What is it like to go through an investigation?

After you file a complaint, notice is sent to you and any other parties. This notice will indicate who will conduct your investigation. Investigations under the TCC Title IX Policy are conducted by independent investigators external to the College. Investigations under Pitzer’s Discrimination and Harassment Policies depend on the status of the respondent. For students, external investigators are used; for faculty, other faculty members serve as investigators; for staff, internal or external investigators may be used.

Once the investigator is appointed, you will be contacted to schedule an interview. In this interview, the investigators will ask you for your in-depth and detailed account of the events at issue. They will also ask you about relevant context to those incidents, potential witnesses you would like to name, documentary evidence you may have, and they may ask you what you would like the result of the investigation to be. 

Following that interview, the investigators will take steps to follow up on everything you told them, including gathering relevant evidence, speaking with witnesses, and speaking with the respondent. You may be asked to participate in another interview, so you have the opportunity to respond to any new information or evidence the investigators found during the course of the investigation. The investigators will then write an investigative report. Under the TCC Title IX Policy your case will proceed to a live hearing. Under Pitzer’s Discrimination and Harassment Policies, student cases will proceed to a live hearing, while staff and faculty cases will be decided based on the report. Arrangements can be made so you do not have to see the other party during the hearing or at any other time in the process.

After the hearing (or the decision based on the report for staff and faculty cases under Pitzer’s Discrimination and Harassment Policies), both parties will simultaneously receive the written outcome decision, and if there is a policy violation found, this will include sanctions.

There is a right to appeal on limited grounds under each policy for students, staff, and faculty. Both sides have a right to appeal and will receive simultaneous written notification of the appeal outcome.

What are my options after reporting?

If you make a report, you will be provided with information about your options for proceeding. These options may include:

  • Filing a Formal Complaint: 
    • If the incident(s) you are reporting occurred on campus on or after August 14, 2020 and otherwise meets the definition of an offense under Title IX, your Complaint will go to an investigation and hearing under the TCC Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy/Grievance Procedures. In order to proceed under the TCC Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy, you will be required to file a formal complaint, which is a signed statement of the facts of your report.
  • Alternative Resolution: You may opt to pursue an alternative resolution to your report, which might be a resolution with measures agreed to by you and the respondent, in consultation with appropriate College officials, restorative justice conferencing, or other form of mediation (direct or with shuttled communication).
  • Supportive Measures Only: You may choose not to proceed with any kind of resolution involving the respondent and only request accommodations and supportive measures. These measures can continue as long as you are a student or employee of the College and can be altered over time. However, these measures can only apply to you and cannot alter any other student or employee’s ability to access the College’s programs and facilities. For example, if you and the respondent are in a course together, you may request that the College move you to another course, but the College cannot move the respondent to another course without a formal or alternative resolution.

In most situations, you will be given these options. However, there are some reports that make the College aware of an ongoing risk to the physical safety of students, faculty, and/or staff. In these situations, the College will assess the risk and may decide to proceed with a formal process. As the reporting party, you may choose to remain involved as a complainant or witness or you may choose not to participate at all. Note that it often is difficult for the College to compile sufficient evidence to find a policy violation without the participation of the person or persons who directly experienced the alleged misconduct.

What happens when I make a report?

When you make a report, the Title IX Office will follow up with you to talk about it. You may specify who you’d prefer to speak within your report. You have the right to be accompanied by a support person or advisor for this conversation. During the conversation, you will be asked to provide basic information about what you are reporting. You will also be asked about your physical, emotional, and mental well-being and whether there are supportive measures that might help you, including but not limited to academic accommodations, housing changes, mental health services, and medical services. You do not need to disclose any details or proceed with the official process to receive supportive measures. During this conversation, you will also be given information that describes your rights as a reporting party and your options for proceeding with official action, alternative resolutions, or restorative justice resolutions. In that conversation or at any time afterward, you may make a decision about how you want the College to handle your report.

Can I report anonymously?

Yes, you can submit an anonymous report via any of the reporting options above. However, anonymous reports may limit the College’s ability to respond. This is because it may be difficult for the College to compile sufficient evidence to find a policy violation without the account or evidence of the person or persons who directly experienced the alleged misconduct. To ensure effective action can be taken on your report, we encourage you to report using your name. Note that you are protected from retaliation under the College’s policies, and support measures can be implemented and updated as needed.