than 10 days after the conclusion of the final Pre-Hearing Conference.
- Advisors at Hearings
In order to question a party or witness at a hearing, a party must be accompanied by an Advisor. Parties will not be permitted to conduct cross-examination on their own. Modern will not limit the choice or presence of any advisor for a complainant or respondent, and the advisor of their choice may be, but is not required to be, an attorney. If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, Modern will provide without fee or charge to that party, an advisor of Modern’s choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party.
At the live hearing, the decision-maker will permit each party’s advisor to ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. Cross-examination at the live hearing will be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the party’s advisor of choice and never by a party personally. All questioning at the live hearing must be relevant, respectful, and non-abusive. No party will be “yelled” at or asked questions in an abusive or intimidating manner. If a party’s advisor refuses to comply with restrictions set by Modern, Modern may require that the party use a different Advisor.
During the hearing, only relevant cross-examination and other questions may be asked of a party or witness.
The following is considered irrelevant:
- Repetition of the same question;
- Evidence that is duplicative of other evidence;
- Questions related to information that is protected by a legally recognized privilege, unless such privilege has been waived by the individual who holds the privilege;
- Questions related to a party’s medical, counseling/psychological, and similar treatment records unless the party has given voluntary, written consent; and
- Questions related to information about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior, unless:
- The information is to offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the Prohibited Conduct, or
- The information concerns specific incidents of the complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent.
Evidence will not be excluded at the hearing solely because it is unduly prejudicial, concerns prior bad acts, or constitutes character evidence. However, the Decision-Maker may objectively evaluate such evidence by analyzing whether that evidence warrants a high or low level of weight or credibility.
During the hearing, the decision-maker will first determine whether a question is relevant, and explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant, before a complainant, respondent, or witness answers a cross-examination or other question.
Modern will not require parties to submit cross-examination questions before they are asked.
Decision-makers are not required to give a lengthy or complicated explanation of a relevancy determination during the hearing. The decision-maker may send to the parties after the hearing any revisions to the decision-maker’s explanation that was provided during the hearing.
- Weighing Credibility
The decision-maker will evaluate all admissible, relevant evidence for weight or credibility. The degree to which any inaccuracy, inconsistency, or implausibility in a narrative provided by a party or witness should affect a determination regarding responsibility is a matter to be decided by the decision-maker, after having the opportunity to ask questions of parties and witnesses, and to observe how parties and witnesses answer the questions posed by the other party. Corroborating evidence is not required.
Credibility determinations are not based solely on observing demeanor, but also are based on other factors (e.g., specific details, inherent plausibility, internal consistency, corroborative evidence). Cross-examination brings those important factors to a decision-maker’s attention.
A party’s answers to cross-examination questions can and should be evaluated by a decision-maker in context, including taking into account that a party may experience stress while trying to answer questions. Parties will not be unfairly judged due to inability to recount each specific detail of an incident in sequence, whether such inability is due to trauma, the effects of drugs or alcohol, or simple fallibility of human memory.
The decision-maker must objectively evaluate all relevant evidence, both inculpatory and exculpatory, and must independently reach a determination regarding responsibility without giving deference to the investigative report. The decision-maker has the right and responsibility to ask questions and elicit information from parties and witnesses on the decision-maker’s own initiative to aid the decision-maker in obtaining relevant evidence, both inculpatory and exculpatory. The parties will have equal rights to present evidence in front of the decision-maker so the decision-maker has the benefit of perceiving each party’s unique perspectives about the evidence.
If a party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the decision-maker will not rely on any statement (factual assertion to prove or disprove the allegations) of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility. The decision-maker will not draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a party’s or witness’ absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.
Video evidence showing the conduct alleged within a Formal Complaint may be considered, even if the party performing said conduct does not submit to cross-examination.
In cases where a respondent’s alleged verbal conduct is, itself, the conduct alleged to be Prohibited Conduct, statements regarding the alleged verbal conduct are not considered the respondent’s statement for purposes of this section. This is because the verbal conduct at issue does not constitute the making of a factual assertion to prove or disprove the allegations of Prohibited Conduct; instead, the verbal conduct constitutes part or all of the underlying allegations of Prohibited Conduct itself.
For example, where a complainant alleges that the respondent said to the complainant: “If you go on a date with me, I’ll give you a higher grade in my class,” and at the live hearing, the respondent does not submit to cross-examination. This Policy does not preclude the decision-maker from relying on the complainant’s testimony (or other evidence) that the respondent said those words to the complainant. The words described by the complainant, allegedly attributed to the respondent, are themselves the misconduct that constitutes Prohibited Conduct under this Policy, and are not the respondent’s “statement” (i.e., the respondent’s intent to make a factual assertion).
Within 21 days of the hearing, the decision-maker will issue a written determination of responsibility. This determination will include:
- Identification of the allegations potentially constituting Prohibited Conduct
- A description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the Formal Complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held;
- Findings of fact supporting the determination;
- Conclusions regarding the application of the Policy to the facts;
- A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including:
- a determination regarding responsibility,
- any disciplinary sanctions Modern imposes on the respondent,
- whether remedies will be provided by Modern to the complainant; and
- Modern’s procedures and permissible bases for the complainant and respondent to appeal
The determination will lay out the evidentiary basis for conclusions reached in the case. The nature of remedies, if any, will not be included within the determination. The determination will be provided to the parties simultaneously.
The determination regarding responsibility becomes final either on the date that the recipient provides the parties with the written determination of the result of the appeal, if an appeal is filed, or if an appeal is not filed, the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely.
- Sanctions and Remedies
Sanctions that may be imposed include:
- Continuing “no contact” orders;
- Trespass order prohibiting presence on campus, at Modern-owned facilities, and/or at campus activities or events;
- Fines/work detail;
- Required counseling;
- Alcohol/drug assessment;
- Restitution/Restoration, where property has been damaged/stolen or funds have been misappropriated;
- Campus Restriction on behavior, access to certain campus facilities, participation in campus activities, housing restrictions, and/or scheduling restrictions;
- Social Probation
- Suspension of student;
- Written warning of employee;
- Suspension of employee, with or without pay;
- Termination of employment; and
- Cancellation of third-party contract.
When a determination of responsibility for Prohibited Conduct has been made, Modern will provide remedies to a complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to Modern’s education program or activity. Such remedies may include the same individualized services provided as supportive measures; however, remedies need not be non-disciplinary or non-punitive and need not avoid burdening the respondent after a determination of responsibility for Prohibited Conduct has been made. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for effective implementation of remedies. Where the final determination has indicated that remedies will be provided, the complainant can then communicate separately with the Title IX Coordinator or their designee to discuss what remedies are appropriately designed to preserve or restore the complainant’s equal access to education. Remedies for a complainant which do not affect the respondent must not be disclosed to the respondent.
Non-Hearing Resolution Process
Where a case has been dismissed from the hearing process, the case will be resolved through a separate procedure depending on the status of the respondent. For student respondents, the case will be resolved through the Student Conduct process. For employee respondents, the case will be resolved through the employee discipline process. For other respondents, the Title IX Coordinator will assign a trained, impartial individual to conduct an investigation (if one has not been completed) and issue a decision based on a preponderance of the evidence, as well as sanctions if appropriate. If an Investigation has been completed under this Policy, that investigation shall suffice In lieu of an Investigation under any other process. The investigation requirements, hearing procedures, and appeals standards under this Policy shall not apply.
In situations where the allegations Involve sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, the parties will continue to have the following rights, regardless of which process is used to resolve the case:
- Continued access to Informal resolution procedures until a determination Is reached as to whether a Policy violation occurred;
- Continued access to supportive measures;
- Procedures are conducted by officials that receive annual training on Issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and on how to conduct an Investigation (and hearing process, If applicable) that protects the safety of the parties and promotes accountability;
- Continued ability to bring an advisor of choice to any related meeting or proceeding, who shall still be subject to the behavioral restrictions In this policy unless granted additional rights under the other procedure;
- Both parties receive simultaneous written notice of the result of the disciplinary proceeding, the procedures for appeal (If any apply under the given procedure) and equal access to such appeal process, any changes to the result, and when such results become final.
Complainants and respondents may appeal the decision-maker’s determination regarding responsibility within five (5) business days from the date of the written determination described in “Decision,” above. Complainants and Respondents may also appeal Modern’s dismissal of a Formal Complaint or any allegations therein within five (5) business days from the date of the written notice of dismissal described in “Grounds for Dismissal of Formal Complaint,” above. Modern will notify the other party in writing when an appeal is filed and implement appeal procedures equally for both parties. The non-appealing party will have five (5) business days from the date of the written notice of the appeal to submit a written statement in response to the appeal.
Grounds for appeal include:
- Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
- New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter;
- The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter; and
- Severity of the sanction is disproportionate to the prohibited conduct.
All grounds for appeal will be available to all parties.
The decision-maker for the appeal will not be the same person as the decision-maker that reached the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal, the investigator, or the Title IX Coordinator. The decision-maker for the appeal will issue a written decision describing the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result and provide the written decision simultaneously to both parties within 10 business days of the date the non-appealing party’s written response to the appeal is received.
Modern will retain all records of each investigation instituted under this policy for seven (7) years. Records will include all documents, recordings, or transcripts from investigations, hearings, appeals, and informal resolutions, as well as records of any actions taken in response to a report or Formal Complaint of Prohibited Conduct, including consideration of supportive measures Modern will document the basis for its conclusion that its response was not deliberately indifferent, and document that it has taken measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to Modern’s education program or activity. If the College does not provide a complainant with supportive measures, then the College will document the reasons why such a response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.
The first date of the first record created by Modern will begin the seven year retention period. Records will be maintained for all investigations including investigations that have been dismissed, completed, or otherwise resolved.
Modern will also maintain and publish on Modern’s website training materials of employees who serve as Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and persons who facilitate informal resolutions.
Education and Training
Modern conducts annual training on sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking for all faculty, staff, and Board of Trustee members. Students are provided with various training opportunities, and all student athletes receiving training on Title IX.
The Title IX Coordinator, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process, will receive training on the definition of sexual harassment, the scope of Modern’s education program or activity, how to conduct an investigation and grievance process including hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes, and how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias. This includes how to apply the definitions with respect to consent (or the absence or negation of consent) consistently, impartially, and in accordance with this policy.
Investigators will receive training on issues of relevance to create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence.
Decision-makers will receive training on any technology to be used at a live hearing and on issues of relevance of questions and evidence, including when questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant.
Any materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process, must not rely on sex stereotypes and must promote impartial investigations and adjudications of formal complaints of sexual harassment.
Training materials for training under this section will be made publicly available through Modern’s website. Published training materials will be up-to-date and reflect the latest training provided.
The Title IX Coordinator, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process, will receive annual training on issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and on how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.