Sexual Misconduct Policy

Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy1

I. Purpose and Scope of Policy

A. Statement of Institutional Values

Sexual misconduct of any form is a violation of the rights and dignity of those subjected to the misconduct. When any member of our community engages in an act of sexual misconduct, that person exhibits a fundamental failure to act with integrity and to recognize and respect the intrinsic worth of another. Acts of sexual misconduct, as defined in section IV of this Policy, are contrary to the College’s educational mission and values, are harmful to others, and will not be tolerated at Emerson College (“Emerson” or the College”).

All members of the Emerson community should be free from sexual misconduct in the classroom; the social, recreational and residential environment; and the workplace. The College seeks to foster a climate free from sexual misconduct through a coordinated education and prevention program, the promulgation of clear and effective policies, as well as investigative and grievance procedures that are prompt, equitable, and accessible to all. In response to any reported sexual misconduct, Emerson will take all appropriate steps to eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.

In order to promote a culture where members of the College community respect themselves and one another, and to provide for the safety and security of our community, the College expects all community members to take action to prevent acts of sexual misconduct. Creating a safe campus environment is the responsibility of all members of the College community, both individually and collectively.

In order to encourage reporting of sexual misconduct, the College will actively educate the college community, respond to all allegations promptly, provide interim measures to address safety and emotional well-being, and act in a manner that recognizes the dignity of the individuals involved.

In order to achieve equitable results, the College will carefully review and/or investigate all reports and complaints of sexual misconduct with an earnest intent to understand the perspective and experiences of each individual involved, and provide for fair and impartial evaluation and resolution.

B. Purpose of Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide the Emerson community with a clearly articulated set of behavioral standards, common understandings of definitions and key concepts, and descriptions of prohibited conduct. The policy applies to all College community members, including students, faculty, and staff. It is intended to protect and guide students, faculty and staff who have been affected by sexual misconduct, whether as a Complainant, a Respondent, or a third party.

When used in this policy, a “Complainant” refers to the individual who believes herself, himself or their self to have been the subject of sexual misconduct. A “Respondent” refers to the individual who has been accused of sexual misconduct. A “third party” refers to any other participant in the process, including a witness to the incident or an individual who makes a report on behalf of someone else. “Employee” generally refers to both staff and faculty members, unless otherwise specified. A “report” refers to any incident or concern regarding sexual misconduct that is reported to someone designated by the College as a campus security authority (“CSA”). A “complaint” is an allegation of sexual misconduct filed against a student, faculty, or staff member that initiates the appropriate disciplinary process. A “College community member” includes students, employees, visitors, and independent contractors.

In addition to defining sexual harassment and the forms of sexual misconduct that violate the standards of our community, this policy will also:

  • Identify resources and support for all College community members;
  • Identify Emerson’s Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Coordinators, the Title IX Team and their roles;
  • Provide information about where a College community member can obtain support or access resources in a confidential manner;
  • Provide information about how a College community member can make a report or complaint on-campus or off-campus; and,
  • Provide information about how a report or complaint against a College community member will be investigated, evaluated and resolved. See Appendix A: Process for Resolving Complaints of Sexual Misconduct Against an Emerson Student and Appendix B: Process or Resolving Complaints of Sexual Misconduct Against a Staff Employee or a Faculty Member.

C. Scope

As stated above, this policy applies to all College community members, including students, employees, visitors, and independent contractors. Any individual, whether or not affiliated with Emerson, may make a report under this Policy alleging that a College community member has violated this Policy. When used in this policy, “employee”generally refers to both staff and faculty members. However, different complaint processes will apply depending on the role of the Respondent (student, non-faculty employees, and faculty members). See Appendices A and B. Vendors, independent contractors, visitors, and others who conduct business with the College or on College property are also expected to comply with this policy.

All College community members are responsible for their actions and behavior, both on campus and off campus. Members of the Emerson community have a responsibility to adhere to College policies and local, state, and federal law. Therefore, this policy applies both to on-campus and off-campus conduct, including, but not limited to, off-campus conduct that has an actual or potential adverse impact on any member of the College community or the College.

The College will provide resource options and respond promptly and equitably to all allegations of sexual misconduct involving a College community member. The College will engage in a Title IX review during which it is committed to maintaining fairness for all parties and balancing the needs and interests of individuals with the safety of the community.

D. Coordination with Non-Discrimination Policy

Emerson recognizes that harassment related to an individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression (hereinafter collectively“gender related status”) can occur in conjunction with misconduct related to an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, disability, or any other legally protected characteristics (“protected characteristics”). Targeting individuals on the basis of any protected characteristics violates Emerson’s community standards and College Policy. When misconduct relates to both a person’s gender related status, and other protected characteristics the College will coordinate the investigation and resolution efforts (see Section IX, Resolution Process for Complaints) to address any and all harassment and discrimination.

II. Notice of Non-Discrimination

Emerson is committed to establishing and maintaining an environment free of all forms of harassment and discrimination for all College community members.

Emerson College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or age in its programs or activities. The following person has been designated by Emerson to respond to inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Alexa Jackson, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
120 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116-4624
(617) 824-8580

Sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment as defined in this policy, is a form of sex discrimination that unjustly deprives a person of equal treatment. It is prohibited by Title IX, a federal law that provides that:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Sexual harassment is also prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 151B, Massachusetts Fair Education Practices Act, Massachusetts General Laws 151 C, Section 2(g) , and other applicable state and federal statutes.

This policy prohibits sexual misconduct committed by any College community members, regardless of their gender related status. This policy also prohibits gender-based harassment that does not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

For assistance related to civil rights, students may visit the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) website at http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm which provides information regarding the address and phone number of the OCR office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.

III. College Statement on Privacy

Emerson is committed to maintaining the privacy of all individuals involved in a report of sexual misconduct. In any Title IX review of a report or complaint of sexual misconduct, every effort will be made to protect the privacy and interests of the individuals involved in a manner consistent with the College’s need to thoroughly review the report. Such a review is essential to protecting the safety of the Complainant, the Respondent, and the broader campus community and to maintaining an environment free from sexual discrimination.

At all times, the privacy of the parties will be respected and safeguarded. Information related to a report of misconduct will be shared only with those College employees who “need to know” in order to assist in the investigation and/or resolution of the complaint.

If a member of the College community wishes to obtain confidential assistance through on-campus or off-campus resources without making a report to the College, the College has identified and has made Confidential Resources available on-campus. See Resources at Part V, Section C. In sum, if a Complainant requests that her/his identity remain confidential, the College will balance this request with its responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all College community members including the Complainant, its ability to conduct an investigation if confidentiality is maintained and its responsibility under certain requirements imposed by state and federal law. The College will seek to respect the request of the Complainant and where it cannot do so, it will consult with the Complainant and keep her/him informed about the chosen course of action.

If the College concludes that a report of sexual misconduct represents an immediate threat to the College campus community, the College will issue a timely notice of the conduct to the College community, in accordance with the College’s Timely Warning Policy, if deemed appropriate and necessary to protect the health or safety of the campus community. This notice will not contain any biographical or other identifying information of the Complainant.

All Title IX investigative and sanction proceedings, and notices or statements issued by the College will comply with the requirements of FERPA, the Clery Act, Title IX, and College policy. No information shall be released from such proceedings by the College except as required or permitted by law or College policy.

IV. Prohibited Conduct and Definitions

Emerson prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is a broad term that includes but is not limited to sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, stalking, relationship violence, cyber-stalking, bullying and cyber-bullying, aiding or facilitating the commission of a violation, and retaliation.

Consistent with the values of an educational and employment environment free from harassment based on sex, the College also prohibits gender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex, gender identity, gender expression or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature, and regardless of whether the gender-based harassment rises to the level of violating the law.

A. Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment consists of two basic types:

  1. Intimidating, Hostile, or Demeaning Environment - Any unwelcome action, verbal expression, usually repeated or persistent, or series of actions or expressions that have either the intent, or are reasonably perceived as having the effect, of creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning educational, employment, or living environment for a student or College employee, either by being sexual in nature or by focusing on a person's gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. An intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment is defined as one that is so severe, pervasive, or objectively offensive that it interferes with a person's ability to learn, exist in living conditions, work (if employed by the College), or have access and opportunity to participate in all and any aspect of campus life.

    A single or isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to provide a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical.
  2. Quid Pro Quo Harassment - Any action in which submission to conduct of a sexual nature is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's education, grades, recommendations, or extra-curricular or employment opportunities.

In either type of sexual harassment noted in 1) or 2) above, the effect will be evaluated based on the standard of a reasonable person in the position of the Complainant.

B. Forms of Prohibited Sexual Harassment

In some cases, sexual harassment is obvious and may involve an overt action, a threat or reprisal. In other instances, sexual harassment is subtle and indirect, with a coercive aspect that is unstated.

Sexual harassment can take many forms:

  • It can occur between persons of equal power status (e.g., student to student, staff to staff, faculty member to faculty member, visitor/contracted employee to staff) or between persons of unequal power status (e.g. supervisor to subordinate, faculty member to student, coach to student-athlete, student leader to first-year student). Although sexual harassment often occurs in the context of an exploitation of power by the individual with the greater power, a person who appears to have less power in a relationship can also commit sexual harassment (e.g., student harassing faculty member).
  • It can be committed by an individual or may be a result of the collective actions of an organization or group.
  • It can be committed against an individual, an organization or a group.
  • It can be committed by an acquaintance, a stranger, or someone with whom the Complainant has a personal, intimate or sexual relationship.
  • It can occur by or against an individual of any sex, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.
  • It does NOT have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents.

Examples of behavior that might be considered harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Unwanted sexual innuendo, propositions, sexual attention or suggestive comments and gestures; humor and jokes about sex or gender-specific traits; sexual slurs or derogatory language directed at another person’s sexuality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or gender expression; insults and threats based on sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or gender expression; and other oral, written or electronic communications of a sexual nature that an individual communicates is unwanted and unwelcome;
  • Written graffiti or the display or distribution of sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials; sexually charged name-calling; sexual rumors or ratings of sexual activity/performance; or the circulation, display, or creation of e-mails or Web sites of a sexual nature.
  • Display or circulation of written materials or pictures degrading to an individual(s) or gender group where such display is not directly related to an educational/pedagogical, artistic, or work goal. When an instructor determines it is necessary to include such materials in classroom instruction, discussion, or required studies/reading, it is expected that the instructor will offer prior warnings concerning the intent to display or introduce such explicit materials. Instructors are encouraged to attempt to accomodate individuals who find such materials upsetting or triggering by allowing for alternative means of fulfilling course requirements.
  • Unwelcome and objectively inappropriate physical contact or suggestive body language, such as touching, patting, pinching, hugging, kissing, or brushing against an individual’s body;
  • Undue and unwanted attention, such as repeated flirting, objectively inappropriate or repetitive compliments about clothing or physical attributes, staring, or making sexually oriented gestures;
  • Physical coercion or pressure of an individual to engage in sexual activity or punishment for a refusal to respond or comply with sexual advances;
  • Change of academic or employment responsibilities (increase in difficulty or decrease of responsibility) based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientiation or gender expression;
  • Use of a position of power or authority to: (1) threaten or punish, either directly or by implication, for refusing to tolerate harassment, for refusing to submit to sexual activity, or for reporting harassment; or (2) promise rewards in return for sexual favors;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Abusive, disruptive or harassing behavior, whether verbal or physical, which endangers another's mental or physical health, including but not limited to threats, acts of violence, or assault based on gender related status and/or in the context of intimate partner violence;
  • Demeaning verbal or other expressive behavior of a sexual or gendered nature in instructional settings; and
  • Acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping. Harassment for exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic for one’s sex, or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity, regardless of actual or perceived gender related status of the harasser or her/his/their target.

C. Additional Forms of Prohibited Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct may vary in its severity and includes a range of behaviors. The following descriptions represent sexual behaviors that violate Emerson’s community standards and another person’s rights, dignity and integrity.

  • Sexual Violence: Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. This includes rape, sexual assault, battery and sexual coercion. Sexual violence may involve individuals who are known to one another or have an intimate and/or sexual relationship (relationship violence), or may involve individuals not known to one another. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Having or attempting to have sexual intercourse with another individual without consent. Sexual intercourse includes vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, with a body part or object, or oral copulation by mouth-to-genital contact.
    • Having or attempting to have sexual contact of any kind with another individual without consent. Sexual contact includes kissing, touching the intimate parts of another, causing the other to touch one's intimate parts, or disrobing of another without permission. Intimate parts may include the breasts, genitals, buttocks, mouth or any other part of the body that is touched in a sexual manner.
  • Relationship violence including domestic and dating violence: Relationship violence is any intentionally violent or controlling behavior by a person who is currently or was previously in a relationship with the victim. Relationship violence includes actual or threatened physical injury, sexual assault, psychological abuse, economic control, and/or progressive social isolation. Relationship violence occurs in all types of relationships. Relationship violence can include, but is not limited to:
    • physical or emotional abuse
    • controlling/possessive behavior
    • making you feel like: you are walking on eggshells; you have to call your friends in secret; you must dress a certain way
  • Sexual Exploitation: An act or acts committed through non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person's sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage or any other non-legitimate purpose. The act or acts of sexual exploitation are prohibited even if the behavior does not constitute another sexual misconduct offense. Sexual exploitation may involve individuals who are known to one another, have an intimate or sexual relationship, and/or may involve individuals not known to one another. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Observing another individual's nudity or sexual activity or allowing another to observe consensual sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved;
    • Non-consensual streaming of images, photography, video or audio recording of sexual activity or nudity, or distribution of such without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved;
    • Photographing or taping someone (via audio, video or otherwise) involved in sexual activity, sexual intercourse/penetration, or in a state of undress, without their knowledge or consent. Even if a person consented to the sexual activity or intercourse/penetration, photographing or taping someone without their knowledge goes beyond the boundaries of that consent. The dissemination of photographers or video/audio or someone involved in sexual activity, intercourse/penetration, or in a state of undress, without their knowledge or consent constitutes a separate and additional act of sexual exploitation;
    • Prostituting another individual;
    • Voyeurism, which is the act of observing someone involved in sexual contact/activity or in a state of undress, without their knowledge or consent.
    • Knowingly exposing another individual to a sexually transmitted disease or virus without his or her knowledge; and
    • Inducing incapacitation, including by providing someone with alcohol or drugs, with or without that person’s knowledge, for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity.
  • Stalking: A course of conduct involving more than one instance of unwanted attention, harassment, physical or verbal contact, or any other course of conduct directed at an individual that could be reasonably regarded as likely to alarm or place that individual in fear of harm or injury, including physical, emotional, or psychological harm. This includes cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass or make unwelcome contact with another person. Stalking and cyber-stalking may involve individuals who are known to one another or have an intimate or sexual relationship, or may involve individuals not known to one another.
  • Aiding or Facilitating Sexual Misconduct: Promoting or encouraging the commission of any behavior prohibited under this policy. Aiding or facilitating may also include failing to take action to prevent an imminent act when it is reasonably prudent and safe to do so. Actions that can be taken to prevent sexual misconduct may include direct intervention, calling Emerson Police or local law enforcement, or seeking assistance from a person in authority.
  • Retaliation: Acting or attempting to retaliate or seek retribution against a Complainant, Respondent, or any individual or group of individuals involved in the investigation and/or resolution of an allegation of sexual misconduct. Retaliation can be committed by any individual or group of individuals, not just a Respondent or Complainant. Retaliation may include abuse or violence, other forms of harassment, and/or making false statements about another person in print or verbally with intent to harm their reputation.

D. Statement on Consent, Coercion, Incapacitation, and Alcohol

Consent to engage in sexual activity must be knowing and voluntary and must exist from the beginning to the end of each instance of sexual activity and for each form of sexual contact. Consent to one form of sexual contact does not constitute consent to any other forms of sexual contact. Further, consent to engage in a particular sexual act at any given time is not indefinite or ongoing consent to engage in that same act, or any other sexual act, on other occasions. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be mutually understandable communication that clearly indicates willingness to engage in sexual activity each time such activity occurs.

Consent consists of an outward demonstration indicating that an individual has freely chosen to engage in sexual activity. Consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage freely in sexual activity. Relying on non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstandings.

Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, lack of resistance or lack of an active response alone. A person who does not physically resist or verbally refuse sexual activity is not necessarily giving consent. In the absence of an outward demonstration, consent does not exist.

Consent cannot be obtained from the use or threat of physical force, intimidation, or coercion, or any other factor that would eliminate an individual’s ability to exercise his or her own free will to choose whether or not to have sexual contact. Coercion includes the use of pressure and/or oppressive behavior, including express or implied threats of harm, severe and/or pervasive emotional intimidation, which places an individual in fear of immediate or future harm or physical injury or causes a person to engage in unwelcome sexual activity. A person’s words or conduct amount to coercion if they wrongfully impair the other’s freedom of will and ability to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity. If sexual acts were preceded by threats or coercion, there is no consent.

Consent may be withdrawn by either party at any time. Withdrawal of consent must also be outwardly demonstrated by words or actions that clearly indicate a desire to end sexual activity. Once withdrawal of consent has been expressed, sexual activity must cease.

A lack of consent may be indicated in a variety of ways. First, a verbal - "no" - even if it sounds indecisive or insincere, must be accepted as a lack of consent. Next, if consent is requested verbally, the absence of any explicit affirmative verbal response constitutes lack of consent. In addition, if at any time a person’s words, actions, or demeanor suggest that she/he/they are hesitant, confused or uncertain about engaging in sexual activity, the parties should stop and obtain verbal consent before continuing sexual activity.

Certain individuals are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, because of their age or mental limitations, regardless of whether their words or actions indicate such consent. Members of the Emerson community are expected to know, and comply with the statutory age of consent and any other applicable laws regarding sexual activity in any and all jurisdictions where they may reside or travel. For example, in the state of Massachusetts, consent to sexual acts can not be legally given by minors under the age of 16. Engaging in sex with a minor is a criminal act punishable by a substantial prison sentence which can be up to and including life, and all members of the community must not engage in any sexual activity with minors and must comply with their legal obligation to report any knowledge of child abuse.

An individual who is considered legally incapacitated and unable to consent to sexual activity if she/he/they is not able to make rational, reasonable judgments and therefore is incapable of giving consent. Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent, because the individual is mentally and/or physically helpless due to drug or alcohol consumption, either voluntarily or involuntarily, or the individual is unconscious, asleep or otherwise unaware that the sexual activity is occurring. In addition, an individual is incapacitated if she/he/they demonstrate that they are unaware of where they are, how they got there, or why or how they became engaged in a sexual interaction. Where alcohol is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication.

Some indicators of incapacitation may include, but are not limited to, lack of control over physical movements, lack of awareness of circumstances or surroundings, or the inability to communicate for any reason. An individual may experience a blackout state in which she/he/they appear to be giving consent, but do not actually have conscious awareness or the ability to consent. It is especially important, therefore, that anyone engaging in sexual activity be aware of the other person’s level of intoxication. The relevant standard that will be applied is whether the Respondent knew, or a sober reasonable person in the same position should have known, that the other party was incapacitated and therefore could not consent to the sexual activity.

Alcohol or drugs impair a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of the consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. However, being intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is never an excuse to engage in sexual misconduct and does not excuse one from the responsibility to obtain consent. As stated above, even if a Respondent is intoxicated she/he/they will be found responsible for sexual misconduct if she/he/they engages in sexual activity with another person who did not consent to the sexual activity.

In the absence of mutually understandable words or actions, it is the responsibility of the initiator, or the person who wants to engage in the specific sexual activity to make sure that he/she/or they have consent from his/her or their partner(s). Consent to some form of sexual activity does not necessarily mean consent to other forms of sexual activity. Mutually understandable consent must be obtained by the initiator at every stage of sexual interaction. Consent is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words and/or actions of the parties to have expressed a mutually understandable agreement between them to do the same thing, in the same way, at the same time, with one another.

V. Reporting

A. Who in the Emerson College Community Must Report Sexual Misconduct Once They Become Aware of It?

Members of the community (including faculty, staff and students) are expected to inform the College if they believe another member of the community has engaged in discrimination or harassment on the basis of any legally protected characteristic, including but not limited to sex. Sexual assault and misconduct is a form of sex discrimination. Thus, if any member of the community learns that another member of the community has engaged in sexual misconduct, they should report that information, as further set forth below in more detail. See Emerson’s Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation at http://www.emerson.edu/policy/discrimination-harassment-retaliation for more information.

In accordance with federal law, Emerson has designated certain employees, including student employees, who are responsible for student welfare as campus security authorities (“CSAs”). CSAs are required to share any report of rape, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct of which they become aware that involves any member of the College community—regardless of whether the person who committed the sexual misconduct was also a member of the Emerson community—with the Title IX Coordinator, a Deputy Title IX Coordinator or another member of the Title IX Team. CSAs include, but are not limited to, faculty, staff, administrators, as well as student employees and volunteers who have a significant responsibility for student welfare. Therefore, a report to a CSA cannot, as a matter of law, be kept confidential. If a member of the community wishes to discuss a matter of sexual misonduct in confidence, see Part V, Section C for Confidential Reporting. If any member of the College community is uncertain as to whether she/he/they are a CSA, they should contact the College’s Title IX Coordinator.

All Emerson community members, including those who are not designated as CSAs, are strongly encouraged to report information regarding any incident of sexual misconduct affecting a member of the community to the Title IX Coordinator, a Deputy Title IX Coordinator or another member of the Title IX Team, so that the College can offer the affected individual support and take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the College community.

The Title IX Team consists of: the Title IX Coordinator, the Deputy Title IX Coordinators, the Dean of Students, the Director of Violence Prevention and Response/Survivor Advocate, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, the Chief of Emerson College Police, the Title IX Investigator(s) employed or retained by the College, and others as may be deemed necessary by the Title IX Coordinator or the Director of Violence Prevention. The names and contact information for the Title IX Team are attached at Appendix C.

The College has designated a number of accessible means of reporting sexual misconduct in order to reduce barriers and impediments to reporting and in order to encourage the reporting of all such incidents. The College seeks to create a culture of reporting, while recognizing that individuals may be reluctant to report sexual assault and other forms of gender related violence for a variety of reasons. We encourage individuals to seek care and support, either on or off campus, in the manner that feels most comfortable to them.

B. Emergency/Immediate Reporting Options and Campus and Community Resources

If you have been the victim of rape or sexual assault or other sexual misconduct, the College strongly recommends seeking assistance as soon as possible through one or more of the following options:

1. Emergency/Immediate Reporting Options

Call 911 if you are feeling unsafe and wish to reach local law enforcement or emergency medical care (including an ambulance). Students studying at a College program in Europe may reach the Police by calling 112.

Call the Emerson College Police Department (ECPD) at 617-824-8888 (Emergency Line). The ECPD is available 24 hours a day year round and can assist members of the College community regardless of whether an incident occurred on or off campus. The ECPD will provide you with information about rights and resources for survivors of sexual assault, including confidential resources. ECPD will also assist any Emerson community member to get to a safe place and if the survivor wishes, will provide transportation to a hospital or other medical provider. ECPD also can put you in touch with an on–call member of Emerson’s Counseling and Psychological Services (ECAPS). The ECPD can also put you in touch with the Director of Violence Prevention and Response/Survivor Advocate. If you wish to file a police report with local law enforcement, the ECPD will assist you in doing so, by contacting the police department of the local jurisdiction where the crime occurred and facilitating their meeting with you on Emerson’s campus, if possible, if you prefer not to travel to a local precinct. However, contacting ECPD does not obligate you to file a criminal police report with the local police or a criminal complaint.

Contact Emerson’s Director of Violence Prevention and Response/Survivor Advocate(s) at 617 824 8857, who can provide you with information about confidential resources and reporting options. Additional information about the services provided by the Director of Violence Prevention Survivor Advocate is available at www.emerson.edu/vpr .

Please consult the Resources section of Emerson College’s Options and Resources for Survivors of Sexual Assault, Stalking and Abusive Relationships brochure for additional information concerning available advocacy and medical resources available in the locations of College programs. This brochure is available on the College’s website at www.emerson.edu/survivor-guide.

The College encourages individuals who have experienced an incident of sexual misconduct, including rape or sexual assault, to seek assistance from a medical provider and/or law enforcement as soon as possible after the incident. This is the best option to ensure preservation of evidence, effective medical care, and to begin a timely investigation.

A medical provider can provide emergency and/or follow-up medical services, and the ability to discuss any health care concerns related to the incident in a confidential medical setting may bring peace of mind. The medical exam has two goals: first, to diagnose and treat the full extent of any injury or physical effect (sexually transmitted infection or pregnancy) and second, to properly collect and preserve evidence, for potential future criminal prosecution. There is a limited window of time following an incident of sexual assault to preserve physical and other forms of evidence. Taking the step to gather evidence immediately does not commit an individual to any course of action. The decision to seek medical attention and gather any evidence will remain confidential and will preserve the options to seek resolution through the criminal justice system. It should be noted that Massachusetts law requires medical personnel to report all cases of rape and sexual abuse where the survivor seeks medical treatment. This report does not include the victims’ name, address or other identifying information. See Part V, Section C on Confidential Resources. However, individuals should file a Title IX complaint and seek assistance from Emerson regardless of whether they have reported an incident to law enforcement or sought medical attention after an incident.

2. Additional Non-Emergency Reporting Options and Resources

All members of the community may report an incident of sexual misconduct to the College’s Title IX Coordinator, either directly, or by making a report to any CSA. The Title IX Coordinator will investigate the report if appropriate, and take necessary measures to ensure community and complainant’s safety.

The College recognizes that a student or employee may choose to report non-emergency sexual misconduct to any trusted employee of the College. For example, a student may choose to confide in a Resident Assistant or Residence Director, a faculty or staff advisor, or a coach, all of whom are CSAs who must report the incident to the College’s Title IX Coordinator under this policy. All members of the community are encouraged to report knowledge of sexual misconduct affecting a community member to the College so that the College can take steps to support that individual’s well being and enhance the safety and security of the community and respond in a prompt manner. However, to enable the College to respond to all reports in a prompt and equitable manner, the College encourages all individuals to directly report any incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or a member of the Title IX Team.

See Appendix C for contact information for the Title IX Coordinator and other Title IX team members.

3. Additional College Resources

The College offers resources that can provide crisis intervention services, counseling, academic support, housing support and medical services to all Emerson community members. Such services include:

  1. ECPD and Emerson Survivor Advocate will upon request assist members of the Emerson community through the civil court process of seeking orders of protection.
  2. ECPD will provide upon request an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities.
  3. The Emerson Center for Health and Wellness (CHW) provides students with non-emergency medical care. CHW can be reached at 617-824-8666.
    Detailed information about CHW’s services and hours of operation can be found at http://www.emerson.edu/health-center.
  4. Emerson Counseling and Psychological Services (ECAPS) provides counseling support for students and will also assist any member of community with referrals upon request. ECAPS can be reached at 617-824-8595.
    Detailed information about ECAPS’ services and hours of operation can be found at http://www.emerson.edu/counseling-center.
  5. Employees (staff and faculty) can access medical, counseling, and other forms of support through a confidential third party provided Employee Assistance Program, which can be reached at 1-800-828-6025.

Detailed information about the Employee Assistance Program can be found at http://www.emerson.edu/employee-assistance.

In addition, the College will provide Interim Measures, including but not limited to no-contact orders, academic employment or residence modifications (See Section VI: Interim Measures).

4. Additional Community Resources

Various organizations can provide crisis intervention services, counseling, medical attention, and assistance in interfacing with the criminal justice system. All individuals are encouraged to utilize the resources that are the best suited to their needs, whether on or off campus. Some resources in the local Boston area community include:

Community Resources

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC):
800.841.8371 (hotline); 617.492.8306;
http://www.barcc.org/

Rape Crisis Center of Central Massachusetts - Worcester:
508-852-7600; hotline: 800-870-5905;
www.rapecrisiscenter.org

Center for Violence and Recovery:
617.667.8141;
www.bidmc.org/violenceprevention

Fenway Community Health Violence Recovery Program:
617.927-6250 or 800.834.3242;
www.fenwayhealth.org

Victim Rights Law Center:
617-399-6720;
www.victimrights.org

Victims of Violence Program - Cambridge Health Alliance:
617-591-6360;
http://challiance.org/vov/vov.shtml
Administrative Agency Resources

Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination (MCAD)
John McCormack building
One Ashburton Place
Sixth floor, Room 601
Boston, MA 02108
617-994-6000
The MCAD prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. The statute of limitations for filing a complaint is 300 days for the last date of discrimination.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
JFK Federal building
475 Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
800-669-4000
The EEOC prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. The statute of limitations for filing a complaint is 300 days for the last date of discrimination.

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
5 Post Office Square, 8th floor
Boston, MA 02109-3921
617-289-0111
While OCR complaints should generally be filed within 180 days of the last date of the alleged discrimination, OCR may extend this filing deadline in a variety of circumstances.

Applicable community resources for other College programs include:

  • United States National Rape Crisis Center Helpline, available 24 hours a day year round at 800-841-8371.
  • Netherlands: Slachtofferwijer Helpline, available 24 hours a day year round at +31 (0) 887 55 55 88.
  • Czech Republic: Rape Crisis Network Europe, available at rcne.com, and Elektra Helpline, available 24 hours a day year round at +42(0) 603 81 23 61.

C. Confidential Resources and Support

The College encourages all Emerson members to report incidents of sexual misconduct. The College recognizes, however, that there are many barriers to reporting, both individual and societal, and not every individual will choose to make a formal report with the College or with local law enforcement. For those individuals who do not want to make a report to someone who is required to share detailed information about their report with the College’s Title IX Coordinator, the College offers confidential resources. Individuals seeking to talk to someone at the College concerning an incident of sexual misconduct, without making a report to the College or triggering any investigation or action by the College, may utlize the confidential services of ECAPS therapists, CHW clinicians, or the Director of Violence Prevention/Survivor Advocate. These resources are subject to a legal confidentiality obligation that prohibits the release of information without that individual’s express consent. If someone makes a report of sexual misconduct to a College confidential resource, that person/resource will not disclose to College officials any identifying information about the complainant and respondent, but will provide the Title IX Coordinator with a statistical ‘tracking form’ that includes limited non-identifying information about the incident to permit the College to determine if the incident should be reported among the crime statistics the College is required by Federal law (the Clery Act) to report each year.

Ordinarily, reports made to individuals at the College designated as ”confidential resources” will not be shared with law enforcement or any state agencies. However, there are limited exceptions to a confidential resource’s legal ability to keep a report of sexual abuse confidential. For example, Massachusetts law requires the reporting of abuse of minors (under the age of 18). In addition, if someone discloses to a confidential resource information suggesting they or someone else presents an imminent threat or danger to harm themselves or others, confidentiality cannot be maintained. In addition, Massachusetts General Laws chapter 112, §12A 1/2 requires medical personnel to report to the Commonwealth and the police in the town where the rape or sexual assault occurred data concerning any and all cases of rape and sexual abuse where the survivor seeks medical treatment. However, the data that must be reported does not include the survivor’s name, address or other identifying information.

The following Emerson College resources are confidential, subject to Massachusetts law:

Emerson College Health and Wellness Center for medical assistance. See above Community Resources for contact information.

Emerson College Counseling and Psychological Services for counseling assistance. See above Community Resources for contact information.

Emerson’s Director of Violence Prevention/Survivor Advocate can be contacted at 617 824 8857. Detailed information about the services provided by the Director of Violence Prevenstion Survivor Advocate are available at www.emerson.edu/vpr.

The following confidential resources, which are unaffiliated with Emerson College, are also available to members of the College community:

Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington Street, Boston, MA 617-636-5000.

D. Anonymous Reporting

Any individual also may make an anonymous report to the College concerning an act of sexual misconduct committed by a member of the Emerson community. Any individual may report an incident to the the Title IX Coordinator anonymously, without disclosing her/his/their name, identifying the Respondent or requesting any action. Depending on the level of information provided to the Title IX Coordinator about the incident or the individuals involved, the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited.

E. Time Frame for Reporting

Individuals are encouraged to report sexual misconduct as soon as possible in order to maximize the College’s and/or law enforcement’s ability to respond promptly and equitably. The College does not limit the timeframe for reporting an incident, and upon receipt of any report, regardless of when incident occurred, the College will conduct a Title IX assessment to determine if an investigation and/or any safety measures are necessary to maintain the community’s safety. However, the College will not be able to impose disciplinary sanctions against an individual who is no longer affiliated with the College.

F. Coordination with Law Enforcement

The College encourages Complainants to pursue criminal action for incidents of sexual misconduct when the incident constitutes a crime under the law of the jurisdiction where the incident occurred. If an individual chooses to report an incident of sexual misconduct to the Emerson College Police Department (ECPD), the Chief of the ECPD, or his/her designee, will notify the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the crime of the allegations. To the extent permitted by law, the College will also assist a Complainant in making a criminal report and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies if a Complainant decides to pursue the criminal process.

The College’s definitions of sexual misconduct, and its process and standard of proof for finding a respondent responsible for sexual misconduct differ from those used in criminal prosecutions. Thus, a Complainant may reasonably seek resolution through the College’s complaint process, may pursue criminal action, may choose one but not the other, or may choose both. Law enforcement’s determination whether or not to prosecute a Respondent is not determinative of whether Emerson will conduct a Title IX investigation or conclude that a member of the community has committed sexual misconduct in violation of College policy. However, any criminal disposition related to the Title IX complaint will be taken into consideration in a Title IX investigation. Proceedings under the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off-campus. However, the College will, to the extent possible consistent with its obligations to promptly address Title IX complaint, cooperatively work with and coordinate with local law enforcement officers and the prosecuctor’s office. For example, the College will comply with law enforcement agency requests for cooperation and such cooperation may require the College to temporarily suspend the fact-finding portion of a Title IX investigations while the law enforcement agency gathers evidence. In such cases, the College will promptly resume its investigation as soon as notified by the law enforcement agency that it has completed its evidence gathering process.

G. Amnesty for Students Who Report Sexual Misconduct

Emerson College encourages reporting and seeks to remove any barriers to reporting by making the procedures for reporting an incident of sexual misconduct (“an incident”) transparent and straightforward. The College recognizes that a student who has been drinking or using drugs at the time of an incident also may be hesitant to make a report because of potential disciplinary consequences for her/his/their own conduct. Thus, a student who reports sexual misconduct, either as a Complainant or a third party witness, will not be subject to disciplinary action by the College for her/his/their own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The College may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs. The amnesty policy applies to the College’s student conduct process which addresses student misconduct other than sexual misconduct subject to this Policy.

H. Bystander Intervention

Emerson College expects all community members to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of sexual misconduct. Taking action may include direct intervention (if it is safe to do so), calling law enforcement, or seeking assistance from a person in authority. Community members who choose to exercise this positive moral obligation will be supported by the College and protected from retaliation.

I. Statement Against Retaliation

It is a violation of College policy to retaliate in any way against an individual or a group because the individual or group of individuals reported an allegation of sexual misconduct.

The College recognizes that retaliation can take many forms, may be committed by an individual or a group against an individual or a group, and that a Respondent can also be the subject of retaliation by the Complainant or a third party. The College will take immediate and responsive action to any report of retaliation and may pursue disciplinary action as appropriate. An individual reporting sexual misconduct is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following a report that is made in good faith, even if the report is later not proven.

J. Interim Measures

Upon receipt of a report, the College will provide interim support and reasonable protective measures to prevent further acts of misconduct, and to provide a safe educational and work environment. The College will determine the necessity and scope of any interim measures. Even when a Complainant or Respondent does not specifically request that protective action be taken, the College may choose to impose interim measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of any individual, the broader College community or the integrity of the review process.

Students seeking such assistance should speak with the Title IX Coordinator or the Director of Violence Prevention/Survivor Advocate who will coordinate such requests on the behalf of the student. The College will maintain contact with the parties to ensure that all safety and emotional and physical well-being concerns are being addressed.

All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about failure of another individual to abide by any restrictions imposed by an interim measure. The College will take prompt and responsive action to enforce measures previously ordered or implemented by the College.

The College may impose any remedy that can be tailored to the involved parties to achieve the goals of this policy, even if not specifically listed here. The range of interim measures may include:

No Contact Order: Any party involved in a Title IX investigation (Complainant, Respondent or witness) may request, or the College may impose, communication and contact restrictions to prevent further potentially harmful interaction. These communication and contact restrictions generally preclude in person, telephone, electronic or third party communications. In some cases, an individual may also wish to consider an Abuse Prevention Order or a Harassment Prevention Order from the local courts. This is a civil proceeding independent of the College. If a court order is issued the College will, to the extent possible, assist the protected person in benefiting from the restrictions imposed by the court and will also facilitate on campus compliance with the order. The College may also limit an individual or organization’s access to certain College facilities or activities as part of the no contact order.

Academic, Employment or Residence Modifications: Any party involved in a Title IX investigation (Complainant or Respondent or witness) may request an academic or employment accommodation or a change in residence after a report of sexual misconduct. An individual who requests assistance in changing their academic or living situation after an incident of sexual misconduct will receive appropriate and reasonably available accommodations. These may include:

  • Academic accommodations, including a change in class schedule, taking an incomplete, dropping a course without penalty, attending a class via Skype or other alternative means, providing an academic tutor, or extending deadlines for assignments;
  • Change of residence hall assignment;
  • Change in work assignment or schedule;
  • Providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities.

Emotional Support: The College provides counseling services to students through Emerson’s Counseling and Psychological Services (ECAPS) and ECAPS will assist any member of community by providing a referral to off campus mental health providers. The College’s Director of Violence Prevention/Survivor Advocate, and additional resources detailed in the Campus and Community Resources section of this policy also are available to members of the campus community.

Interim Separation: Where the report of sexual misconduct poses an ongoing risk of harm to the safety or well-being of an individual or members of the campus community, the College may place an individual or organization on interim suspension or impose leave for an employee. Pending resolution of the complaint, the individual or organization may be denied access to campus. When interim suspension or eleave is imposed, the College will make reasonable efforts to complete the investigation and resolution within an expedited time frame.

VI. Title IX Complaint Process

A. Role of the Title IX Coordinator

The College has appointed Alexa Jackson, Associate Vice President of Human Resources, to serve as the Title IX Coordinator. In her role as Title IX Coordinator, and a member of the Title IX Team, Alexa Jackson oversees the College’s centralized review, investigation and resolution process for reports of sexual misconduct. She also coordinates the College’s compliance with Title IX. Alexa Jackson is supported by several College administrators who serve as Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

The duties and responsibilities of the Title IX and Deputy Title IX Coordinators include training, education and climate checks as well as the oversight of procedures that promptly and equitably eliminate sexual harassment, prevent its recurrence and address its effects on individuals and our community. The Title IX and Deputy Title IX Coordinators will:

  • Oversee the investigation and resolution of all reports of sexual misconduct;
  • Meet with any individual, whether a Complainant, a Respondent, or a third party, to discuss interim measures, resources, and procedural options on and off campus;
  • Ensure prompt and equitable resolutions that comply with all requirements and timeframes specified in the complaint procedures;
  • Conduct on-going and annual climate checks, tracking, and monitoring of sexual misconduct allegations on campus; and,
  • Coordinate all training, education and prevention efforts.

The Title IX Coordinator, together with the College’s Director of Violence Prevention and Response, co-chair an interdepartmental team, the Title IX Team, that generally meets weekly during the academic year. The Title IX Team is designed to ensure consistent application of this policy to all individuals and to enable the College to respond promptly and equitably to eliminate sexual misconduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. The Title IX Team coordinates the review, investigation and resolution of reports of sexual misconduct and ensures that appropriate interim measures are implemented. Members of the Title IX Team include: the Title IX Coordinator, the Director of Violence Prevention, the Deputy Title IX Coordinators, the Dean of Students, the Director of Student Conduct, the Associate Vice President of Human Resources, the Chief of Emerson College Police, the Title IX Investigator(s) employed or retained by the College, and others as may be deemed necessary by the Title IX Coordinator or the Director of Violence Prevention.

The Title IX Team oversees the resolution of reported misconduct through the College’s complaint processes. As stated above, the complaint resolution process will be determined by the role of the Respondent:

  • Complaints against students will be resolved by the Process for Resolving Complaints of Sexual Misconduct Against Emerson Students, attached hereto as Appendix A.
  • Complaints against employees will be resolved by the Process for Resolving Complaints of Sexual Misconduct Against Emerson Staff Employees and Faculty Members, attached hereto as Appendix B.

Each process is guided by the same principles of fairness and respect for all parties. Resources are available for both students and employees, whether as Complainants or Respondents, to provide guidance throughout the investigation and resolution of the complaint.

The Title IX Team is further charged with assessing College policies and procedures for responding to reports of sexual misconduct, for compliance with best practices, and proposing and implementing changes when warranted. Contact information for the Title IX and Deputy Title IX Coordinators and the Title IX team is attached in Appendix C.

B. Time Frame for Resolution

The investigation and resolution of all reports of sexual misconduct will generally be completed within 60 to 90 days. Extenuating circumstances, including, but not limited to, the complexity and severity of a complaint may arise that require the complaint process to extend beyond 60 to 90 days. In general, a Complainant and Respondent can expect to receive periodic updates from the Title IX Coordinator and/or Investigator as to the status of the review or investigation.

In the event that the investigation and resolution exceed this time frame, the College will notify all parties of the need for additional time and best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner.


1 The College reserves the right to amend or modify this Policy at any time on the recommendation of the Title IX Team.

APPENDIX A

IProcess for Resolving Complaints of Sexual Misconduct Against Emerson Students1

The College will determine whether a student is responsible for sexual misconduct, as it is defined in the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy, and what if any safety measures and/or disciplinary sanctions are appropriate, in accordance with the procedures described below:

I. Initiating a Title IX Investigation

A. Formal Complaint

Any individual may initiate a Title IX investigation by Emerson College against a student member of the community for violation of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy by submitting in writing to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator, a formal complaint that includes the following information:

  1. The name of the student respondent (“respondent”), or if his/her name is unknown, information sufficient to allow the College to identify the respondent, such as his/her photograph;
  2. A statement explaining the nature and circumstances of the complaint including a list of possible witnesses; and
  3. The names, addresses and telephone numbers of those filing the complaint.

The Complaint must be signed by the individual initiating the complaint (“complainant”).

Formal complaints will result in a Title IX investigation to determine, pursuant to a preponderance of evidence standard of proof, whether the respondent violated any provisions of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

If a complainant withdraws her/his/their complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will assess whether sufficient evidence of sexual misconduct exists to support completing an investigation. Among the factors the Title IX Coordinator will consider in making this determination is whether prior complaints by the complainant or others have been made against the respondent. The College’s decision to proceed in investigating a student member of the community when the complainant has withdrawn the complaint shall be made by the Title IX Coordinator in his or her sole discretion, but will take the complainant's wishes into consideration. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that no action will be taken against the respondent because the complainant has withdrawn her/his/their complaint, a file concerning the withdrawn complaint will be maintained by the Title IX Coordinator, so that the matter can be re-opened if, among other things, the complainant later decides to reinitiate the complaint, or if independent evidence of sexual misconduct by the respondent comes to the College’s attention, which the Title IX Coordinator determines warrants re-opening the investigation. If a respondent admits to a violation, the Title IX Coordinator in his or her discretion may forego an investigation and refer the matter directly to the sanction process, described below in Section III.

Timeframe for Filing a Formal Complaint: The College does not limit the timeframe for filing a complaint. However, complainants are encouraged to file as soon as possible in order to maximize the College’s ability to investigate and come to an appropriate resolution. The College will not be able to pursue disciplinary action against a respondent who is no longer affiliated with the College.

B. Incomplete and Unofficial Reports

Any individual may also report a sexual misconduct incident involving a student member of the community by bringing the report to the attention of the Title IX Coordinator, any member of the Title IX Team, or any employee who has been designated by the College as a campus security authority (“CSA”) including but not limited to, verbal, anonymous or informal reports. 2

When the Title IX Coordinator receives a report that an Emerson student has engaged in sexual misconduct, but the report does not meet the requirements of a formal report, the College’s Title IX Coordinator or designee, alone, or in coordination with the Title IX Team, will determine what steps should be taken to gather additional information. Thereafter, the Title IX Coordinator will direct the gathering of the additional information.

Once all available additional information has been obtained, it will be evaluated by the Title IX Coordinator who will decide whether a formal complaint is warranted. If a decision is made to proceed with a formal complaint, a college administrator will serve as the complainant. In making this decision, the Title IX Coordinator will consider the wishes of the complainant as well as the risk that declining to investigate might jeopardize the safety of the complainant or any member(s) of the Emerson community.

C. Interim Measures

Upon receipt of a formal complaint or an incomplete or unofficial report, the Title IX Coordinator, independently or in consultation with the Title IX Team or members of the Title IX Team, shall put interim measures in place, if warranted and appropriate. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to, no-contact orders, suspensions, and academic, residence, and work place accommodations. Any member of the community who is involved in a Title IX investigation (complainant, respondent and/or witnesses) may request interim measures, either by making a direct request to the Title IX Coordinator, or through the College’s Director of Violence Prevention and Response and/or Survivor Advocate. In addition, the Title IX Coordinator may impose interim measures independently, absent any request, if he/she deems doing so in the best interest of the community.

II. Investigation and Findings Process

  1. When the Title IX Coordinator concludes that a report of sexual misconduct should be investigated, he or she will appoint a Title IX investigator.
  2. The Title IX investigator shall investigate the report and make (i) findings of fact and (ii) conclusions as to whether the respondent violated any provision of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy. The standard of proof shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.
  3. The Title IX Coordinator will meet with the complainant and respondent individually and:
    1. Provide each with written notification of the allegations of misconduct under investigation, which shall include, to the extent then known, a reference to any specific provisions of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy allegedly violated;
    2. Inform each that a Title IX investigator has been appointed who will be investigating the complaint;
    3. Identify the Title IX investigator by name to each;
    4. Advise each that any behavior that can be construed as retaliation against the complainant, respondent, or witnesses will be subject to immediate disciplinary action up to and including suspension or dismissal from the College;
    5. Provide each with a copy of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy and advise each to read it carefully;
    6. Provide each with a copy of the Student Sexual Misconduct Complaint Process and advise each to read it carefully;
    7. Advise each that they may speak to the Title IX Coordinator at any time during the investigation if they have questions about the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Sexual Misconduct Complaint Process;
    8. Advise each that they may have one advisor or one attorney present whenever they meet with the Title IX investigator. Emerson will not supply any individual involved in a college investigation with an attorney or pay for him or her to retain an attorney.  Any advisor or attorney who accompanies a complainant or respondent to a meeting with the Title IX investigator may attend that meeting solely for consultation purposes and may not pose or answer questions. If a respondent, or a complainant who is a member of the Emerson community does not have an advisor, Emerson will provide them with a list of Emerson faculty or staff who have volunteered to act as an advisor to parties involved in the Title IX investigative process;
    9. Advise each that each will be permitted to submit a list of witnesses to the Title IX investigator;
    10. Advise each that each will be permitted to submit relevant documentary evidence to the Title IX investigator (e.g., texts, e-mails, photographs);
    11. Advise each of confidential resources, including advocates, health care providers, and counseling services, on campus and in the local community;
    12. Advise each of the importance of preservation of evidence (e.g., texts, e-mails, notes, photograph, etc.);
    13. Advise each of their option to request that the College take steps to prevent unnecessary or unwelcome contact or communication with another member of the Emerson community;
    14. Advise the complainant of her/his/their option to pursue a criminal action against the respondent working with local police in addition to pursuing remedies and/or sanctions through College processes;
    15. Advise the complainant that the Emerson Police Department and/or the Director of Violence Prevention and/or Survivor Advocate are available to assist them in contacting and communicating with local police, or in seeking court orders of protection/restraining orders.
  4. Thereafter, the Title IX investigator shall interview the complainant (if possible) and summarize the interview in a written statement that shall be provided to the complainant for her/his/their review and comment. The Title IX investigator shall review any comments that are submitted and incorporate relevant and clarifying comments into the complainant’s statement. Comments that conflict significantly with information previously submitted by complainant should be noted.
  5. The Title IX investigator shall ask the complainant for names, addresses, and other contact information (e.g., phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses) of witnesses.
  6. The Title IX investigator shall interview the respondent (if possible) and summarize the interview in a written statement that is provided to the respondent for his/her review and comment. The investigator shall review any comments that are submitted and incorporate relevant and clarifying comments into the statement. Comments that conflict significantly with information previously submitted by the respondent should be noted. As a part of this process, the Title IX investigator shall assess if interim measures not already implemented are appropriate and, if so, work with the Title IX Coordinator to ensure they are in place.
  7. The Title IX investigator shall ask the respondent for names, addresses, and other contact information (e.g., phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses) of witnesses.
  8. The Title IX investigator shall review College records to assess whether any prior allegations have been made against the respondent that relate to the subject of the complaint. The respondent will be provided with a copy of any prior disciplinary record that relates to the subject of the complaint.
  9. The Title IX investigator shall make reasonable attempts to interview any witnesses identified by the complainant or respondent, or identified by witnesses or any other source, and produce written summaries of witness statements. These summaries, as well as the summaries of the complainant’s and the respondent’s statements, shall form the basis of the written report.
  10. The Title IX investigator shall review any documentary evidence submitted by the complainant or the respondent (e.g., texts, emails, photographs, etc.). The Title IX investigator shall describe his/her determinations concerning the relevance of the documentary evidence in the written report, and append (and redact, if necessary) submitted evidence, as appropriate.
  11. The Title IX investigator shall gather and assess any other relevant evidence available to the College (e.g., additional witnesses not identified by the parties, security camera footage, respondent’s disciplinary history, expert review of medical records). Relevant information reviewed by the Title IX investigator shall be described in the written report and appended (and redacted, if necessary), as appropriate.
  12. After reviewing any witness statements, documentary evidence and other relevant evidence as noted in 8, 9, 10, and 11 above the Title IX investigator will, when possible, conduct follow-up interviews with the complainant and respondent and supplement the complainant and respondent interview reports as necessary.
  13. At the conclusion of the investigation, but before any findings are reached by the Title IX investigator, the Title IX investigator shall submit his/her draft written report (with a summary of evidence and attachments, but without findings) to the Title IX Coordinator for review. The Title IX Coordinator may suggest additional clarification or the gathering of additional evidence, as appropriate.
  14. The Title IX investigator shall permit both the complainant and respondent and their respective advisors or attorneys to review a copy of the draft written report (still without findings, but as revised consistent with any suggestions from the Title IX Coordinator) under the supervision of a College employee in the Title IX Coordinator's or Title IX investigator's office and then provide any clarifications or comments they may wish to offer.
  15. Neither the complainant nor the respondent will be permitted to copy or remove the draft written report from the Title IX Coordinator's or Title IX investigator's office. Relevant and clarifying comments provided by either party will be incorporated into the draft report by the Title IX investigator in his/her discretion in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, and the Title IX investigator will note any significant deviations from previous statements. If the complainant and/or respondent identify additional relevant evidence, that evidence shall be gathered by the Title IX investigator and included in the written report. Depending on the nature of the new evidence, it may be shared with the complainant and the respondent for comment.
  16. The Title IX investigator shall revise his/her draft report to summarize all relevant evidence obtained during the investigation, and reach written conclusions using a preponderance of the evidence standard, as to whether the respondent violated any provision(s) of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  17. The Title IX investigator will submit his or her revised draft investigation report including conclusions to the Title IX Coordinator.
  18. The Title IX investigator’s conclusion(s) should be explained clearly and address each element necessary to establish whether the respondent violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy so that the reader understands how the Title IX investigator reached his/her conclusion in light of the available evidence and the standard of proof.
  19. The Title IX Coordinator may offer feedback, if any, which should be incorporated into the final draft. The Title IX investigator shall revise the draft report to reflect the Title IX Coordinator’s feedback, and the investigator shall resubmit his or her revised final draft to the Title IX Coordinator.
  20. If the Title IX Coordinator disagrees with the Title IX investigator’s findings on responsibility, they should discuss and attempt to resolve any differences. If after discussion (which can include the Office of the General Counsel, as appropriate), the Title IX investigator and Title IX Coordinator still disagree as to the findings on whether or not the respondent violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Title IX Coordinator should assume responsibility for the case and write the findings to reflect the decision he/she determines is warranted.
  21. The Title IX Coordinator shall submit the Title IX investigator’s final draft report to the Office of the General Counsel (“OGC”) for review and advice.
  22. After the OGC’s comments, if any, are considered by the Title IX investigator, the Title IX investigator should finalize his/her report and submit that report to the Title IX Coordinator and to the Director of Student Conduct. If the Title IX Coordinator has assumed responsibility for the case the Title IX Coordinator should finalize the report and submit it to the Director of Student Conduct.
  23. Within two (2) business days of receiving the Title IX report, the Director of Student Conduct will issue letters to the complainant and respondent informing them of the Title IX investigator’s findings concerning whether the respondent violated any provision of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy. The Director of Student Conduct shall send this communication to the complainant and the respondent via certified mail, return receipt requested, and also by electronic mail (read receipt requested).
    1. If the respondent was found not responsible for any alleged misconduct, the Director of Student Conduct’s letter to both parties will inform them of the complainant’s right to appeal that decision on the grounds of either: (a) a lack of fairness in the procedures or process used to investigate the complaint that may alter the outcome of the investigation; or (b) significant new information (previously unknown) that has been revealed or discovered which materially alter the facts of the matter and may alter the outcome of the investigation. The appeals process is set forth below in Section IV.
    2. If the respondent was found to have violated any provision of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, the letter will notify both parties of those findings and provide them with information relating to the sanctions process described below in Section III.
    3. Regardless of the findings, the Director of Student Conduct shall present both parties with equal but separate opportunities to review the Title IX investigator’s final report, with their advisor or attorney present, in the presence of the Director of Student Conduct or designee.

III. Sanctions Process

  1. If the respondent was found to have violated any provision of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Director of Student Conduct shall convene a prospective Sanctions Panel;
  2. The prospective Sanctions Panel shall consist of three members of the faculty or administration, or any combination thereof. The Sanctions Panel shall be chaired by a senior College administrator (“the Chair”), who shall not vote regarding sanctions but who shall oversee the Panel’s proceedings.
  3. The names of the complainant and the respondent shall be disclosed to the prospective panel members before they receive the Title IX report and findings. Each prospective panel member shall be separately and privately asked by the Director of Student Conduct whether he or she has any real or perceived conflict of interest which would disqualify them from serving on the panel. If the answer is affirmative for any prospective member, that member shall be replaced.
  4. Once a panel is selected, the names of those panel members shall be disclosed in writing to the complainant and the respondent. Each party shall be given two calendar days to inform the Director of Student Conduct if they believe there is a conflict of interest which would disqualify any proposed panel member from sitting on the panel. If the answer is affirmative, the Director of Student Conduct shall evaluate the conflict of interest and decide, in his or her sole discretion, whether the conflict of interest disqualifies the panelist. If so, the panelist shall be replaced and the process will be repeated until a three member panel has been selected.
  5. The complainant and the respondent shall each have two calendar days from the date they review the Title IX investigator's report and findings to submit a written impact statement for submission to the Sanctions Panel to the Director of Student Conduct. The written impact statements are intended to be an opportunity for the impacted parties to inform the panel of relevant information which should be considered by the panel in determining the appropriate sanction, including, but not limited to, how this incident has affected them, and whether they believe any facts or mitigating circumstances warrant leniency or enhanced penalties.
  6. No later than three (3) business days after the date when the written impact statements were due, the Director of Student Conduct shall convene the sanctioning panel, chaired by a senior College administrator (“the Chair”). The Chair shall deliver to the panel members for their consideration the following documents: i) copy of the Title IX investigator's findings and conclusions, ii) a copy of the respondent's prior disciplinary record, if any, and iii) a copy of any impact statements the Title IX Coordinator approved for consideration by the panelists. The Chair will oversee the proceedings. Before the panelists begin their review of such documents, the Chair will instruct the panelists that they are not to challenge or re-examine the Title IX investigator’s findings of fact or responsibility, but should focus their review and deliberations solely on the issue of what if any sanctions they believe are most appropriate to achieve the College’s goals of punishing and deterring the respondent’s misconduct and enhancing the safety of the community.
  7. The panel, following deliberations, shall recommend in writing the sanctions to be imposed on the respondent, and the panel’s basis for that recommendation. Absent unusual circumstances, the panel shall complete its written recommendation within two (2) business days of the date the panel completes its deliberations.
  8. The Chair shall promptly provide to the Director of Student Conduct a copy of all materials presented to the panel, as well as the panel’s written sanction recommendation. Absent unusual circumstances, within two (2) business days of receipt of these materials, the Director shall either accept the panel’s sanction recommendation, or ask the panel to reconsider its recommendation. The Director may ask the panel to reconsider its recommendation if the Director of Student Conduct believes that said recommendation is significantly inconsistent with sanctions imposed for similarly serious infractions or does not adequately take into account the respondent’s prior disciplinary record. If the Director asks the panel to reconsider its recommendation, absent unusual circumstances, the panel shall issue its final written decision concerning sanctions to the Director within one (1) business day.
  9. The Director of Student Conduct shall, absent unusual circumstances, on the same date the Panel issues its final written decision, then advise the Title IX Coordinator, and respondent, in writing, of all sanctions imposed (“the sanction decision”) and shall advise the complainant of the sanctions imposed that directly affect the complainant, such as interim protective measures, suspension or dismissal. This communication from the Director of Student Conduct shall also inform the complainant and the respondent of their right of appeal. The Director of Student Conduct shall send this communication to the complainant and the respondent via certified mail, return receipt requested, and also by electronic mail (read receipt requested).

IV. Appeal

  1. The complainant shall have seven calendar days after receiving notice that the College found the respondent has not violated Emerson College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy to submit a written appeal to the Dean of Students. Both the complainant and the respondent shall have seven days after receiving notice of the sanctions decision to submit a written appeal to the Dean of Students. The sole grounds for appeal are: (a) a lack of fairness in the procedures or process that may alter the outcome; or (b) significant new information (previously unknown) that has been revealed or discovered which materially alter the facts of the matter and may alter the outcome. Absent unusual circumstances, the Dean of Students shall notify the parties within ten calendar days whether the appeal has been granted or rejected.
  2. If the Dean of Students grants an appeal, he or she shall determine the next steps in his/her sole discretion. Next steps may include, but are not limited to, a remand to the Title IX investigator or Title IX Coordinator for additional investigation, or remand to a new sanctioning panel.

V. Reservation of Rights

  1. Emerson College expressly reserves its right to bring charges against any student, under the Student Conduct Process, for misconduct which does not constitute a violation of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy. When a student is alleged to have engaged in both sexual misconduct and other types of misconduct, the College will ordinarily complete the Title IX process for investigating allegations of sexual misconduct prior to initiating charges that a student violated other college policies or provisions of the Student Code of Conduct. Information and evidence obtained by the College during a Title IX investigation may be considered as evidence in other College proceedings.

VI. Amnesty

  1. Emerson College seeks to remove any barriers to reporting incidents of sexual misconduct by making the procedures for reporting such incidents transparent and straightforward. The College recognizes that a student who has been drinking or using drugs at the time of an incident of sexual misconduct may be hesitant to make a report concerning sexual misconduct because of potential disciplinary consequences for his/her/their own conduct. Any Emerson student who reports sexual misconduct, either as a complainant or a third party witness, will not be subject to disciplinary action by the College for his/her/their own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The College may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs. The amnesty policy applies to the College's student conduct process.

VII. Withdrawal of Respondent from Emerson College

  1. Ordinarily, no notation concerning charges of sexual misconduct will be placed on the respondent's transcript unless the Title IX investigation is complete and the student has been found to have violated Emerson College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. However, if a respondent withdraws from the College while a Title IX investigation is pending, and before any findings have been made, the respondent's transcript will reflect that the student withdrew pending an investigation of disciplinary charges. If a respondent withdraws after a Title IX investigation found him or her responsible for sexual misconduct, but before a sanction decision was made by the College, the student’s transcript will reflect that the student withdrew pending disciplinary sanctions.

1 The College reserves the right to amend or modify this Process. This includes modifying the process in unusual circumstances including, but not limited to, when a complainant withdraws a complaint or a respondent admits responsibility.

2 In accordance with the Clery Act, the College defines a CSA to include any member of the Emerson College Police Department; any individual who has responsibility for campus security, but who is not a member of the Emerson College Police Department; any individual identified by the College as someone to whom a crime should be reported; and any College official who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities.

APPENDIX B

Process for Resolving Complaints of Sexual Misconduct Against Emerson Faculty, Staff, and Emerson-Affiliated Third Parties 1

Emerson College (“Emerson” or the “College”) will determine whether a member of the College’s faculty, staff, or third party affiliated with the College (“third party” or “third parties”) is responsible for sexual misconduct, as it is defined in the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy, and what if any safety measures and/or disciplinary or employment actions by the College are appropriate, in accordance with the Process described below under most circumstances. This Process covers complaints or reports concerning conduct by Emerson faculty, staff, or third parties. Reports that an Emerson student has violated the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy are reviewed in accordance with the Process for Resolving Complaints of Sexual Misconduct Against Emerson Students. See Appendix A to Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy, www.emerson.edu/policy/sexual-misconduct.

Emerson faculty, staff, and third parties are required to cooperate fully in the College’s investigation of a report that any member of the College community has violated the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. An employee’s or third party’s failure to cooperate in the College’s investigation of alleged discrimination or harassment, including, but not limited to, alleged violations of the College Sexual Misconduct Policy, may result in disciplinary action being taken against that employee or third party, up to, and including, termination of employment or other contract or relationship with the College. The College strictly prohibits retaliation against any member of the Emerson community for reporting a violation of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, or for participating in an investigation of such a report. Any individual found by the College to have engaged in retaliation against another party for reporting or participating in the College’s investigation of a reported violation of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy will be subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to, and including, termination of employment or other contract or relationship with the College.

I. Initial Screening Procedure

Under most circumstances, this Process will apply for investigation and resolution of reports of sexual misconduct against faculty, staff, and third parties. However, depending upon the facts and circumstances of any particular complaint, the College, in its discretion and judgment, may determine that a report that a faculty, staff, or third party has violated Emerson’s Sexual Misconduct Policy will be investigated and resolved by the College in a less formal manner than set forth in this Process, and may also take interim actions as it deems appropriate to address the safety and protection of the College community.

In making the determination of whether to proceed under this formal Process or under a less formal process, the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the appropriate Reviewing Administrator identified in Section II.A. of this Process, will consider, among other factors, the seriousness of the allegation, whether prior complaints by the complainant or others have been made against the member of the faculty or staff or third party, and any other relevant circumstances. To make this determination, the Title IX Coordinator, in his or her discretion and judgment, may also consult with the Title IX Team or members of the Title IX Team.

If the Title IX Coordinator determines that a report that a faculty, staff, or third party has violated Emerson’s Sexual Misconduct Policy should proceed in a less formal manner this Process, the Title IX Coordinator may, in his or her discretion and judgment in consultation with the Title IX Team or members of the Title IX Team and the Reviewing Administrator identified in Section II.A. of this Process, thereafter commence this Process if, among other things, further evidence of sexual misconduct comes to the College’s attention.

II. Initiating an Investigation

A. Formal Complaint

Any individual may initiate an investigation by Emerson College concerning whether a member of the College’s faculty, staff, or third party has violated the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy by submitting in writing to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator, a formal complaint that includes the following information:

  1. The name of the faculty, staff, or third party respondent (“respondent”), or if his/her name is unknown, information sufficient to allow the College to identify the respondent, such as his/her photograph;
  2. A statement explaining the nature and circumstances of the complaint including a list of possible witnesses; and
  3. The names, addresses and telephone numbers of those filing the complaint.

The Complaint must be signed by the individual initiating the complaint (“complainant”).

Upon receipt of such a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will provide a copy to the following College administrators, as applicable:

  • Emerson College Faculty: The dean of the faculty member’s school. If the report involves the dean of a school, the formal complaint will be forwarded to the Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs or the Senior Advisor to Academic Affairs for Undergraduate Education.
  • Emerson College Staff: The Associate Vice President for Human Resources. If the report involves the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, the formal complaint will be forwarded to the Vice President for Administration and Finance.
  • Third Parties: The third party’s supervisor, dean, department head, or other appropriate official as determined in the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator in consultation with the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.

The College administrators identified above are hereinafter referred to as the Reviewing Administrator.

The Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the Reviewing Administrator and the Title IX Team or members of the Title IX Team will determine whether some or all of the allegations will be handled at the School or department level, or whether the Title IX Coordinator will initiate a Title IX investigation. 2

If a complainant withdraws her/his/their complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will assess, in consultation with the Reviewing Administrator, whether sufficient evidence of sexual misconduct exists to support completing an investigation. Among the factors the Title IX Coordinator will consider in making this determination is whether prior complaints by the complainant or others have been made against the respondent. The College’s decision to proceed in investigating a respondent when the complainant has withdrawn the complaint shall be made by the Title IX Coordinator in his or her sole discretion, but will take the complainant's wishes into consideration. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that no investigation will be initiated against the respondent because the complainant has withdrawn her/his/their complaint, a file concerning the withdrawn complaint will be maintained by the Title IX Coordinator, so that the matter can be re-opened if, among other things, the complainant later decides to reinitiate the complaint, or if independent evidence of sexual misconduct by the respondent comes to the College’s attention, which the Title IX Coordinator determines warrants re-opening the investigation. If a respondent admits to the conduct, and if the Title IX Coordinator determines that the conduct constitutes a violation, the Title IX Coordinator in his or her discretion may forego an investigation and refer the matter directly to the disciplinary process, described below in Section III.

Timeframe for Filing a Formal Complaint: The College does not limit the timeframe for filing a complaint. However, complainants are encouraged to file as soon as possible in order to maximize the College’s ability to investigate and come to an appropriate resolution. The College will not be able to pursue disciplinary action against a respondent who is no longer affiliated with the College.

B. Incomplete and Unofficial Reports

Any individual may also report a sexual misconduct incident involving a member of the College’s faculty, staff or third party by bringing the report to the attention of the Title IX Coordinator, any member of the Title IX Team, or any employee who has been designated by the College as a campus security authority (“CSA”), including, but not limited to, verbal, anonymous, or informal reports3. Emerson College CSAs include, but are not limited to: staff in the Office of the Dean of Students, staff in the Office of Human Resources, employees in Residence Life, and staff in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

When the Title IX Coordinator receives a report that a member of the College’s faculty, staff, or third party has engaged in sexual misconduct, but the report does not meet the requirements of a formal report, the College’s Title IX Coordinator or designee, alone, or in coordination with the Title IX Team, will determine what steps should be taken to gather additional information. Thereafter, the Title IX Coordinator will direct the gathering of the additional information.

Once all available additional information has been obtained, it will be evaluated by the Title IX Coordinator who will decide whether a formal complaint is warranted in consultation with the Title IX Team or members of the Title IX Team and the Reviewing Administrator. If the decision is made to proceed with a formal complaint and Title IX investigation, a college administrator selected by the Title IX Coordinator will serve as the complainant. In making this decision, the Title IX Coordinator will consider the wishes of the complainant as well as the risk that declining to investigate might jeopardize the safety of the complainant or any member(s) of the Emerson community.

C. Interim Measures

Upon receipt of a formal complaint or an incomplete or unofficial report, or at any time during a College investigation into a report of a violation of the Emerson Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the Title IX Team or members of the Title IX Team, shall put interim measures in place, if warranted and appropriate. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to, no-contact orders, suspensions, and work place accommodations. Any member of the College community who is involved in a Title IX investigation (complainant, respondent and/or witnesses) may request interim measures, either by making a direct request to the Title IX Coordinator, or through the College’s Director of Violence Prevention and Response and/or Survivor Advocate. In addition, the Title IX Coordinator may impose interim measures independently, absent any request, if he/she deems doing so in the best interest of the community. Interim measures are not disciplinary in nature, but simply administrative measures taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the community until investigation has been completed. Any interim suspensions of employment will be paid time off.

III. Title IX Investigation and Findings Process

When the Reviewing Administrator and Title IX Coordinator conclude that a report of sexual misconduct warrants a Title IX Investigation, the following steps will generally be taken.

  1. The Title IX Coordinator will appoint a Title IX investigator.
  2. The Title IX investigator shall investigate the report and make (i) findings of fact and (ii) conclusions as to whether the respondent violated any provision of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy. The standard of proof shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.
  3. The Title IX Coordinator will meet with the complainant and respondent individually and:
    1. Provide each with written notification of the allegations of misconduct under investigation, which shall include, to the extent then known, a reference to any specific provisions of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy allegedly violated;
    2. Inform each that a Title IX investigator has been appointed who will be investigating the complaint;
    3. Identify the Title IX investigator by name to each;
    4. Advise each that any behavior that can be construed as retaliation against the complainant, respondent, or witnesses will be subject to immediate disciplinary action up to and including suspension or dismissal from the College or termination of employment;
    5. Provide each with a copy of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy and advise each to read it carefully;
    6. Provide each with a copy of the Process for Resolving Complaints of Sexual Misconduct Against Emerson Faculty, Staff, and Emerson-Affiliated Third Parties and advise each to read it carefully;
    7. Advise each that they may speak to the Title IX Coordinator at any time during the investigation if they have questions about the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Title IX Investigation Process;
    8. Advise each that they may have one person present whenever they meet with the Title IX investigator, either an attorney or an advisor. An advisor may include, but is not limited to, a union representative if the respondent is a member of a union. Emerson will not supply any individual involved in a college investigation with an attorney or pay for him or her to retain an attorney. Any advisor or attorney who accompanies a complainant or respondent to a meeting with the Title IX investigator may attend that meeting solely for consultation purposes and may not pose or answer questions. If a respondent, or a complainant who is a member of the Emerson community does not have an advisor, Emerson will provide them with a list of Emerson faculty or staff who have volunteered to act as an advisor to parties involved in the Title IX investigative process;
    9. Advise each that each will be permitted to submit a list of witnesses to the Title IX investigator;
    10. Advise each that each will be permitted to submit relevant documentary evidence to the Title IX investigator (e.g., texts, e-mails, photographs);
    11. Advise each of confidential resources, including advocates, health care providers, and counseling services, on campus and in the local community;
    12. Advise each of the importance of preservation of evidence (e.g., texts, e-mails, notes, photograph, etc.);
    13. Advise each of their option to request that the College take steps to prevent unnecessary or unwelcome contact or communication with another member of the Emerson community;
    14. Advise the complainant of her/his/their option to pursue a criminal action against the respondent working with local police in addition to pursuing remedies and/or sanctions through College processes;
    15. Advise the complainant that the Emerson Police Department and/or the Director of Violence Prevention and/or Survivor Advocate are available to assist them in contacting and communicating with local police, or in seeking court orders of protection/restraining orders.
  4. Thereafter, the Title IX investigator shall interview the complainant (if possible) and summarize the interview in a written statement that shall be provided to the complainant for her/his/their review and comment. The Title IX investigator shall review any comments that are submitted and incorporate relevant and clarifying comments into the complainant’s statement. Comments that conflict significantly with information previously submitted by complainant should be noted.
  5. The Title IX investigator shall ask the complainant for names, addresses, and other contact information (e.g., phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses) of witnesses.
  6. The Title IX investigator shall interview the respondent (if possible) and summarize the interview in a written statement that is provided to the respondent for his/her review and comment. The investigator shall review any comments that are submitted and incorporate relevant and clarifying comments into the statement. Comments that conflict significantly with information previously submitted by the respondent should be noted. As a part of this process, the Title IX investigator shall assess if interim measures not already implemented are appropriate and, if so, work with the Title IX Coordinator to ensure they are in place.
  7. The Title IX investigator shall ask the respondent for names, addresses, and other contact information (e.g., phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses) of witnesses.
  8. The Title IX investigator shall review College records, including student course evaluations, to assess whether any prior allegations have been made against the respondent that relate to the subject of the complaint. The respondent will be provided with a copy of any of the respondent’s personnel records that relate to the subject of the complaint.
  9. The Title IX investigator shall make reasonable attempts to interview any witnesses identified by the complainant or respondent, or identified by witnesses or any other source, and produce written summaries of witness statements. These summaries, as well as the summaries of the complainant’s and the respondent’s statements, shall form the basis of the written report.
  10. The Title IX investigator shall review any documentary evidence submitted by the complainant or the respondent (e.g., texts, emails, photographs, etc.). The Title IX investigator shall describe his/her determinations concerning the relevance of the documentary evidence in the written report, and append (and redact, if necessary) submitted evidence, as appropriate.
  11. The Title IX investigator shall gather and assess any other relevant evidence available to the College (e.g., additional witnesses not identified by the parties, security camera footage, respondent’s record of discipline at Emerson, expert review of medical records). Relevant information reviewed by the Title IX investigator shall be described in the written report and appended (and redacted, if necessary), as appropriate.
  12. After reviewing any witness statements, documentary evidence and other relevant evidence as noted in 8, 9, 10, and 11 above the Title IX investigator will, when possible, conduct follow-up interviews with the complainant and the respondent and supplement the complainant and respondent interview reports as necessary.
  13. At the conclusion of the investigation, but before any findings are reached by the Title IX investigator, the Title IX investigator shall submit his/her draft written report (with a summary of evidence and attachments, but without findings) to the Title IX Coordinator for review. The Title IX Coordinator may suggest additional clarification or the gathering of additional evidence, as appropriate.
  14. The Title IX investigator shall permit both the complainant and respondent and their respective advisors or attorneys to review a copy of the draft written report (still without findings, but as revised consistent with any suggestions from the Title IX Coordinator) under the supervision of a College employee in the Title IX Coordinator's or Title IX investigator's office and then provide any clarifications or comments they may wish to offer.
  15. Neither the complainant nor the respondent will be permitted to copy or remove the draft written report from the Title IX Coordinator's or Title IX investigator's office. Relevant and clarifying comments provided by either party will be incorporated into the draft report by the Title IX investigator in his/her discretion in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, and the Title IX investigator will note any significant deviations from previous statements. If the complainant and/or respondent identify additional relevant evidence, that evidence shall be gathered by the Title IX investigator and included in the written report. Depending on the nature of the new evidence, it may be shared with the complainant and the respondent for comment.
  16. The Title IX investigator shall revise his/her draft report to summarize all relevant evidence obtained during the investigation, and reach written conclusions using a preponderance of the evidence standard, as to whether the respondent violated any provision(s) of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  17. The Title IX investigator will submit his or her revised draft investigation report including conclusions to the Title IX Coordinator.
  18. The Title IX investigator’s conclusion(s) should be explained clearly and address each element necessary to establish whether the respondent violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy so that the reader understands how the Title IX investigator reached his/her conclusion in light of the available evidence and the standard of proof.
  19. The Title IX Coordinator may offer feedback, if any, which should be incorporated into the final draft. The Title IX investigator shall revise the draft report to reflect the Title IX Coordinator’s feedback, and the investigator shall resubmit his or her revised final draft to the Title IX Coordinator.
  20. If the Title IX Coordinator disagrees with the Title IX investigator’s findings on responsibility, they should discuss and attempt to resolve any differences. If after discussion (which can include consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, as appropriate), the Title IX investigator and Title IX Coordinator still disagree as to the findings on whether or not the respondent violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Title IX Coordinator should assume responsibility for the case and write the findings to reflect the decision he/she determines is warranted.
  21. The Title IX Coordinator shall submit the Title IX investigator’s final draft report to the Office of the General Counsel (“OGC”) for review and advice.
  22. After the OGC’s comments, if any, are considered by the Title IX investigator, the Title IX investigator should finalize his/her report and submit that report to the Title IX Coordinator. If the Title IX Coordinator has assumed responsibility for the case the Title IX Coordinator should finalize the report.
  23. The Title IX Coordinator will issue letters to the complainant and the respondent informing them of the investigation findings concerning whether the respondent violated any provision of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy. Generally, such letters will be issued within two (2) business days of finalizing the Title IX report. The Title IX Coordinator shall send this communication to the complainant and the respondent via certified mail, return receipt requested, and also by electronic mail (read receipt requested).
    1. If the respondent is found not to have violated any provision of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Title IX Coordinator’s letter to both parties will inform them of the complainant’s right to appeal that decision on the grounds of either: (a) a lack of fairness in the procedures or process used to investigate the complaint that may alter the outcome of the investigation; or (b) significant new information (previously unknown) that has been revealed or discovered which materially alter the facts of the matter and may alter the outcome of the investigation. The appeals process is set forth below in Section IV.
    2. If the respondent was found to have violated any provision of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, the letter will notify both parties of those findings and provide them with information relating to the action(s) to be taken by the College described below in Section III.
    3. Regardless of the findings, the Title IX Coordinator shall present both parties with an opportunity to review the Title IX Investigator’s final report, with their advisor or attorney present, in the presence of the Title IX Coordinator or designee.

IV. College Action Following Title IX Investigation Process

When the Title IX investigation concludes that there has been a violation of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the applicable Reviewing Administrator.

The complainant and the respondent shall each have two calendar days from the date they review the Title IX investigator's report and findings to submit a written impact statement to the Reviewing Administrator. The written impact statements are intended to be an opportunity for the complainant and the respondent to inform the Reviewing Administrator of relevant information which should be considered in determining the appropriate action(s) to be taken by the College, including, but not limited to, how this incident has affected them, and whether they believe any facts or mitigating circumstances warrant leniency or significant employment action.

The Reviewing Administrator shall consider the following documents: i) copy of the Title IX investigator's findings and conclusions; ii) a copy of any relevant portions of the respondent's personnel record; and iii) a copy of any impact statements. The Reviewing Administrator will also consult with the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Team, members of the Title IX Team, or any other College employees he or she deems appropriate (e.g. an employee’s supervisor) prior to deciding what actions, if any, will be taken by the College. The Reviewing Administrator will not challenge or re-examine the Title IX investigation’s findings of fact or responsibility, but will review solely the issue of what if any response by the College is most appropriate to achieve the College’s goals of redressing the respondent’s misconduct and enhancing the safety of the community.

The Reviewing Administrator shall thereafter advise the Title IX Coordinator, and respondent, in writing, of all actions the College has taken (“the disciplinary decision”) and shall advise the complainant of the actions taken by the College that directly affect the complainant, such as protective measures, suspension, or termination of respondent’s employment. This communication from the Reviewing Administrator shall also inform the complainant and the respondent of their rights of appeal. The Reviewing Administrator shall send this communication to the complainant and the respondent via certified mail, return receipt requested, and also by electronic mail (read receipt requested). Absent extenuating or unusual circumstances, the Reviewing Administrator will generally send this communication to the parties within five (5) business days after the date the parties’ written impact statements were due.

Actions the College may take when a respondent is found to have violated the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy may include, but are not limited to disciplinary actions such as: loss of College privileges, reprimand, change in work assignment or location, mandatory training, unpaid suspension, and termination of employment, contract, or other relationship with the College. Discipline will be imposed depending on the role of the respondent and in accordance with other legal obligations in the College’s relationship with the respondent. Any disciplinary actions imposed by the College against an employee who is represented by a union will be imposed in accordance with the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

V. Appeal Following Title IX Investigation Process

  1. The complainant and the respondent shall each have seven calendar days after receiving notice of the actions taken by the College to submit a written appeal to the Appeals Administrator.
    • If the respondent is an Emerson College faculty member, appeals shall be sent to the Chief Academic Officer.
    • If the respondent is an Emerson College staff employee, the appeal shall be sent to the Vice President of the College (or comparable officer, including the Executive Director of the Office of the Arts, the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Program, and the Dean of Students) responsible for the department in which the employee respondent is employed.
    • If the respondent is a third party, the appeal shall be sent to an official designated by the College. The official may include the Chief Academic Officer or other College administrators, as appropriate under the circumstances and in the discretion of the College. In the written notice sent to parties concerning the outcome of a complaint against a third party, the College will inform both parties the designated administrator to whom appeals may be directed.
    The sole grounds for appeal are: (a) a lack of fairness in the procedures or process that may alter the outcome; or (b) significant new information (previously unknown) that has been revealed or discovered which materially alters the facts of the matter and may alter the outcome. Absent extenuating or unusual circumstances, the Appeals Administrator shall notify the parties within ten calendar days whether the appeal has been granted or rejected.
  2. If the Appeals Administrator grants an appeal, he or she shall determine the next steps in his or her sole discretion. Next steps may include, but are not limited to, a remand to the Title IX investigator or Title IX Coordinator for additional investigation, or remand to the Reviewing Administrator for a new evaluation of the actions to be taken by the College.

VI. Reservation of Rights

Emerson expressly reserves its right to impose disciplinary action against a member of the College’s faculty, staff, or a third party for misconduct which does not constitute a violation of the Emerson College Sexual Misconduct Policy. When a member of the Emerson faculty or staff, or third party, is alleged to have engaged in both sexual misconduct and other types of misconduct, the College in its sole discretion will decide whether to complete the Title IX process for investigating allegations of sexual misconduct prior to imposing disciplinary action for other violations of college policies. Information and evidence obtained by the College during a Title IX investigation may be reviewed in as part of an assessment of other misconduct. Where a respondent accused of sexual misconduct is an at-will employee, notwithstanding any provisions in this Process, the College expressly reserves its rights and discretion to discipline the employee, up to and including termination of employment, for any and all non-discriminatory reasons, including, but not limited to, the College’s determination that the employee exercised poor judgment, behaved in a manner that does not reflect well on the College, or the College’s assessment that the employee’s continued employment no longer serves the best interests of the College.

Where a respondent accused of sexual misconduct is represented by a union, notwithstanding any provisions in this Process for Resolving Complaints Against Faculty Staff and Third Parties, the College expressly reserves any and all rights and discretion it has under the applicable collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to discipline the employee, up to and including termination of employment, for non-discriminatory reasons.

Where a respondent accused of sexual misconduct is employed pursuant to an individual contract, notwithstanding any provisions in this Process for Resolving Complaints Against Faculty Staff and Third Parties, the College expressly reserves any and all rights and discretion it has to discipline the employee, up to and including termination of employment, for non-discriminatory reasons permitted under the applicable individual contract.

Where a respondent accused of sexual misconduct is the employee, agent, or representative of an entity with a contractual or other relationship with the College, notwithstanding any provisions in this Process for Resolving Complaints Against Faculty Staff and Third Parties, the College expressly reserves its rights and discretion under the contract or other relationship, up to and including the right to terminate such contractual or other relationship in accordance with the terms of the applicable contract or agreement.

VII. Amnesty

Emerson College seeks to remove any barriers to reporting incidents of sexual misconduct by making the procedures for reporting such incidents transparent and straightforward. The College recognizes that a student complainant or witness who has been drinking or using drugs at the time of an incident of sexual misconduct may be hesitant to make a report concerning sexual misconduct by an Emerson faculty, staff or a third party because of potential disciplinary consequences for the student’s own conduct. Any Emerson student who reports sexual misconduct against a member of the College’s faculty, staff or a third party, either as a complainant or a third party witness, will not be subject to disciplinary action by the College for his/her/their own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The College may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs. The amnesty policy provides students with amnesty from disciplinary charges under the College's student conduct process and thus does not apply to faculty, staff, or third parties.


1The College reserves the right to amend or modify this Process depending on the circumstances. This includes, but is not limited to, the College’s right to modify this Process in unusual circumstances including, but is not limited to, when a complainant withdraws a complaint or a respondent admits responsibility.

2If the College concludes that a reported violation of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy should be investigated at the School or department level, rather than by a Title IX investigation, the Reviewing Administrator shall initiate such an investigation. The complainant and the respondent will be notified that the report has been forwarded to the Reviewing Administrator for review. In such circumstances, the investigation process will be determined by the Reviewing Administrator in consultation with the Title IX Team or members of the Title IX Team, and/or the Associate Vice President for Human Resources. The investigation may, as appropriate in the discretion of the Reviewing Administrator and Associate Vice President for Human Resources, include, but need not be limited to: individual meetings with the complainant, the respondent, and witnesses; review of statements prepared by the complainant and the respondent; and review of relevant documentary evidence submitted by the complainant and the respondent (e.g., texts, emails, photographs, etc.). If the respondent is found to have violated any College policy, actions taken by the College may include, but are not limited to: loss of College privileges, reprimand, change in work assignment or location, mandatory training, suspension, and termination of respondent’s employment or other contract or relationship with the College. Any disciplinary actions imposed by the College against an employee who is represented by a union will be imposed in accordance with the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

3In accordance with the Clery Act, the College defines a CSA to include any member of the Emerson College Police Department; any individual who has responsibility for campus security, but who is not a member of the Emerson College Police Department; any individual identified by the College as someone to whom a crime should be reported; and any College official who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities.

APPENDIX C

Title IX Team

Title IX Coordinator

Alexa Jackson, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
alexa_jackson@emerson.edu
(617) 824-8133

Deputy Title IX Coordinators

Dr. Lori Beth Way, Interim Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Senior Advisor for Undergraduate Education, Academic Affairs
loribeth_way@emerson.edu
(617) 824-8905

Kimberly Marcella, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Director of Employee Relations, Human Resources
kimberly_marcella@emerson.edu
(617) 824-8452

Sharon Duffy, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Associate Dean of Students, Student Life
sharon_duffy@emerson.edu
(617) 824-8685

Erin Brennen, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Senior Associate Director, Athletics
erin_brennen@emerson.edu
(617) 824-8690

Chris Brunelle, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Assistant Dean of Students, Emerson College Los Angeles Center
christopher_brunelle@emerson.edu
(323) 952-6411

Dr. Chester Lee, Interim Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Assistant Director, Kasteel Well
chester_lee@emerson.edu
011-31-47850-7112

Other Members of the Title IX Team

Dr. Ronald Ludman, Dean of Students
ronald_ludman@emerson.edu
(617) 824-8640

Dr. Melanie Matson, Director of Violence Prevention & Response/Survivor Advocate
melanie_matson@emerson.edu
(617) 824-8857

Chief Robert Smith, Emerson College Police Department
robert_smith@emerson.edu
(617) 824-8555

Michael Arno, Director of Student Conduct, Housing & Residence Life
michael_arno@emerson.edu
(617) 824-8620

The Title IX Team may include Investigator(s) employed or retained by the College, and others as deemed necessary by the Title IX Coordinator or the Director of Violence Prevention & Response.